Travel Planning
Travel Planning

Christchurch at a Glance

Christchurch is known as the Garden City because one eighth of the city's total land is either park, reserve or recreation area. Earthquakes rocked this beautiful city during 2010 and 2011 and as the city rebuilds after the damage, a funky, entrepreneurial spirit is emerging.

Christchurch has beautiful weather and plenty of sunshine. This makes its parkland even more special. Join residents on morning runs, afternoon strolls or simple meditation in one of the green spaces. The Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park are wonderful spaces to look at native flora and fauna and enjoy a warm afternoon.

Christchurch was traditionally the most English of New Zealand's metropolises. Bits of the central heritage area remain after the earthquakes, but its church was destroyed. New art, architecture and ideas are making the downtown area vibrant and exciting once again.

Whether you plan to take a ride on the Christchurch Gondola, or want to go on a hiking trip, the area around Christchurch is rife with recreation activities. Beautiful mountains, blue sea and pleasant weather set the scene for skydiving, wine tasting, horseback riding, surfing and other activities. 

What to Expect
High Season
November - April
Low Season
May - October
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      Getting There
      Major Airports
      • Major Airport Christchurch International Airport

      Passport / Visa Requirements

      European, American and Canadian residents do not need visas to visit New Zealand if their visit will be for less than three months. All travelers must have a valid passport with at least one page available for stamping. Travelers can learn more by contacting the Embassy of New Zealand. American travelers can also use the U.S State Department website as a resource.

      Need to Know

      Severe Weather and Seismic Events Don't underestimate New Zealand's changing weather. Strong winds buffet the country and will bring rain and snow quite suddenly. During the winter the weather can be quite windy and clammy cold. Earthquakes occur in Christchurch and have been devastating in the past.

      Safety Concerns Don't leave valuables in your car especially when it is parked at trail heads or other tourist-heavy destinations. In all cases, don't leave anything visible in the car seats as car break-ins are a problem. 

      Health Concerns: Travelers are usually most comfortable if they are wearing insect repellent. The mosquitoes can be vicious. Undertows and riptides are present at certain beaches. Ask around to find safe swimming spots.