IN A DAY ROMANTIC MOMENTS ON THE AVON RIVER
Some things are meant to be on holiday and one of those moments is punting on the Avon River. It is an unforgettable romantic thing to do.
Christchurch water sports take the slow lane. Not a jet ski or jet boat in sight, rather it’s elegant Edwardian clothing, a pole and a slowly guided punt on the Avon river.
The punts replicate the original 1880’s punt design with plush velvet seats and the punt guide is attired striped pants, braces and boater straw hat. As there is no motor, relish the quiet with the only sound, a pole dipping in the water. Enjoy the perfect couples holiday vibe.
MID-DAY OR WHENEVER THE MOOD TAKES YOU
The Botanic Gardens is magnificent with glades, leafy avenues and the Avon river flowing alongside. Hop aboard the Botanic Gardens garden caterpillar; it’s fun. Enjoy the informed commentary. The guide will stop for photo moments and point out places for great selfie moments together. Set the scene with lunch …
A touch of Spanish heat and elegance within the Botanic Gardens. Traditional Spanish cuisine prepared with locally sourced ingredients supplemented with produce from the home garden creates a spectacular summer al fresco experience. In winter a cosy fire adds glamour to the chill of Christchurch evening. Guests are invited to wander through the heritage home and gardens adding to the experience.
Abberley park is a suburban haven and a quiet surprise. Discover the joy of a mature garden with its babbling stream and scented garden originally designed for the blind. The park’s main entrance is located on Abberley Crescent in St Albans, there are also access points on Ranfurly Street and Kinleys Lane.
- Adults will enjoy the meandering stream framed by mature flowering borders with plenty of seating to relax into the shared moment
… read more about Christchurch 14 top picnic spots – Best Bits
While the Port Hills image of picnics and couples enjoying the magnificent views is tempting, the Port Hills are exposed to the elements with a stiff breeze common throughout the year. The Port Hills lack of vegetation results in the risk of exposure to the summer sun or blistering winter wind.
IN A DAY WEEKEND MARKETS, WINDOW SHOPPING … & ENTERTAINMENT
Christchurch is a very walkable city with flat wide pavements in the city centre and laneways inviting visitors to pop in for a peek at the offerings. Christchurch market hopping and shopping – Best Bits is one of the city’s top attractions with the Riccarton classic car boot sale selling objects you didn’t know you needed for the fun of pop up food stalls and live entertainment a must-go weekend activity.
Christchurch Arts Centre & Shops are a great place for a crafty exploration for the unique object. The Arts Centre is adjacent to the vintage tram stop and nearby Botanic Garden and Canterbury Museum. The heritage buildings now house a variety of speciality art and craft stores together with a well resourced visitor centre.
Check out the gift store in the nearby Christchurch Art Gallery from inexpensive made in New Zealand souvenirs to substantive books. Wander along the art deco gem of NEW REGENT street with its gift stores, streetside cafes and everything in between. The street is a confection of pink and green 1920’s facades adding a touch of ‘Napier to Christchurch.
Christchurch nightlife is a speak-easy bar, a basement that is hard to find, a rooftop bar with a view and a tramcar where dinner is served. Read more about where to find a craft beer, a rooftop bar or where the grownups go to play at night.
Hidden in Christchurch’s suburb of Addington is New Zealand’s largest and oldest theatre company, The Court Theatre
The Isaac Theatre Royal has a grand history in Christchurch. The theatre was built at its current site in 1908 and is the only operational Edwardian style theatre left in New Zealand.
Christchurch Symphony Orchestra The largest professional orchestra in the South Island, performing a new and exciting programme every year
The Piano – Centre of Music and Arts is a key cultural hub in Christchurch.
IN A DAY – INSPIRATION FOR FOODIE LOVERS
One of the exciting things to do in Christchurch is to explore the foodie scene. Delve into the bustle of Riverside market. Fresh produce, speciality stores and artisan bakeries share the indoor space of Riverside. Grab some foodie treats and enjoy sitting with the locals on the precinct’s stairs leading to the Avon River. Little High is a contemporary space where pacific fusion meets contemporary kiwi fare from curley fries to pork coriander dumplings. An alternative outdoors / indoors space food destination. The choice is yours.
Read more about Christchurch brunch, lunch and anything in between.
For wine trail buffs enjoy a day exploring what the North Canterbury, Hurunui wine and food trail has to offer visitors.
IN A DAY VISIT A SPA RESORT, HANMER SPRINGS
Take a scenic drive through rolling farmland, past tempting North Canterbury wineries and onto sub-alpine high country vistas that lead to the pretty resort town of Hanmer Springs. What to do in Hanmer Springs is indulge yourself. Highlights include a leisurely soak as nature’s geothermal waters gently cocoon you. The perfect reason to go nowhere. Hanmer is sensory. Relax into the day in one of the world’s great spa resorts.
On the road early (8.30 – 9.00am) ready for a breakfast / brunch to get the energy going. Amberley is a great place for a pit stop with Little Vintage Express a well known local favourite. Rustic mismatched furniture and communal spaces offer visitors an imaginative cafe style menu showcasing local ingredients. Growers are identified and the menu caters for all tastes and food groups. What’s more adorable than the Easter closing notice facebook photo.
On the road with just over an hour to Hanmer. Check out Weka Pass What’s so great about Weka Pass what to see and best things to do andbeguilded by the thought of a heritage train ride. Bucket list Weka Pass as holiday inspiration for the next time.
ARRIVAL HANMER SPRINGS
Late morning you will arrive. Now it’s about the Hanmer Experience
… read more about a day in HANMER SPRINGS
It’s a long way to Iceland and why bother anyway when we have our own treat…
The best time to visit could be considered winter. The snow is carpeting the ground with a biting alpine southern wind funneling through Hanmer. Winter outdoor heaven is the ski fields, outdoor adrenaline things to do contrasting with heavenly indulgence soaking in constantly warm mineral springs.
Hanmer is an alpine playground for the adventurous to jump, kick and thurtle themselves off, a quiet forested reserve for leisurely strolls and a world-class geothermal treat to add that special magic. Who needs to go to Iceland when Hanmer Springs offers the bundle of hot, cool and darn right freezing as one delicious melt the toes package.
Hanmer Springs is classic Kiwi outdoors, a touch of pampering (or a lot depending on your preferences) and spectacular scenery to gorge on. A great location for a week or two exploring the Hurunui district is a great idea. Historic villages dot the landscape and the Waiau river valley is an adventure hotspot with rafting, jet boating, kayaking, bungy jumping, quad biking and off road treks nicely rounded out as an all season destination with two ski fields, Mount Lyford and Hanmer ski field.
… learn more about Hanmer Springs Hanmer Springs travel guide, activities, what to do & see: Best Bits
Summer is from December to March February with warm days and extended daylight hours. Summer temperatures between 21c to 26c. Winter kicks in with chilly blasts in June through to late August. Winter temperatures between 14c to 10c. During the night there are regular frosts.
WHERE TO STAY – LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
- The Avon River and nearby Arts Centre is an ideal location as it is within walking distance of key attractions such as Christchurch Arts Centre, Riverside Markets, vintage train stops and urban weekend markets.
- Accommodation surrounding the massive grounds of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens is leafy alternative. Check the location if you are planning to go carless for the staycation
- Check out the Christchurch Travel Guide for details. Christchurch is a relatively flat city with dedicated cycle lanes and an excellent public bus network connecting to most key attractions
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE