Looking for the best ways to spend your time in the south island’s largest city? Try these ideas on for size.
1. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
Isaac Theatre Royal has sat grandly in the city centre for more than 100 years and hosts a constant flow of world-class performances. This May, you can catch the newest production of the ultimate feel-good musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Featuring a stellar cast, all the catchy songs you know and love and – of course – plenty of colourful costumes, you’re bound to leave with a smile on your face.
2. Embrace the chill at the International Antarctic Centre
Cleverly – and aptly – billed as the coolest fun in Christchurch, this clever centre makes you feel like you’re in the world’s most southerly continent from the moment you first walk through the door. Hang out with penguins, survive an Antarctic storm, cuddle up to a Husky and tap along to Happy Feet in 4D.
3. Sample the city’s small bars
Christchurch knows exactly what it’s doing when it comes to small bar culture. Try Tequila Mockingbird for Latin flair, enjoy the prohibition-era charm of cocktails and whisky at The Last Word and enjoy a craft beer and some comedy at The Dark Room.
4. Take a stroll and picnic in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Taking up 21 beautiful hectares along the Avon River, the gardens are perfect for energetic runs, appreciative strolls and blanket-top picnics. There’s also plenty of art, a kids’ paddling pool and a regular string of events to choose from.
5. Tackle the slopes on Mt Hutt
Pack up the car and take a day trip to Mt Hutt, which sits a magical 90 minute drive from the city centre. Test your skills on a range of runs great for all levels. Got little ones? Kids under 10 ski for free.
6. Unwind at Hanmer Springs
For a day trip of a different kind, head 90 minutes north to Hanmer Springs where you can unwind in your choice of rock pools, sulphur pools, saunas and steam rooms.
7. Wine and dine at Cook ‘n’ With Gas
Enjoy delicious local produce, your choice of 200 NZ beers and wines and a delightfully warm dining room whenever you go to this local favourite.
8. Get cultured at the Centre of Contemporary Art
Push your boundaries and discover new ideas at COCA with its mix of striking exhibitions, engaging talks and inspiring workshops.
9. Indulge your sugar cravings at Rollickin’ Gelato
With flavours like Pop’s Lemon Pie (which includes ripples of house made lemon curd and butter crumbs) and Spice It Up (which features chunks of chocolate cake and pumpkin buttercream) it’s safe to say you’ll want to visit more than once.
10. Get a new perspective at Port Hills
There are a number of different trails you can take through the beautiful Port Hills, which sit just outside the city. Enjoy panoramic views, rewarding climbs and little bits of history along the way.