A Brief Introduction
Christchurch | New Zealand
Christchurch is the biggest city located in the South Island of New Zealand and has the reputation as the “Garden City” due to the popular botanical gardens. However, since the devastating earthquakes back in September 2010 and early 2012 the city has since been recovering from the damage of the 6.2 magnitude shake. Christchurch has been working hard over the years bringing a large number of local companies and overseas workers to help focus on the re-build of the city so they can attract visitors back to experience what Christchurch has to offer. With its flat landscape, driving around the city makes it a breeze compared to other major countries in New Zealand. Including easy access to beaches, parks and ski fields. There are always new restaurants and bars popping up to help create an atmosphere for Canterburians to be proud of. One of the major added benefits of Christchurch is you are reasonably close to beautiful rural towns such as Kaikoura, Hamner Springs, Akaroa, Methven and Arthurs Pass. Making it a perfect place to be based from and explore the surroundings of the South Island.
Christchurch | New Zealand
7.0 out of 10
Generally, all New Zealanders, aka “Kiwis, are very friendly and relaxed. They like going with the flow and living a carefree life. While most people in Christchurch are pretty friendly, the main reason it is not rated as highly as other cities in New Zealand is that the locals can take time to warm up to you. A lot of them have been living in Christchurch most of their life and can come across cliquey since they already have friends they have known for years. This doesn’t mean you can’t make friends here. You may need to simply be a bit more patient and more effort could be required. Joining a sports club can help a lot when meeting others as discussed in the next section.
Tip: For some reason, the most popular question people ask from Christchurch is what School you went to? It’s their way of seeing what kind of groups you have associated with. You may get this a lot, especially when new to the city.
Quality Of Life
8.0 out of 10
Canterburians have a great work to life balance where the majority can comfortably get work and save money if needed. They are very active and love most sports (especially rugby), so there are a large number of sports clubs you can join, no matter what the sport is. However, there is an imperfection currently. Ever since after the earthquakes, there has been a large influx of male tradies coming to Christchurch for work all across the world. This has resulted in fierce competition for young single males. It’s not uncommon to be in a bar where the ratio of guys is a lot higher than girls. This can be a negative or positive depending on what gender you are.
8.7 out of 10
The prices of food, transport, and rent are definitely the cheapest out of all the larger cities in New Zealand. There have been issues in the past with a shortage of rental properties that were livable after the earthquake but after some new developments, this has become easier of late. While there is public transport in Christchurch it does still seem to be very inconsistent. There have been complaints of buses not running often enough, especially later on in nights and weekends. Our opinion is if you are staying in Christchurch for an extended period of time, we highly suggest purchasing a car. Since businesses and properties are scattered across the city, the majority of the times you can park on the street. Websites like TradeMe and Turners are a great place to start for second-hand cars. You can also look at hiring a local’s car short-term on Your Drive.
Tip: Avoid taxis; like most New Zealand cities, they are especially more expensive in Christchurch compared to Uber. We would highly recommend having this app handy on a night out.
8.5 out of 10
Some of the popular hotels in the city were affected by the earthquakes so the accommodation options are not as great as they used to be but there are still many options to fit your budget. With more being renovated and built every year there shouldn’t be any issues when trying to book something in or around the city. There are even new hotels being located close to the airport to suit the needs of travellers with short layovers or just want the convenience for when they fly to other parts of the country. If you have a car, getting around the city is easy so being in the center city is not necessary.
Comfort and Luxurious | Prime Locations | Higher Price
With tourism coming back into the city, more hotels are being refurbished and built to support the needs of travelers who want to stay in comfort and luxury. You can get some pretty good deals compared to other major cities in New Zealand so we would recommend checking out these hotels below:
Distinction, Rendezvous Hotel, Rydges Latimer, Crowne Plaza, Fino Hotel and Suites, Commodore Airport Hotel & Novotel Airport.
Self-Contained | Cooking Facilities | Locations In and Around The City
Like most western cities, Christchurch has many options on Airbnb which offers the flexibility of renting houses, apartments, or individual rooms with no contract. Getting a prime spot is pretty easy and you can even use the site for booking your trips away in surrounding places like Hamner Spring and Akaroa. If you want to stay in nice areas that are close to the city we would recommend St Albans, Papanui, Merivale, Riccarton, Edgeware, and Fendalton. Avoid Phillipstown and Linwood which are rough areas.
