48 Hours In Christchurch

48 Hours In Christchurch: City Guide

Vibrant and forward-looking with a casual, laid-back vibe, Christchurch has a way of making you feel right at home, even if it’s just for a couple of days… In fact, 48 hours in Christchurch is a decent amount of time to spend here.

Think: exploring the bustling city centre, relaxing in lush parks, surfing cool beaches and taking in sweeping coastal views by day; dining on vintage trams and sipping world-class wine in happening bars after dark.

48 Hours In Christchurch

Day One:

Discover the City Centre by Tram

Modern, affordable and centrally located, the 3-star BreakFree on Cashel strikes a good balance between convenience and cost. Its other benefit is that it’s close to a tram stop, a very handy bonus in this town as the vintage trams in Christchurch really are as charming as can be.

Once you’ve taken in standout sights like Cathedral Square, Victoria Square, Christ’s College and the Bridge of Remembrance from the comfort of your creaking carriage, revert back to foot power and seek out some of the city’s electrifying street art. It’s bold and edgy and succeeds entirely in its aim of distracting attention away from the constant rebuilding caused by the devastating 2011 earthquake.

Relax in the Botanic Gardens

Lush and expansive with heaps of different sections to explore, you could easily spend a whole afternoon mooching around the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Look around as you snap the blooms and stroll under the shady trees and chances are you’ll see plenty of locals doing exactly that! If lazing around on pristine lawns isn’t your thing, then why not try your hand at punting on the river that meanders through the gardens instead?

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Have an Evening Out on New Regent Street

Lined with pretty pastel-hued buildings, New Regent Street looks and feels like it should be in Singapore rather than New Zealand. Moreover, this happening thoroughfare is where you’ll find the city’s hippest cafes, restaurants and bars so it’s a fine place to grab a feed and sample some of New Zealand’s world-renowned wine. The beer’s pretty good, too… 

Image: Photo CMG Studios

Day Two:

Hit the Beaches

Being right on the coast means Christchurch has loads of attractive beaches on its doorstep. Corsair Bay is arguably the most scenic, although the warm community vibe at New Brighton Beach is pretty hard to beat. The wonderfully-named Taylor’s Mistake is the place to head if you’re into surfing in a big way.

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Take in Views From the Christchurch Gondola

Who can resist a cable car ride? Treat yourself to a trip on the Christchurch Gondola at Port Hills and you’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping views of both the city and the dramatic Banks Peninsula landscape. You can even take in the Southern Alps and the Canterbury Plains when the weather plays ball – Insta heaven. If you fancy a bit of scenic hiking then latch on to the Bridle Path walkway near the summit cafe.

48 Hours In Christchurch

Dine on a Vintage Tram

Let’s be frank; tucking into a four-course dinner on a colonial-style dining tram as it trundles around Christchurch city centre is about as enchanting as an evening meal can get. Truly, if there’s a better way to round-off a trip to New Zealand’s second largest city then we’ve yet to hear about it. Book ahead and be at Cathedral Junction (Stop 1) a short while before 7pm.

48 Hours In Christchurch

Bo Heamyan

Bo Heamyan is a British travel writer, reporter and author. When not plotting adventurous overseas japes or motoring away on off-grid road trips, Bo enjoys re-reading Walden, worshipping Nietzsche and highlighting the dangers of conformity to his six-year-old daughter.

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