Christchurch, also known as the garden city, is one of the oldest cities in New Zealand. It’s a small city with a lot to offer and a great balance between outdoor life, culture and shopping.
Start the day with a power-start breakfast at the Lotus-Heart Cafe, a cafe which has a focus on healthy eating and strives to create a global cuisine naturally.
You will find it in Cathedral Square, on Colombo Street, where you can also get a close up view of the wonderful Christchurch Cathedral.
10 am – Smell The Roses
The best way to understand why Christchurch has its nickname as the garden city is to simply go to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens – which is FREE. It’s a beautiful park to walk around, smell the gigantic flowers and admire the massive trees.
The best part for me was the rose garden, which included a wide variety of flowers. You will find many chances to practice your nature photography.
11 am – The Canterbury Museum
After a nice walk in the gardens, make sure you stop by the front gate and have a look inside the Canterbury Museum – where once inside you will have a chance to learn the history of the local area and it’s Maori culture.
Visit the arts center, where you will find a maze of over 40 specialty shops, workshops and galleries.
Also every Friday there is a farmers market and on Saturdays it’s the weekend market where the square is packed with over 80 stalls selling all from hand made bags to food from all corners of the world.
1 pm – Window Shopping & Natural *Legal* Drugs
Walking around central Christchurch, will give you a chance to do some window shopping. Take a look into the Cosmic Corner shop where they sell legal drugs (which are natural, legal and claim to give you a similar feeling to real drugs… interesting :S)
2 pm - Chicken or Vegetarian Sushi?
A great lunch option is sushi. It’s around almost every street corner, and there are so many varieties to choose between, all from chicken to vegetarian sushi. The quality of the sushi in New Zealand is in general really good as well.
Spend the afternoon at the beach, relaxing in the afternoon sun (which is the best time to be out at the beach in NZ, without getting too burnt), walk along the beach and enjoy the waves.
7 pm – Get Fat @ ‘Two Fat Indians’
Have some curry at the Two Fat Indians Restaurant, which serves up great food for an amazing price. This is some real Indian food, so don’t ask for spicy, Nathan made this mistake and it was HOT! – but great They have great lunch offers as well, so if you like to eat early you can get a great deal before 3 pm.
8 pm - Tequila or Coffee To End The Day?
Check out the SOL square (the hub of South of Lichfield), an alley full of bars and cafes, decorated with some cool street art. In this part of town you will find a little something for everyone.
If you have a spare day in Christchurch I recommend checking out the Port Hills.
It’s a beautiful place with the best view over the city, the ocean and all the way over to the Southern Alps.
It’s a perfect place for a picnic, go for a walk or enjoy some mountain biking. This is where you can find many locals hanging out in the weekends.
Hope you have a great time exploring Christchurch New Zealand!