New Zealand’s oldest city sits proudly on the South Island’s east coast, just hours from the stunning Southern Alps. Nestled amidst the Canterbury plains Christchurch boasts beautiful botanical gardens, an incredible selection of delicious local and international cuisine and classic colonial architecture, along with an impressive selection of local artists everywhere you turn. Sprung from the post-earthquake rubble of what was once the bustling business district has emerged a pop-up city (cathedral included) full of the incredible kiwi morale – spend 24 hours here (or more) and you’ll soon find out why…
Where there once were bricks and mortar now stands ReSTART; huge shipping containers filled with cafes, shops and bars, brimming with an inspiring sense of determination and creativity. From the delicious cakes and coffees (something Christchurch does brilliantly) to the artistic boutiques, this pop up city centre has such a beautiful determination that the atmosphere itself is a reason to pay Christchurch a visit. A combination of vibrant colours, cut out glass walls and clever architecture make this city mall an outstanding example of the boldness and bravery of the people of Christchurch.
High on the kiwi spirit, a stroll through the flourishing botanical gardens is a must – you’ll soon see why this is also dubbed the garden city. Nestled in between the Avon River and Hagley Park the gardens are bursting with indigenous and exotic flora, and if you’re feeling lazy after exploring the pop-up city a ‘punt’ is an even more relaxing way to explore Christchurch – river style.
TAKE TO THE HILLS
Situated in the Canterbury Plains, Christchurch sits between the beautiful Port Hills and breath-taking Southern Alps – both definitely worth seeing. If you’re pressed for time take a ride on the Christchurch Gondola up to the summit of the Port Hills and admire the spectacular views of the Alps to your left, with the tiny town of Lyttleton on your right; tucked away over the hills in what was once a volcanic crater, and simply one of the most beautiful towns in New Zealand, set in breath-taking surroundings.
ONE FOR THE FOODIES
This pop-up city has no shortage of delicious cuisine, from Italian to Mexican, French to Indian, Thai to Korean. Or if you’re keen to sample some good old kiwi grub (they’re big on beetroot here) there are endless restaurants, cafes and bars. One particular gem is ‘Dose’- quaint, quirky kiwi café by day, but by night the café is swiftly transformed into Dose Izakaya, a fantastic Japanese Tapas & cocktail bar filled with vintage furniture, wooden benches and mouth-watering food.
24 hours in Christchurch would of course be incomplete without a trip to the farmers market – local produce is something New Zealanders do like no one else. From decadent cakes by Anna to the most delicious and unusually flavoured macaroons you’ll ever taste by ‘J’aime Les Macaron’ (we love the elderflower & lemon) you will be left nothing but inspired by Christchurch and its culinary delights, creativity and courage.
THE CHARLOTTE JANE
After a hard day of exploring and eating, The Charlotte Jane is the perfect place to rest. Named after one of the four first ships bringing settlers to Christchurch in 1850, this 19th century boutique hotel situated in the heart of the city boasts a perfect location, along with pristine gardens, a peaceful atmosphere and 12 beautifully decorated luxury rooms, with hints of gothic décor.
And that’s just 24 hours. Sound like your kind of day? Get in touch and we can add Christchurch to a luxury tour of New Zealand. You’ll soon see why it’s on of our favourite corners of the world.