Things To Do

50 Of The Best Things To Do In Christchurch In 2022

By Caitlin Logan
23rd Feb 2022

Two people gaze up at a huge street artwork showing three red mouths on a blue background.

Ōtautahi is an absolute gem of a city—there’s not a lot it doesn’t have. Beaches? Yes. Arts and culture? Absolutely. Outdoor excursions? You bet. A bunch more fun stuff? By the bucket load! So go get out there and explore it with our list of 50 of the best things to do in Christchurch. 

  1. Let's Kick It Off With A Drink | Thankfully Christchurch is blessed with some of the best bars in the country. From cocktails to craft brews, take your pick from our lineup of Christchurch’s best bars. 
  2. Take A Tiki Tour | Check out the bays of Banks Peninsula, starting at Lyttelton Harbour, heading around to Governors Bay and Little River, and ending up perfectly timed for lunch in Akaroa
  3. Marvel At The Street Art | Head to Christchurch’s up-and-coming street art scene curated by local artists in all kinds of nooks and crannies. You can scope out where to go with this handy map.
  4. Immerse Yourself In History | Have a squiz at the Cardboard Cathedral while the traditional one gets a revamp.An interior window at Christchurch's famed Cardboard Cathedral.
  5. Call Yourself An Antarctic Explorer  | Spend the day at the International Antarctic Centre. Experience a minus 8-degree Antarctic storm in the Storm Dome, take a spin in an all-terrain amphibious Hägglund vehicle and get friendly with the ever so cute Little Blue Penguins.
  6. Explore Christchurch’s New Urban Arteries  | With laneways filled with names you already know and love, as well as the cutest local boutiques and merchants. 
  7. Stop For A Break | Scrummy sustenance is a must. With so many epic contemporary options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you’re spoilt for culinary choices. Oh, and would you look at that, we’ve even made a list of Christchurch’s best restaurants for you!
  8. Bike, Walk, Run | Whatever your pace, Christchurch has a track to suit. Take a look at our list of the best running tracks in The Chur to find your next outdoor excursion. 
  9. Relax In Style | Watch a movie at a boutique cinema, like Lumière or Alice cinemas. 
  10. Time For A Dip | From Cass Bay to Taylor’s mistake, there’s enough beach for everyone and their dog. A girl in a hat is punted serenely down the river Avon
  11.  ​A Day Abroad | The next best thing to punting the canals of Venice is idling down the iconic     Avon River that snakes throughout the inner city to the estuary in New Brighton. Leave the hard work to the Punter or plonk your own kayak into the river and glide downstream. 
  12. Explore Nature | Otautahi hasn’t been coined the Garden City for nothing—and the best place to see why is the Botanic Gardens. These grounds boast some of the most beautifully curated gardens and are the perfect place for a stroll in any season. 
  13. Experience The Heights | Go up the gondola and see the city from a different perspective.
  14. A Day In The Hothouse | Deserving of its own point on our list is the magnificent conservatories tucked within the Botanic Gardens. These humid houses hold a collection of sub-tropical plants, cacti, NZ ferns, and a whole bunch of fragrant flowers. 
  15. Indulge In A Sweet Treat | An absolute favourite of the locals is the sweet treats served up at Rollickin Gelato. Made right here in on Cashel Street, how could you resist a good scoop of creamy goodness? But don't stop at one, here are the best ice cream parlours in Christchurch.
  16. Go For A Ride | They say that Christchurch is a cyclist’s dream, so hop on your bike and see for yourself on these new links of cycleways. 
  17. Try Something New | Make like Houdini at one of these escape rooms dotted around the city.Two people enjoy a sunrise soak at He Puna Taimoana.
  18. Soak Up The Morning Rays | Watch them coming up over the horizon of New Brighton Beach, while also soaking in the glorious hot pools at He Puna Taimoana. Magic.
  19. Wander Through Wildlife | The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve—home of kunekune pigs, capuchin monkeys, and the 100% kiwi viewing guarantee.  
  20. And Even More Wildlife | Or perhaps giraffes, meerkats, and water buffalo are more your jam, so head on over to Orana Park to hang out with a different crowd.
  21. Hang 10 | Who needs Hawaii when you can learn to surf at Sumner’s Scarborough Beach.
  22. Test Your Limits | Brave Adrenaline Forrest's high wire obstacle courses to really see what you—and your mates—are made of. Start off easy at only two metres off the ground, then work your way up to test your nerves of steel by clambering around at 25 metres!
  23. Putt Putt | Play a round of mini-golf at one of the many mini greens in Christchurch.
  24. Venture Out A Little | It might be out of Christchurch, but definitely worth the trip, the Ōpuke Thermal Pools and Spa is the newest haven on the scene. Treat yourself to a day in the pools, followed by a treatment or two in the spa, and top it all off with a bite to eat in their restaurant. 
  25. Have A Laugh | Experience the genius that is NZ’s playwrights, actors, comedians, and jesters on stage at the Court Theatre—especially the improvised comedy Scared Scriptless, an absolute classic crowd-pleaser.
