Christchurch is one of the gateway cities, welcoming travellers as they make their way to Antarctica and the South Island of New Zealand alike.

image of christchurch tram in new regent street

As well as the little slice of Antarctica it’s hosting in the shape of NZ IceFest, Christchurch offers a variety of experiences, all within a few hours’ drive. With the Pacific Ocean on one side and the majestic Southern Alps on the other, there’s an experience for every traveller. Christchurch is the South Island’s largest city and is a short and inexpensive domestic flight from all major New Zealand cities with plenty of flights available each day.

The creativity and innovation that’s popped up throughout the city – blossoming out of the sense of goodwill and commitment following earthquakes in 2011 – has seen Christchurch singled out as one of the world’s most unique destinations. The Lonely Planet Travel Guide ranked Christchurch as one of its Top 10 Cities to visit, saying it’s, “bouncing back with a new energy and inventiveness […] rising from the rubble […] with a breathtaking mix of spirit, determination and flair.”

With a huge emphasis on sustainability and environmental issues, Christchurch is embracing its new future. This is a chance to visit a city on the brink of reimagining itself. Discover vibrant transitional ideas – a mall made out of brightly-coloured shipping containers, the famous “Cardboard Cathedral”, street art and urban design popping up in unexpected places, and the gorgeous colours of Cathedral Square.

The surrounding Canterbury region is the nature-lover’s paradise – majestic whales, dolphins, fur seals and giant albatross in Kaikoura; the rushing rivers and waterfalls of Arthur’s Pass; the thermal pools of Hanmer Springs; the picturesque French seaside charm of Akaroa; jetboating and hot-air ballooning in Methven and much more.

Visit Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism for information on where to stay and how to get around.

For an alternative list of accommodation visit Trivago.