The city of Christchurch is served by the Christchurch International Airport located about 7 ½ miles northwest of the city center and the journey from the airport to the city takes about 15 minutes.
If you have not booked a private transfer with us, you have several options for transportation available at the airport including trains, buses, taxis and rental cars.What types of transportation can I find at the airport?
There are regular bus services that connect the airport to the city center and the surrounding areas. The bus stops are located just outside of the Arrivals Hall between the airport terminal and the long-term parking lot (Exit through Door 9 past the Vodafone counter). A bus journey to the city costs around NZ$8 for a one-way ticket which can be purchased from the driver and buses depart every 30 minutes. The Purple Line and Route #29 travels to Christchurch Central Station in the city center. Visit www.metroinfo.co.nz for more information.
Taxis are available at the airport with taxi ranks located outside the International Arrivals Hall next to the shuttle rank, exit through door 7. The journey to the city center costs around NZ$45 - $65 and takes around 20 minutes. Several taxi companies offer service at the airport.
There are several major car rental companies found at the airport including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, and Thrifty. The car rental office can be found at the arrivals hall.How do I get around the city using public transportation?
Public transportation in the city of Christchurch includes buses, taxis, trams, and ferries. The extensive bus network covers the entire city and the outer suburbs and connects to the inner-city Bus Interchange situated in downtown on the corner of Litchfield and Colombo Streets. Tickets cost approximately NZ$4 for adults and NZ$2 for children and can be purchased on board from the driver. Your ticket offers a free transfer to another bus within two hours from the purchase time.
Taxis are available 24/7 in Christchurch and services are offered by several reputable companies with standard fares across the board. A typical fare in the city will cost around NZ$1.5 - $2.75 per 0.64 miles and go up according to the total distance traveled. Taxis can be found on the streets, at taxi stands or order by phone.
The Iconic Christchurch Tramway runs a small loop around the heart of the city, the tram offers a leisurely, scenic sightseeing tour of the city. There are 17 different stops on the loop where passengers can hop-on and hop-off all day for about NZ$8.90 per adult (children ride free). The trams depart every 15-20 minutes and operate from 9 am until 6 pm daily. Visit www.welcomeaboard.co.nz/christchurch-tram/
Another unique way to see Christchurch is to take a journey on the Christchurch Gondola which transports passengers from the Heathcote Valley to the top of Mount Cavendish.
Diamond Harbor Ferry transports passengers between Diamond Harbor and Lyttelton, the journey takes around 8 minutes.Should I rent a car in Christchurch?
Having a car and driving around the spectacular countryside of New Zealand is an amazing way to see the stunning scenery. Renting your own vehicle gives you the opportunity to personalize your trip and travel to breathtaking destinations that lie just beyond the city of Christchurch. The stunning areas of Hanmer Springs and picturesque Akaroa are just a short ride from Christchurch and can both be visited on a day trip, which is made easier by having the flexibility of your own car and flexible schedule.
Driving in Christchurch is made easy with its flat, grid-like layout and plenty of parking options with pay and display systems.I will have a car in Christchurch where can I park?
The city of Christchurch offers over 4,300 car parks with 1,713 on street parking and 2,925 parking garages. There is one hour of free parking offered once per day per vehicle. The free hours parking are offered at five off-street car parks at Litchfield Street (between Colombo and Durham Streets), Art Gallery, New Regent Street, Worcester Street and Rolleston Avenue. The car parks also offer regular parking where you collect a ticket upon entry and pay through a machine when you leave, if the time is less than an hour it is free. Paid parking cost approximately NZ$3.10 per hour.Where can I go freedom camping in Christchurch?
New Zealand is a fantastic destination to explore via a road trip and for camping adventures, Freedom camping is a very popular activity in the Christchurch and surrounding areas. Freedom camping is the term for camping without facilities such as showers, toilets, and cooking facilities. Travelers who wish to go freedom camping will travel in a self-contained motorhome or RV, which is equipped for cooking, washing, etc.Is Christchurch a walking city?
Walking around the city of Christchurch is made easy with a flat and compact layout and plenty of parks and gardens to wander around. The Bridle Path walk is a 3-hour roundtrip walk that starts below the Christchurch Gondola. The different landscapes in Christchurch and Canterbury offer plenty of walking opportunities for visitors including hiking in the countryside, rewarding walks through the Botanic Gardens and relaxing strolls along the beautiful blue waterways. Hagley Park is the largest green space in the city with walking and cycling paths through the native bushland and wetland surroundings. Taking a walk through Cathedral Square will lead you to many of the city`s central attractions including the Canterbury Museum and the Botanic Gardens.Can I ride a bicycle around Christchurch?
Riding a bicycle in Christchurch is a popular way to get around the flat, compact city. Bike paths and tracks have been installed all over the city and link many of the city`s most popular attractions. Cycle around Hagley Park, which offers an extensive bike path around the perimeter or explores the Canterbury region with scenic roads and off-road trails that go around the Port Hills.Is Christchurch a dangerous city, is there anything I should be aware of?
Christchurch is a safe city to visit and New Zealand is one of the safest travel destinations in the world. However, as in any city in the world tourists may be a target for pickpockets and crooks on the city streets, keep your wits about you and take a taxi back to your hotel, so you are not a target for thieves. Use common sense precautions and keep your valuables safe and secure and stick to well-lit and well-populated routes when out late at night.What is the weather like in Christchurch?
