Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island, and the third largest city in New Zealand after Auckland and Wellington. Sitting half way down the East Coast of the Island, it is built around a central Cathedral Square and has a long and fascinating history dating back to 1250. Hanmer Springs is about 130 kilometres north of Christchurch and is named after the hot springs that are separated from the town by the Waiau River and still accessed by a bridge that first opened in 1887. It is a beautiful agricultural area rich in flora, fauna… and fun!
Things to Do in Christchurch
Explore the Resilient City of Christchurch
Of course one of the best things to do when visiting the Christchurch area is to see the city itself. Christchurch has had a tough time geologically speaking, in no small part due to the several earthquakes it has experienced. But it is also a relentlessly positive, creative and resilient place that hasn’t rested in its rebuilding of its beautiful city. Take, for example, the ‘Cardboard Cathedral” in the centre: a remarkable industrial cardboard and plastic construction with a stunning interior built to quickly replace the ruined original.
Quake City found in the Re Start City Mall (cleverly created from shipping containers, and much prettier than you might think) will give you a broad insight into effect of the quakes on the city. But Christchurch isn’t all about earthquakes! With art installations, botanical gardens, Canterbury Museum, the seaside at Sumner and the beautiful Port Hills a short trip away, we’d recommend staying at least a few days here to make the most of the bounty on offer.
Relax and Unwind in Akaroa
When visiting the area, we recommend building in a trip to Akaroa if you can. Akaroa is about 70 kilometres from Christchurch ad sits on the inside edge of the pastoral and undulating Banks Peninsula. Akaroa is a great place to unwind and benefits from an easy-going holiday atmosphere. You’ll find walks a-plenty, cycle tours, cultural and sporting events taking place throughout the year and a great range of water sports available at the harbour. And keep an eye on that water – if you’re lucky you might just spot the world’s smallest marine dolphin, which lives just off these shores!
Take a Dip in the Thermal Pools of Hanmer Springs
Holidays to New Zealand often fall into two main categories: adventure and relaxation. Hanmer Springs is wonderful for fans of the latter. Nestled at the foot of the Southern Alps and surrounded by gentle giant Redwood trees, the thermal pools and spa treatments at Hanmer Springs will have you unwound and stress-free in no time. The nearby township has a great array of shops and cafes for a little therapy of the retail kind, and if you really don’t want to let go of the adventure, you can still nip out for some horse riding, mountain biking, skiing, golf or even bungee jumping. In New Zealand, the adventure is never far away.
Ready to Experience Christchurch?
We specialise in planning tailor-made itineraries focused on your personal interests. Want to have a chat? Our team are always on standby ready to answer any questions you may have. Talk to someone now by calling +44 (0) 1636 813 544. Alternatively, or use our handy contact form to request a call back.