  26. Test Your Luck | Try the tables and have a little flutter at Christchurch Casino.
  27. Go Back In Time | Ōtautahi is rich with history, so why not learn a little more about this big-little city by taking a wander around some heritage buildings, or visiting Fred and Myrtle’s paua shell house at the Canterbury Museum, or maybe checking out the newly opened Ravenscar House. 
  28. Bottoms Up | Amp up your usual Sunday bite with a bottomless brunch—we recommend the bubbly brunch at Dux Dine.
  29. Play A Quick Round | With 12 holes right in the city at Hagley Golf Club.
  30. Pick Up A Local Goodie | A good market can really make a weekend. Take a wander around the best markets in Christchurch and find yourself some beautiful local delights.People enjoy the slide at Margaret Mahy Playground in Christchurch, one of 50 of the best things to do.
  31. Release Your Inner Child | Ask any local and they’ll tell you that the Margaret Mahy Playground is just as much for big kids as it is for little ones. Flying fox race anyone?
  32. Forget Dinner And A Movie | Step up your next date with a four-course meal in the iconic Tramway Restaurant.  
  33. Get Creative | Design your own signature scent in Fragranzi's perfume studio. Indulge in all of their starter fragrances before blending and naming your very own to take home. 
  34. Music To My Ears | There’s nothing like live music from homegrown artists mixed with the sound of cicadas and the company of friends and family on a warm Sunday afternoon—and it’s even better when it’s free. Summer Sundays in the Botanic Gardens makes this happen. Every. Single.Week. 
  35. Catch A Bargain | Hop between op-shops to find some unique and affordable new threads. Oh look, here's a list of the best op shops in Christchurch.
  36. Feel Fancy With A Wine Tour | Never goes amiss, especially when you're chauffeured between wineries on a private minibus!
  37. Head To The Water | Feel that refreshing sea breeze from atop the New Brighton Pier—another picture-perfect place to watch the sunrise.
  38. Calling All Explorers | Survey the geological wonder that is Kura Tāwhiti (or Castle Hill), just an hour’s drive out of Central Christchurch. The huge limestone rocks will have you in awe, and if you’re a Lord Of The Rings fan, you might recognize the location from a certain scene.
  39. Head To A Gallery | Set aside a couple of good hours to browse the exhibitions at Christchurch Art Gallery. 
  40. Delve Into The Theatre | Enjoy a show at the opulent Isaac Theatre Royal. Whether you’re into ballet, comedy shows, plays, or classics like Pulp Fiction or Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Isaac is where it’s at. A person watches from the water while dolphins frolic nearby.
  41. Tick Off Your Bucket List | Start by swimming with dolphins by diving into the natural habitat of wild Hector’s dolphins …
  42. Did We Mention Penguins And Fur Seals | Admire them from afar on a nature cruise around an extinct volcanic crater and in the stunning Akaroa Harbour.
  43. Something To Get Your Heart Racing | Get that adrenaline going at the Christchurch Adventure Park—take your pick mountain biking, ziplining, or more easy-going walking trails and finish it all off with a snack at the café.
  44. Take A Trip | Ferry to the quaint Quail Island for a day’s escape from the city.
  45. Loosen Up With A Picnic | Pack some snacks, grab some mates and a blanket, and head out to the park.
  46. Hop-On-Hop-Off | Take a tour of the city on the iconic Christchurch Tram. See the sights through the 17 stops along the way and learn a little something about the rebuild as you go. 
  47. Wind Down With A Book | Sometimes all you need is to hit the pause for an hour or two, and Tūranga is the perfect place to do just that. This library with its expansive windows sits tall above the rest of the city, so while you peruse a book or a magazine you can get distracted by what’s going on on the ground below. Not to mention the front row seats to the Cathedral’s rebuild.
  48. Shop Around | See what’s delights are on offer at the Riverside Market—easily one of the best additions to Ōtautahi’s urban eatery scene.
  49. Catch A Glimpse Of New Zealand's Most Beautiful Street | Regent Street boasts a great selection of boutiques, shops and eateries. Shop among the stunning pastel tones that will have you feeling like you're in La La land. 
  50. Enjoy Golden Hour | At the end of a busy day taking in all Ōtautahi has to offer, watch the sunset over the city from Victoria Park. You’ll be treated to panoramic views from the ocean right over the city to the Southern Alps—an absolutely breathtaking spot.

Worked up a thirst? Check out the best bars in Christchurch

Image credit: Street Art and Cardboard Cathedral ChristchurchNZ, Christchurch Attractions, He Puna Taimoana, Margaret Mahy Playground by ChristchurchNZ, Dolphins by Black Cat Cruises.

Editor's note: Urban List editors independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. Urban List has affiliate partnerships, so we get revenue from your purchase.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

You May Also Like