Discover Christchurch



Christchurch and Canterbury

The regions of Christchurch and Canterbury are set against the majestic backdrops of both alps and ocean.

From lush vineyards and wild coastlines to sky-piercing mountains and pristine glacial lakes, Canterbury is a region of remarkable contrasts and a haven for those seeking incredible scenery and adventure.

Journey through the Southern Alps by train, investigate the night sky in the world’s largest International Dark Sky Reserve or get up close with whales in Kaikōura.

Suggested locations and things to do

Drinks and Dinner   

Little High Eatery (Casual Dining)  

This huge indoor/outdoor modern marketplace is the best place in Christchurch for a lively casual bite with friends or family. 

Eat from any of the eight local family-run businesses at shared seating. You’ll find everything from bao to Venezuelan barbecue, Caribbean cuisine, Thai noodles and bacon burgers – not to mention great wine, local craft brews and delicious cocktails. Don’t miss the Asian-inspired cocktails at Eightgrains Dumplings if flavours like lychee, ginger, sake, yuzu and passionfruit are your thing. 

Mumbaiwala Indian Street Kitchen

For great Indian. Not only is the place great to visit, but it has a great menu, including a fabulous selection of street food.

The Last Word, Whisky & Cocktail Lounge (Drinks)  

A whisky and cocktail lounge situated in the historic New Regent Street in the heart of Christchurch. On offer is a hand-picked selection of fine whiskies and a range of cocktails, craft beer and boutique wines.  

In addition, there are heaps of locations around Christchurch; some of the best are located alongside the Oxford Terance. Some of our favourites include: 

Dux Central (good all-rounder pub/restaurant)

This is. a great pub/restaurant with heaps of space, especially outside. It’s great if you have a bit of a crowd. The menu offers lots of variety, including shared options.

5th Street  

The full shebang: 5th Street has incredibly stylish decor, sky lights, helpful staff and a tasty menu. Try the innovative creations courtesy of head chef Samson Stewart (from Hello Sunday). Think broccoli doughnuts, seaweed butter and Himalayan salt block cured fish. But 5th Street also has a bubbling atmosphere. Located in an old warehouse, it’s been done up to the nines, with bold blues and blacks all over and hints of gold. There are plush banquettes and more intimate tables. It’s a great place to hang with mates or have a couple’s night out.  

 Bloody Mary’s (Luxurious & Unique Food)  

The concept of a fancy steak restaurant might seem like something from a bygone dining era, but Bloody Mary’s (in the Rydges) does it intelligently, letting high-quality Angus, Hereford, Wakanui and Waygu do the talking. Bloody Mary’s has you covered no matter your mood. Choose from small shared plates like croquettes, cheese, mussels and squid plus burgers in the bar, or go for upmarket steak in the restaurant. There are eight choices of potato to go with your meat, from fries to goose fat to truffled mash. This is top-end comfort food.  

Casa Publica (South America)

A fantastic restaurant with amazing food such as guacamole, tacos, and ribs. Casa Publica is really popular, so you may pay to book ahead!


Other ideas for things to do:  

Museums/ Art Galleries:  

Christchurch Art Gallery  

Expansive, inspiring modern space that has reopened since its closure from the quakes. It’s the largest of Christchurch’s galleries and the heart of the city’s thriving arts scene. Always a fascinating mix of first rate local and international art here. The building itself is pretty damn stunning too, with its dramatic glass façade.  

Quake City  

A small but incredibly well-curated museum, encapsulating the impact of New Zealand’s second-worst natural disaster on the city and its inhabitants. Rather than being too solemn or morbid, it’s informative, interactive and hopeful. An essential visit for understanding how the quake has shaped the Christchurch of today. To understand the geographical causes and consequences of 22/2/2011, the heroism of those who responded, and to listen to personal – and at times even amusing – accounts of what happened. Objects like the spire of the ruined Christchurch Cathedral and the railway station clock are also part of the exhibition.  

Street Art: Ōtautahi Urban Art Series  

Half-destroyed buildings make a post-earthquake city pretty aesthetically grim, so the resilient artists of Christchurch brightened things up with a proliferation of eye-popping street art. You can even follow an interactive guide to hunt for the finest pieces. Embarking on a treasure hunt to locate the works of local street artists is a truly entertaining way to spend a couple of hours. There are nearly 200 but even just seeking out a handful is worth it.  


Christchurch Botanic Gardens  

Aside from being one of the finest collections of exotic and native plants in the country, the Botanic Gardens is a charming place for a stroll. After you’ve soaked up all that floral goodness, walk towards the more sombre Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. 

The Peacock Fountain dates back to the early 1900s and if you sneak around the back of the original Curator’s House (now a restaurant) you’ll see beehives and a wonderful edible garden. The memorial by the river is an emotional experience; it’s heart-wrenching to see all 185 names of the deceased etched on the beautiful marble wall but it’s incredibly important for understanding and respecting how much this city lost. 

Riccarton Sunday Market  

The weekend in Christchurch brings several market options, but Riccarton Sunday Market is the largest, with more than 300 stalls selling food, craft, plants, secondhand goods, furniture and bric-à-brac. Markets in Christchurch became very important after the quake, when many supermarkets closed and people needed places to regroup with their communities. The Saturday markets like Christchurch and Lyttelton Farmers Market are perfect for picking up delights from local producers, and Riccarton is a fun day out with live entertainment and plenty of ready-to-eat options.  



Check out a movie in the central city at EntX, 617-649 Colombo St. EntX, Christchurch’s home of entertainment and eateries in the central city.  

