Geographically-blessed, our city has easy access to the beach and the Port Hills, which means there’s a whole host of free activities at your disposal. So, if you’re strapped for cash or just on the lookout for activities that don’t cost an arm and a leg, don’t despair. For the active to the arty, there are heaps of activities in Christchurch that are completely free and heaps of fun. These are the best free things to do in Christchurch.
Head Out To Sumner For A Swim Or Surf
Only 15 minutes from the city centre, this beautiful coastal suburb is a Christchurch haven. Head out for a swim, pack a picnic or venture to Taylors Mistake for a surf, which is only a short drive from the main village. Rain or shine, it’s one of the most magical spots in the city.
Explore Riccarton Bush
Our city is filled with countless markets stocked with everything from handmade wares to the freshest produce. Spend a sunny Saturday at the Christchurch Farmers Market, where you’ll find stalls filled with everything from organic produce to fresh bread, cakes and macarons. Riccarton Bush is also a gorgeous place to spend a few hours. Relax by the Avon River or admire the native trees and bush in the heart of the city.
Meander Through The Botanic Gardens
There’s a reason Christchurch is called the Garden City. If you’re in need of some peace and quiet, wander through the tranquil botanic gardens. Explore the idyllic conservatories and stop and smell the roses. Don’t miss the Garrick House, home to the most extensive collection of cacti and succulents in New Zealand. There are plenty of spots to sit down for lunch, so save your money and pack a picnic.
Catch The Sunrise At The New Brighton Pier
Catching the sunrise is completely free and there’s no denying that Christchurch sunrises are pretty spectacular. One of the best spots to take it in is the New Brighton Pier. Weather-permitting, it’s also a great place for surfing and sunbathing.
Then Spend A Few Hours At The Canterbury Museum
After traipsing through the Botanic Gardens, finish your visit at the Canterbury Museum. This essential attraction is completely free, so perfect for anyone on a budget who is keen to learn more about New Zealand history, art and the natural world.
Browse The Stacks At Tūranga Library
No trip to Christchurch is complete without checking out the newest and flashiest library in the South Island. Start your visit to Tūranga Library at the seven-metre touch screen Discovery Wall before heading up to check out each of the four floors. The space is super interactive with the option to experience virtual reality. It’s also worth noting that the balcony has the best views in the city.
Visit The Christchurch Art Gallery
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu has been an iconic destination for art lovers since 2003. With rotating array of exhibitions, it’s always something worth visiting. It’s also one of the most ‘grammable buildings in the city, make sure to grab a snap of Martin Creed’s piece, ‘Everything is going to be alright’ outside.
Walk The Port Hills
The options to explore Christchurch’s surroundings are endless. Head up the Port Hills (there are different walks for every fitness level) to take in the breathtaking (and completely free) views over the coast and the Southern Alps.
Head Up The Bridle Path
For remarkable views (and a great glute workout), head to the Bridle Path Walk, which starts just under the gondola. Instead of paying for the ride, lace up your sneakers and get ready for a relatively intense (it’s 3-hours return) hike. Yes, it’s a killer, but you’ll forget all about it once you reach the top.
Street Art And Gap Fillers
For some of the best street art in the Southern Hemisphere, look no further than Christchurch`s inner city. Full of commissioned street art, interesting gap fillers, brand new sculptures and pop-up exhibitions, there’s always something new to discover in the central city.
Worked up a thirst? Check out the best bars in Christchurch.
Image credit: Christchurch NZ