4 Reasons to Visit Christchurch, New Zealand

Whether you’re coming overseas, or you’re just a short swim away coming from Land Down Under, if you’re planning to visit New Zealand, then you’ve got to put Christchurch on your travel itinerary.

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The second-largest city in New Zealand, Christchurch is best-known for the devastating earthquakes that ravaged the city and killed 185 inhabitants in 2011 and 2012. Though the city makes sure to remember the disaster and honour its dead, the inhabitants of Christchurch have made it their mission to rebuild their city and make it into one of the most attractive tourist destinations in New Zealand, and in the world. Since, Christchurch has become a city of street art, theatres, coffee and good eats.

If you’re planning on visiting this wonderful city, here are some suggestions to places you’ll want to visit to help you plan your trip. Let’s check them out!

Coffee by the Gallons

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As we said, Christchurch is a city of many things, but, primarily, coffee. If there’s anything to see and experience in this New Zealand town then it’s its many coffee shops and its amazing coffee. Kiwis love their flat white, and C1 Espresso coffee shop in downtown Christchurch is THE place to visit for a stellar cup of this divine beverage.

But, don’t stop there! Check out Addington Coffee Co-Op or Hello Sunday for an amazing brunch (make sure to book a table in Hello Sunday, it’s very popular). Among other places to visit are Black Betty, C4 Coffee and a very quirkily named A Mouse Called Bean in the famous Re:Start Mall.

Shop Till You Drop

For the ladies (and more flamboyant gentlemen, we don’t judge) Christchurch has some wicked places to indulge your shopping manias. One of the largest and most sophisticated malls is, of course, Re:Start Mall; we already mentioned that one. But the mall is not just a building, no! It is a statement to the city’s endurance in the face of adversity, and a contemporary piece of art, all in one! The mall is built of shipping containers, the ones used as emergency shelter after the quakes. Re:Start hosts everything and anything, from boutiques over cafes to miscellaneous ships, like this cool vape shop in Christchurch teens and hipsters like to frequent.

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

Aside from Re:Start, you should also check out New Regent Street if shopping piques your interest. New Regent Street is a marvellous Spanish Mission style fully pedestrian area and a great place to spend your afternoons scouring for that perfect piece of clothing. The street has sustained some damage during the earthquakes, but most of the damage has since been repaired.

Art Is in the Heart

Art and creativity have been the heart of Christchurch ever since the disasters in 2011 and 12. The quakes damaged and destroyed many buildings, but it also opened lots for new buildings, businesses and purely art pieces to take their place. Christchurch is one of the most artistically expressive cities, as it features numerous commissioned pieces of street art and murals adorning walls of formerly collapsed buildings and new buildings alike.

In addition to murals and street art, the city features one of the most architecturally intriguing churches in the world. The Christ Church Cathedral, the namesake of the city, has been destroyed in the earthquake, but it was quickly replaced by the Cardboard Cathedral, named so because it’s roof A-line is made of 20-metre long cardboard tubes.

Finally, Christchurch is a city of theatres and art galleries. If you’re an artsy sort of person, then you should definitely check out the Christchurch Art Gallery, and for drama-lovers, there’s always the Isaac Theatre Royal.

Nature Is a Hike Away

A modern city may be a concrete forest, but, when it comes to Christchurch, real forests are not too far away either.

New Zealand is a land of outstanding natural and scenic beauty. The city is surrounded by amazing nature, including wonderful botanic gardens, sunny beaches with waves perfect for surfing and breath-taking hills and mountains. For nature lovers, the best places to visit are surely the Arthur National Park, and Arthur’s Pass is an excellent place for hikers and other similar outdoor activities.

If you’re looking to show your skills on the board, then check out the Banks Peninsula where you can hang out with other tanned surfer dudes and even swim with the dolphins.

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Finally, if you’re an EXTREMELY extreme person, you might want to pay a visit to Antarctica. Christchurch is one of the jumping points for many US, Italian, Australian and New Zealand Antarctica ventures.


Well, that’s about it for Christchurch and its famous places to visit. Whether you’re passing through, using it as a starting point, or the final destination of your New Zealand trip, visiting this brave, enduring and quirky city will surely prove to be a stellar experience. 

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