Prime Location | No Frills | Affordable
If you are looking for a cheap place to stay or simply a roof over your head, then a backpackers’ hostel can be a great option. Most are available all year round and are great for last-minute bookings. They are normally filled with young travellers who are on a budget and looking to mingle with others. Please check where the hostel is located before booking as they can either be located near the city or airport. For clean, affordable backpackers’ inns, check out:
YHA, Jucy Snooze, Kiwi Basecamp, & The Old Countryhouse
7.8 out of 10
RESTAURANTS & BARS
Social Dinners | Relaxed Environment | Popular With Working Professionals
Due to the drastic changes in the city, there is constantly new pop up bars and restaurants always opening, aiming to improve the hospitality industry after the earthquakes. This can cause some confusion in where to go as places are not always centrally located like other cities in New Zealand, like Wellington. One of the most popular places currently is Little High Eatery which offers a place to drink and eat within eight different options in a marketplace set up. This is purely walk-ins only so make sure you get in early on weekend lunchtimes and evenings. Other popular restaurants are:
There is also a newly tucked away lounge bar off Victoria street called Red Light District which is discreetly hidden with the entrance being a drycleaners. Try not judge by its first appearance, as this new hotspot is a perfect place to unwind, relax and enjoy some of their popular cocktails. It’s a very chill atmosphere and is a bar where they have got the music just right, not being too loud, allowing the conversation to flow easily. Some more bars to visit:
Tip: Avoid the Irish bars The Craic and The Bog. Nothing exciting happens here. Just a typical pub with too many intoxicated males.
Sociable | Affordable | New Zealand Experience
In New Zealand, some restaurants allow their customers to bring your own (B.Y.O) bottles and charge a small corkage fee. Christchurch is no exception. Remember it’s limited to wine only, however, there is no limit to the number of wine bottles you can bring. Corkage fees vary between $4-7 per bottle, so please check this when booking. Some recommended B.Y.O restaurants are:
Party Atmosphere | Chaotic & Noisy | Mixed Crowd
The nightlife is starting to get itself together after many years recovering from the earthquakes in 2012. Young singles now have flexibility when going out, compared to only a short while ago, house parties and mediocre pubs were the only options. Please kept in mind the clubs are still scattered across the city so some planning on where you would like to go is helpful, however many locals use Uber to bar hop from one area to another. You now have a large stripe of clubs on St Asaph Street, many walking distances from the Christchurch Casino and around Oxford Terrace (aka The Strip). We highly recommend using google maps before a night out so you have an idea of what locations are in close proximity.
Please note that some of these locations are a mixture of restaurants/bars by the day and then in the evening turn into a club with dancefloors. This is very common in the New Zealand nightlife industry to maximum profit, due to lower population density compared to other western countries.
As the title entails, Christchurch is home to the biggest casino in the south island of New Zealand. It’s not that impressive to the likes of other casinos in Las Vegas or Monaco but if gambling is your thing then it may be worth a visit. It has all the regular facilities such as a bar/restaurant inside and is open 7 days a week, 24/7. To enter casino’s in New Zealand you need to be over 20 years of age, so don’t forget your ID!
7.7 out of 10
The Global Peace index rated New Zealand as the fourth safest country in the world. While Christchurch is relatively safe, this city can have random acts of violence, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. Since there are still a lot of construction sites around the city we do not suggest taking a shortcut through them or walking home after a night out. Prostitution is legal in New Zealand and Manchester street in the city is known for having working girls and their “Security” hanging around. I wouldn’t suggest walking down the side streets at nighttime. Also, Hagley Park is very dark at night which you properly want to avoid walking through if possible.
There are a lot of different liquor ban areas so I would be very discreet if you decide to drink in public. In regards to getting into the country, New Zealand makes it easier for people coming from the Commonwealth countries, but it can be hard for other countries to get visas. I would recommend reading the Visa and Immigration requirements and exploring your visa options before you plan your trip.
CHRISTCHURCH | NZ
With Christchurch being one of the cheaper cities in New Zealand, you can see why many tourists come to visit or even stay here to work. The city is starting to pick up some momentum and finally bringing life back into Christchurch after the earthquakes. While it still is not the most exciting place in New Zealand, it is very interesting checking out the history of the earthquakes and hearing stories from the locals. Many people come here for the more comfortable life and easy access to the whole of the south island. If you love exploring the outdoors, playing sport and having an abundance of road trip options at your fingertips then Christchurch is for you!
8.5 out of 10
» Mt Hutt Ski Field (90 min drive)
» Hamner Springs Hot Pools ( 2 hour drive)
» Hagley Park
» Christchurch Adventure Park
» Christchurch Botanical Gardens
» Punting On The Avon River
» Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial
» Akaroa/Wainui Day Trip ( 90mins )
» Christchurch Gondola Ride
» Christchurch Cup Week – A massive week of dressing up, horse racing and of course day drinking. The week runs from the 10th to 17th of November every year! The most popular day is the Trots on the Tuesday at Addington Raceway. The Saturday at Riccarton Raceway is a close second but still a very good day out as well.
» Farmers Market (Every Saturday 9 am to 1 pm)
» Riccarton Market (Every Sunday 9 am to 2 pm)
» Sumner Beach
» Taylors Mistake
» New Brighton Beach