With a state-of-the-art HOYTS cinema complex upstairs and Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq and Holey Moley Golf Club downstairs, alongside the diverse ground floor dining precinct. Never before have we had an entertainment destination venue like this so centrally located – the total entertainment package.  

For a more art house experience take a look at The Arts Centre Cinema. Two cinemas, (named the Bernhardt and Bardot screens) housed within the West Lecture Block of the beloved Christchurch Arts Centre, form the luscious backdrop right across the road from the majestic Botanical Gardens in Rolleston Avenue. 

Along with the Bijou Bar, the Lumière will be a mecca for cinephiles with an array of craft beers and a bespoke wine collection. Rounding off are Cheeseboards, Rollickin’ Gelato’s, She Chocolate bridged with the Lyttelton Coffee Company’s aromatics, fresh baked croissants and pastries compliment the head-waters of a hungry cinephile. 


Events/ Shows on in Christchurch 2 – 6 December: 

2nd December – Freestyle Kings LIVE! Apollo Projects Stadium 6.30pm – 8.30pm 

Want an adrenaline spike before the conference from international action sports Moto-X riders. Get tickets for the Freestyle Kings LIVE!  

2nd December – South Island Wine & Food Festival. Hagley Park North 

Hagley Park North, 1pm – 7pm. This is a major food and wine event on the Christchurch calendar. Get ready to be swept away by the irresistible flavours of New Zealand’s South Island! From the fruitful soils of Marlborough to the breathtaking vineyards of Central Otago, The South Island Wine & Food Festival is your ticket to an unforgettable experience.  

2nd December – Lloyd Cole, The Piano  

Lloyd Cole is an English singer/songwriter originally from Buxton known as the lead singer of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions from 1984 to 1989.  


2nd December – Sure to Rise: Canterbury Women since 1893. Kate Sheppard House, 10am – 11am FREE but ticket required  

An exhibition of Vivienne Mountfort’s felted wool artwork , accompanied by archival material and interactive elements. for Free Tickets  


2nd December – Voices Co. Live in Concert. Majestic On Durham 5.30pm  

Pop A Cappella… like you’ve never heard it before!  


3rd December – Author talk: Finding Frank Louise Maich, Tūranga, 2.30pm – 3.30pm FREE event but ticket required.  

Frank Erceg is still remembered as one of New Zealand’s most prominent deer hunters of his era (1950-60s) however, no book has been written specifically on Frank, his life and his achievements, until now. Author Louise Maich has spent over two decades piecing together her Uncle Frank’s previously untold story through family research, letters, compelling recollections and yarns. You are warmly invited to hear Louise Maich tell this fascinating story. Pick up your signed copy of ‘Finding Frank’ and enjoy the adventure and conversation. for Free Tickets 


3rd December – Kate Sheppard House Christmas Tea. Kate Sheppard House, 2pm – 4pm 

Explore the house where Kate Sheppard lived and led the New Zealand women’s suffrage campaign, followed by a Christmas themed tea.  

Monday 4th December – Christmas Balls Knitting Workshop, South Christchurch Library. 10.30am – 12pm  

Get ready for Christmas with gorgeous Norwegian style knitted Christmas Balls. You will leave this workshop with your own knitted Christmas Ball, the basic pattern and lots of motifs to continue at home with. This workshop is not suited for the absolute beginner: basic knitting skills such as casting on and off, increasing and decreasing are a pre-requirement. If you can manage the basics and you are ready to tackle some colour work and knitting on double pointed needles, this is for you! All materials provided, please bring your own DP needles and wool if you prefer a certain colour. 

Free, no bookings required  


Monday 4th December – Jennine Bailey and Tom Rainey, The Great Hall, Arts Centre Chch. 1.10pm – 1.50pm  

Jennine and Tom have performed as a duo throughout New Zealand for many years now and have collaborated on various recording projects. Join them along with Mike Story (bass) as they share some of their favourite melodies. Always a treat and a great way to round off the series! 

This concert is part of the Great Hall Lunchtime Concert Series 2023,, showcasing a remarkable line-up of renowned local, national and international artists performing in a beautiful heritage venue. 

Become a member of the Concerts for Christchurch Friends or Friends of the Arts Centre to receive special $15 tickets.  

Things to do

From sweeping plains to soaring mountains, coastline to glacial lakes, you’ll never run out of things to do in Canterbury.

Learn more about things to do in Canterbury


The region of Christchurch-Canterbury stretches from Mackenzie country around Lake Tekapo as far north as Kaikōura.

Explore the Canterbury region further


Christchurch accommodation options are diverse, with something for every level of comfort and budget.

View accommodation options


Dining in Christchurch

When the sun goes down, the lights turn on – go and explore many of our dining hubs. From classy and intimate restaurants to courtyard bars and foodie hives filled with international flavours, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes.Christchurch is the perfect city to dine out.

Here are some topic picks.



Top Sights

There is so much to see in Christchurch, from the Botanical Gardens in the heart of the city to the International Antarctic Centre and Akaroa Cruises. There is so much to see in Christchurch.

The city sits at the heart of the South Island and is a basecamp for exploration. Get up the nearby Port Hills for outdoor adventures from downhill biking to ziplining. Hit the coast for water sports and beach vibes. Within reach of the city are the likes of Akaroa, Kaikōura, Hanmer Springs and the epic Southern Alps

Here are some topic picks.



Click here to explore some suggested itineraries that you can do before and after ASCILITE 2023!