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.