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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > New Zealand > Christchurch

Christchurch Weather

15°C

Local time Christchurch

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Things to do in Christchurch

Check out the world from 100ft

There's no better way to see the full 300km (186 miles), 360-degree panorama of the Canterbury Plains than from the comfort of your own balloon basket. Aoraki Balloon Safaris (tel: +64 03 302 8172) will complete your experience with an al fresco champagne breakfast under the morning sun.

Eat the best tacos in the country

It's a millennial truth that that the best food comes out of trucks. Mamacita's proves this theorem once again, and you'll reliably find long queues of people slathering for their Puerco Pibil and Chipotle Lime Chicken. Check the website for its daily-changing location (tel: +64 021 055 4382; www.mamacitas.co.nz).

Get a pure watery rush on a speeding jet boat

We’re not sure if it’s down to the fact that the Hamilton Jet was invented in Christchurch, but it's one of the world’s top spots for jet boating. Speak to Jet Thrills (tel: +64 03 385 1478; www.jetthrills.com), who offer a number of wet n’ wild tours along the braided rivers of the Waimakariri river.

Strap on your skis and take to the mountains

With more ski areas than anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand is the home for the avid skier. Located 89km (50 miles) from Christchurch is Porters (tel: +64 3 318 4371, www.skiporters.co.nz), while the largest is Mt Hutt’s (tel: +64 308 5074, www.nzski.com) with 365 hectares (901 acres) of runs and terrain.

Take to the seas and spot some whale tail

Framed by towering peaks that plunge into the sea, this picturesque area is home to sperm whales, dolphins and seals. Whether you're going into the waters off Christchurch or boating up to Kaikoura - where the best spotting options are - the Tourist Information Centre (www.tourism.net.nz/region/christchurch) will furnish you with the 411.

Featured Hotels

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Haka Lodge

Around a 5-minute drive from the heart of Christchurch, and with a bus stop on its doorstep, Haka Lodge is a good budget choice for those wishing to stay close to the centre of the action. The lodge offers a range of accommodation options, from shared rooms and hotel standard private rooms to a two-bedroom apartment unit. Haka also features a communal kitchen, free unlimited Wi-Fi, a chill out area and a verdant garden.

Rendezvous

This hotel is set opposite the fabulous and historical 1930s New Regent Street, with its array of Spanish-Mission style buildings. Standard rooms have queen-size beds and en-suites, and most feature uninterrupted views of the city or the Southern Alps. Those wishing to venture a little further afield should note that the tram leaves from New Regent Street, running alongside the Rendezvous on its way to the Square.

Novotel Christchurch

Novotel Christchurch is a landmark hotel located in the heart of the Square, beside the once-iconic Christ Church Cathedral. Facilities include a bar, restaurant, fitness centre and guest laundry. It's only moments to the main city attractions, including the Shipping Container Mall, the historical New Regent Street and Hagley Park.

Redwood

Situated in the less quake-damaged area, northwest of the city centre, this hotel complex prides itself on offering a 'home away from home', and includes accommodation, food, drinks, gaming and entertainment. It's handy for access to the city centre, airport, shops, cinemas, golf course and beaches. A large buffet-style restaurant, Sequoia, is also available.

Eliza’s Manor Boutique Hotel

With beautiful period features, Eliza's history spans three centuries. This grade II historic, wooden house was built in 1861 by one of the city's founding fathers, before being restored and turned into a hotel in 1981. It's within easy walking distance of the gardens, museum, and New Regent Street while just around the corner is Victoria Street with its plethora of restaurants and bars. The hotel's delicious cooked breakfast will set you up for your day of exploring the city.

The Equestrian Hotel

If city centres are not your cup of tea, try staying in suburban Hornby, which was largely untouched by the quake. Beside State Highway 1, this hotel is also ideal if you are heading further south. Rooms range from executive to budget, and are set on lovely grounds with a music bar, lots of outdoor seating, and a miniature railway model. The hotel is also located near a large shopping centre.