Christchurch is a modern retail, accommodation, dining, business, leisure and transport hub, just 15 minutes from the international airport. Currently undergoing an urban regeneration like no other, the emerging new Christchurch city is an exciting and lively place to be. And Te Pae’s prime position at the very centre allows easy access to it all.
A lively visual and performing arts scene, and fascinating new venues are drawing international attention to our city. The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor and Smart Meetings have all listed Christchurch in their top rankings, hailing the city for its creativity and innovation.
In Christchurch, heritage buildings rub shoulders with modern and state-of-the-art spaces to create a stunning walkable environment. The historic tramway weaves its way past 1930s Spanish Mission boutiques, an Edwardian theatre, and beautifully restored neo-Gothic buildings. A classic river punting service punctuates this elegant experience.
Christchurch’s vibrant café culture sits alongside eclectic and sophisticated bars and restaurants. Casual and fine dining establishments feature diverse cuisines. Local produce like Akaroa salmon and Canterbury lamb share tables with seasonal vegetables straight from kitchen gardens, matched with exceptional local wines and boutique craft beers.
With over 790 parks and gardens, Christchurch has ample green space. Hagley Park is the crowning glory featuring 165 hectares of trees, open grassed areas, beautiful walkways and more. Right across the river are the wonderful Botanic Gardens. Other natural showpieces include the historic homestead of Riccarton House, sitting beside nearly 16 acres of original native bush made up of trees older than the city itself. And Mona Vale, an elegant Victorian homestead surrounded by over 5 hectares of beautifully crafted traditional lawns and gardens, with the Avon River winding gently through the middle.
Our city is home to world-class universities, Crown research facilities, start-up accelerators, and the Christchurch Innovation Precinct and Health Precinct.
Key sectors of expertise include earth sciences, health sciences, agriculture, food science, international education, building and environmental technology.
Christchurch is also the aerial gateway to the Antarctic with over 100 direct flights each year, and home to the International Antarctic Centre, a major attraction that houses several Antarctic programmes.
790+Parks and gardens
2ndLargest city and airport in New Zealand
After a busy day of sightseeing there's no better place to relax than at Tekapo Springs Hot Pools in Lake Tekapo. Overlooking the beauty of Lake Tekapo and the mountains beyond, it features New Zealand's largest inflatable waterslide, sauna & steam rooms, and fully equipped day spa.
Don't miss stargazing in the Mackenzie Basin, home to the world's largest International Dark Sky Reserve with some of the clearest skies. Earth & Sky in Lake Tekapo or Big Sky Stargazing at Aoraki Mount Cook Village for the chance to gaze into space through powerful telescopes.
New Zealand's largest glacier – Tasman Glacier – is accessible on foot, by bike and by boat. Glacier Explorers take you onto the terminal lake, where you can touch icebergs or marvel at our tallest mountain, Aoraki Mount Cook. The National Park here is a popular for short and multi-day walks, including the Governors Bush Walk and the Hooker Valley Track.
Traveling from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean, this 300 km cycle trail showcases the most dramatic scenery New Zealand has to offer. Bike your way through Aoraki Mt Cook National Park alongside glacial-fed lakes, and on to golden grasslands, limestone cliffs and Maori rock art. This trail suits all abilities, and includes a mixture of off and on road trail.
Connecting Christchurch to Greymouth on the West Coast, the TranzAlpine is one of the world's most scenic rail journeys. It cuts across the Southern Alps, through a patchwork of the Canterbury Plains and the Arthur's Park National Park – some of New Zealand's most stunning landscapes.
One hour north of Christchurch you'll find fields of lavender, olive groves and more than 60 vineyards, with dozens of cellar doors open for wine tasting in the Waipara Valley. We suggest renting a bike or hopping on to one of the many winery tours to explore this region's bounty.
Just 1.5 hours' drive from Christchurch, Akaroa is rich in French colonial charm. Take in its historic cottages and sample fine French cuisine before heading out with Black Cat Cruises to get up close to the region's abundant marine life, including the smallest dolphins in the world – the Hectors.
Arthur's Pass is the highest route through the Southern Alps, connecting the vast Canterbury plains in the east with the wild and rugged West Coast. Drive this spectacular journey at your own pace, or relax and take the famous TranzAlpine train. The National Park is a popular spot with hikers, with day trippers particularly enjoying the walk to the Devil's Punchbowl Falls.
Hanmer offers South Island visitors the chance to kick back alpine style. A maze of forest walks snake up the hillside above the town – the perfect way to tire your muscles and get them craving a big hot soak. The Hanmer Springs Village is best known for the award-winning Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa. Tranquil and indulgent, Hanmer has been a relaxation destination for 125 years.