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What to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand

With its tree-lined streets and plentiful nature spots, Christchurch definitely deserves its reputation as a garden city.

The city is also home to two reputable and internationally-ranked universities, Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury.

In recent years, New Zealand has become a popular study destination due to its high-quality education, welcoming environment, and stunning natural sights!

If you are planning to study in Christchurch, you may be interested in making a trip there to check out the city.

christchurch river view

What to do in Christchurch, New Zealand?

Cathedral Square

If you are in Christchurch, don’t miss out on all the cultural and artistic events taking place in Cathedral Square!

While post-earthquake reconstruction works are still in progress, you’ll get to see some tribal-pattern street art and a makeshift cathedral constructed out of vibrant living plants.

Also in the Square, don't forget the 18-meter tall Chalice with its swirling motif of leaves in the wind, one of Neil Dawson’s art pieces.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

christchurch botanic gardens

As part of Hagley Park, the gardens boast an impressive array of flora and fauna from around the world. You definitely won’t miss the massive, century-old trees that pepper the green spaces.

In December, you can also look forward to the hybrid-rose garden, which is at their peak in winter.

If time permits, do consider punting on the Avon River and taking in the wonderful natural sights at the same time!

Canterbury Museum

canterbury museum

For all you history aficionados, don’t forget to check out Canterbury Museum, which is housed in a beautiful stone building!

There's an exciting mix of Maori culture, Antarctic artifacts and the famous Pāua Shell House (with over 1000 shells!) to look forward to.

Christchurch Gondola

The Christchurch Gondola is a relaxing way to get to the top of Port Hills, where you enjoy 360° views of the city and surrounding mountains. (some say you can see as far as Mount Hutt!)

At the same place, you can also try out the Time Travel Tunnel, which gives you an overview of European Colonialism in New Zealand and their impact on the Maori people.

Christchurch Tramway Restaurant

christchurch tramway restaurant

Having dinner onboard a historically restored tramcar is a fantastic way to take a city tour of Christchurch in style! Feast on a four-course meal made of seasonal ingredients as you catch your last glimpses of the inner city.

If this floats your boat, do make a booking in advance as the tour is hugely popular and the tramcars have limited capacity!

Re: START Mall

Made from repurposed shipping containers, this outdoor retail space is yet another testament to the city's post-earthquake renewal. With a myriad of food trucks, souvenir stores, and street musicians, this would be an excellent place for you to grab a snack and some souvenirs!

Cardboard Cathedral

cardboard cathedral

This transitional cathedral, constructed out of wood salvaged from broken homes, is another of Christchurch’s new icons and one of the city’s most photographed buildings!

At night, the cathedral is illuminated with light filtering through the faux stained glass and wooden pillars- that’d be a great time to snap a photo too!

So Many Things to See, in So Little Time!

If you have more time for a more comprehensive tour of Christchurch, do consider checking out Christchurch’s Street Art. If you look closely, there are many large murals on building walls all around the city!

You should also visit the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve where you’ll get to see exotic animals (such as Kiwis) in their natural setting.

New Zealand is famous for its picturesque nature views throughout the islands and adventure activities which you can explore if you stay on for university!

Looking to Study in Christchurch?

Get in touch with IDP, and we’ll walk you through the process of applying for your overseas study.

Let’s make your dream of studying in New Zealand a reality!

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