The weather in Christchurch features a temperate Oceanic climate offering mild summers and cool winters with regular rainfall. The average daily temperatures in January range in the mid to low 70`s and in the mid to low 50`s in July, nighttime temperatures can fall into the 30`s. The `fohn wind` or `nor-wester` is a notable weather pattern experienced in the area with storm force winds.What are some popular areas for shopping?
The Cashel Street Container mall dubbed the Re-START movement by local organizers is the new home to many businesses in the city there were affected by the earthquakes. This unique and quirky collection of shops made out of repurposed shipping containers laid out in an artistic fashion and decorated in vibrant colors with unusual layouts. This area is full of character and is filled with daily markets, live street music, entertainment and delicious street food.
The Christchurch Farmers Market at the historic Riccarton House and Bush is held every Saturday from 9 am until 1 pm offering locally made meats, cheese, and other local goods. And the Sunday Artisan Market held in the same location offering arts and crafts as well as food.
The Tannery offers an upscale shopping location filled with boutiques housed in the restored buildings of the historic Woolston tanneries. The boutiques are independently owned and offer clothing, art, homeware and New Zealand made products. The area offers plenty of eateries and bars as well as a spa and movie theatre.
Visit The Colombo which is home to an arts cinema, boutiques and dining establishments offering a contemporary feel with a distinct European flair.
The Crossing offers shopping opportunities with stores such as HM, Witchery, Trenery and Andrei Bani all situated in the heart of the city.
Westfield Riccarton is the largest mall in the city filled with everything you need and so much more; shops, groceries, two food courts and a Xtremescreen movie theatre.
The Palms is another mall with well-known stores including K-Mart and Farmers and Countdown as well as restaurants and bars and a cinema.What are some festivals held in Christchurch?
Christchurch is the host of many festivals throughout the years including Summertimes from December through late February, to enjoy many free events offered in Hagley park that include music, arts, and sports. The World Buskers Festival which runs for two weeks in January featuring comedians, street and circus acts. The Festival of Romance runs for 10 days leading up to Valentine`s Day. The Christchurch Garden Festival takes place in March. The Christchurch Arts Festival takes place every second year in the winter timer. Carnival Week takes place in November with Guy Fawkes Night and fireworks, the New Zealand Cup and the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral show. Carols by Candlelight is a longstanding Christmas Even tradition held in Victoria Square.What is the currency? Can I pay/tip in US dollars?
The units of currency in New Zealand are the New Zealand dollar $, $NZ or $NZD, sometimes referred to as the `kiwi` or `buck`. US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for New Zealand dollars ($NZ) upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the city.
For more detailed information, consult our guide to tipping in the New Zealand by clicking here NZ
There is a 15% Goods and Service Tax (GST) that is applied to everything in New Zealand. Good and services include the GST and you should not be charged extra at checkout, for international travelers there is a tax refund available for items purchased over a certain amount, upon departure you will fill out the necessary paperwork and be refunded the 15% if applicable.What is the food like?
The streets of Christchurch are filled with delectable smells and many tempting cafes, restaurants, and markets offering a wide array of food. The city offers a wide selection of Farmers Markets including the Christchurch Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9 am - 1 pm held at the historic Riccarton House and the Downtown Farmers Market on Sunday`s from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm held at The Commons offering live music and food stalls. The Canterbury Cheesemongers at the Arts Centre offering many types of specialty cheeses, chutneys, and fresh bread.
The seafood found in New Zealand is some of the best in the world, there are over 8, 700 miles of coastline in the country. Many restaurants offer amazing freshly caught seafood daily including fish, mussels, and oysters. New Zealand lamb is succulent and tender with roast lamb being a favorite dish among the locals and is offered throughout the restaurants in the region, seasoned with rosemary and served with fresh vegetables, this dish is a must while visiting New Zealand. Another local favorite is fish and chips with freshly caught snapper, hoki, and terakihi all battered and deep fried.What is the nightlife like?
The city of Christchurch offers a dynamic and diverse nightlife scene with plenty of restaurants, bars, and other entertainment venues to choose from. Since the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, the city center has new establishments and is evolving with a great range of bars including the `Revival Bar` and others in the central business district. The city is very artsy and offers some quirky establishments along with fabulous food. The Christchurch Casino offers visitors a fun-filled night out with slot machines, table games, a restaurant and two bars located in the city center.
Craft beers breweries, vineyards, and wineries are a popular attraction in Christchurch, offering patrons a laid back relaxed atmosphere at establishments such as Pomeroy`s, The Pegasus Arms, and The Volstead Trading Company.
The Court Theatre in Christchurch is a great place to enjoy a good show. The venue offers plays from Shakespeare to Grease and showcases the local talent of the city. The surrounding area of the theatre offers a good choice of restaurants, cafes, and bars with an upbeat atmosphere for a good night out.I don`t speak Maori will there be many people who speak English?
The official languages spoken in New Zealand are English and Maori and in 2006 it was the only country in the world to declare sign language (NZSL) as an official language.What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?
In case of emergencies dial 111 for the police, ambulance or fire services.
Christchurch Hospital tel. 643-364-0640
St George`s Hospital tel. 643-375-6000
Southern Cross Hospital tel. 643-968-3100