Enjoy spectacular 360° views high up over the city as this 945m Gondola takes you a whopping 1500ft above sea level. Look out into what seems like endless space with views extendingas far as Pegasus Bay and the Pacific Ocean to Kaikoura, then over Banks Peninsula, Lake Ellesmere, Lyttleton Harbour, and across the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps. At the top visitors can take off on one of the self-guided walks, or visit the Summit Café, Pinnacle Restaurant and gift shop.
The Gondola is just 15minutes from central Christchurch and is open from 10am daily.
Ferrymead Heritage Park
Step back in time at Ferrymead Heritage Park, a reflection of life in Christchurch during the early 1900s. Stroll through life as it once was, exploring old churches, police quarters and gaol, local homes, cinema, school and more. There are also Technology museums spotlighting the area’s rural history, printing, photography and film, radio and gramaphones, post and telegraph, aeronautics, fire services, Hall of Wheels and model a railway.
Trams and a steam train run most weekends; check the website for operation times. The park is accessible by car or bus, 15 minutes from the city centre.
Little River Railtrail
The Little River Railtrail is 45km long and passes through rural areas and communities on the Canterbury Plains, brushes past volcanoes on Banks Peninsula, and takes you past Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, and the smaller Wairewa/Lake Forsyth. The landscapes are vast and varied boasting nature’s wonders along the way.
Home to Hector Dolphins, New Zealand Fur Seals and significant Maori heritage, Lyttelton Harbour offers visitors a delightful scenic and historical experience as well as an abundance of outdoor activities. Located on the Banks Peninsula, the Harbour is an oceanic crater, the result of a volcano eruption 11 million years ago. In the middle of the harbour lie three fascinating islands – Quail, Ripapa and King Billy.
A plethora of things to do are on offer including sailing charters, wildlife cruises, scenic walks and shopping or visiting one of Lyttelton’s delicious restaurants and cafes.
Orana Wildlife Park
At New Zealand’s only open range zoo, visitors are given the opportunity to interact closely with endangered animals and take part in special feeding programs such as hand feeding Giraffe and observing Tigers searching for food, as well as get up close and personal with Rhino, watch a Cheetah sprint, and travel through the African Lion reserve on a specially modified vehicle (conditions apply). A substantial native collection includes the Kiwi and other native birds and reptiles.
Just 15minutes from Christchurch airport, the park offers daily guided tours and is open daily (except Christmas Day) from 10am-5pm (last entrance at 4:30pm).
You can find just about everything at New Zealand’s biggest Rotary Market, held every Sunday at Riccarton Park. More than 300 vendors gather each week selling a variety of goods and produce, from fresh fruits and vegetables to second hand goods, furniture, clothing, art, plants and trees, food and beverages and more.
The market is a mere 15 minute drive from the city and held every Sunday (except Easter Sunday) from 9am-2pm.
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Get up close and personal with a real Kiwi in natural surroundings at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. The reserve prides itself on its conservation and rehabilitation of rare and endangered New Zealand Species, and provides educational tours as well as unique night viewing of Kiwi breeding pairs. The reserve is open 9.30am – 10.pm daily, with some areas closing at dusk whilst the Natural New Zealand Area is open until 10 pm with guided tours every hour from 5.30pm. The ‘Kiwi Guarantee’ gives visitors the chance to view Kiwis from 10:30am until closing.