Flights to Christchurch (CHC)

Flights to Christchurch are the gateway to New Zealand’s breath-taking South Island. Stop and smell the flowers in the botanical gardens.

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Flights to Christchurch

As soon as your flight to Christchurch touches down at Christchurch International Airport, it becomes clear why the city is known as the Garden City.

From above, it’s easy to see just how many wide-open green spaces dot the landscape, centered around Hagley Park in the middle of the city. And bisecting the scenery is the lovely Avon River, whose waters have historically provided the means to keep Christchurch blooming.

Christchurch is the largest city on New Zealand's South Island and the center of its adventure sports industry. When you consider how much the Kiwis (as the country’s residents are called) love the outdoors, that’s really saying something.

Christchurch truly is a paradise for the sporty, and a huge range of activities are easily accessible just a short trip from downtown, from skiing and golf to bungee jumping, mountain biking, wind surfing, rafting, and more. If you’re content to simply watch, there are hot-air balloon rides and whale-watching tours too.

That being said, you don't go to Christchurch just to leave Christchurch. The city has a charm all its own, and you could have a wonderful vacation sticking to the city center—staying in its luxury boutique hotels, sipping espresso in its wonderfully cute cafes, dining in its five-star restaurants, and enjoying the relaxing, friendly environment that the locals pride themselves on creating.

Hagley Park is a picturesque public space where art projects pop up out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly. Outdoor concerts are popular in the summer, with AMI Stadium playing host to artists from around the world, and the older world exists, too, witnessed in beautiful cathedrals.

Christchurch has a well-deserved reputation as an adventure and party center, and you don't have to look too hard to find either. But there's also a sense of refinement to the city, a cosmopolitan feel that makes it one of the best destinations in New Zealand.

Visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Here you'll find an almost overwhelming array of flowers: rhododendrons, azaleas, daffodils, and so much more. Hop on the Caterpillar Garden Tour to get a quick tour or simply stroll the seemingly endless paths around the most relaxing spot right in the center of Christchurch. Hagley Golf Course is just a bit north, for when you're done.

Christchurch Central
8013
+64 3 941 8999
ccc.govt.nz/ christchurchbotanicgardens

Visit the Orana Wildlife Park

The city's only open-range zoo features creatures and critters of all sorts, from tall giraffes to magical white rhinos, kiwis, and lions. This is exotic animal watching at its best, augmented by a knowledgeable staff that can answer any questions.

743 Mcleans Island Road
Mcleans Island
8051
+64 33 597 109
oranawildlifepark.co.nz

Meet the Bone Dude

John, better known as the Bone Dude, will teach you to carve a bone pendant, which is just about the most New Zealand souvenir you could possibly imagine. He's a real character, so you'll have a good time chatting while making something you can take back home and show off to your friends.

153 Marshland Road
Shirley
8061
+64 3 385 4509
thebonedude.co.nz

Take a helicopter flight

For the most impressive view of the city, nothing beats taking to the skies. A 20-minute ride in a whirlybird will be plenty to get your bearings and blow your mind. If you're feeling adventurous, check out the tour options that go into the mountains or over the water.

Garden City Helicopters
515 Memorial Avenue
Harewood
8053
+64 3 358 4360
helicopters.net.nz/Scenic-HeliFlights

Explore the Banks Peninsula Track

This spectacular 35 km stretch of path, which provides some of the most stunning views in the southern hemisphere, lies about a 90-minute drive southeast of the city. Witness the volcanic coastline up close, along with waterfalls, beaches, and greenery. Many tours start near Onuku Farm Hostel in Akaroa.

Onuku Farm Hostel
89 Hamiltons Road
Akaroa
Onuku
7520
+64 3 304 7066
bbh.co.nz/hd174/Onuku-Farm-Hostel-Backpackers

Go punting on the Avon River

Explore the Garden City from the tranquility of the meandering Avon River. Your cheerful punter, dressed in Edwardian garb, will pole you around on a flat-bottomed boat while you and a loved one sit back and enjoy the view.

2 Cambridge Terrace
Christchurch Central
8013
+64 3 366 0337
welcomeaboard.co.nz/punting

The Lotus-Heart Vegetarian Restaurant (Vegetarian)

Perhaps the most peaceful dining experience in the city can be found at this hidden gem of a restaurant operated by students of the Sri Chinmoy. There's a spirituality about the surroundings that's mirrored in the high-quality vegetarian food, made with obvious love.

363 St Asaph Street
Christchurch Central
8011
+64 3 377 2727
thelotusheart.co.nz

Smash Palace (American)

This is the best burger spot in Christchurch, serving up tasty patties made from New Zealand grass-fed beef. It's a relaxed environment, too, one where you can hang out with friends and relax or mingle and chat with in-the-know locals.

Corner Victoria Street and Bealey Avenue
Merivale
8013
+64 21 353 759
thesmashpalace.co.nz

Saggio di vino (European)

There's an old-world flair to this smart restaurant that's been a fixture in Christchurch for more than two decades. In a city that's constantly refreshing and reinventing itself, Saggio di vino has a timeless element. That said, the contemporary dining room is thoroughly modern.

Carlton Butchery Building
179 Victoria Street
Christchurch Central
8013
+64 3 379 4006
saggiodivino.co.nz

Addington Coffee Co-op (Cafe)

The relaxed yet energetic spirit of Christchurch pulses through the Addington Coffee Co-op, just down the street from South Hagley Park. It's a casual cafe that's perfect for a mid-afternoon pit stop to check out the nonstop action; alternatively, head over first thing in the morning for an excellent breakfast to set you up for a day of adventure.

297 Lincoln Road
Addington
8024
+64 3 943 1662
addingtoncoffee.org.nz

King of Snake (Southeast Asian)

Asian influence runs through a lot of New Zealand restaurants, but few places do it as well as King of Snake. Tony Astle's high-end eatery effortlessly mixes Southeast Asian cuisine with some of the region's finest produce and poultry. A great date-night venue for a quiet evening.

145 Victoria Street
Christchurch Central
8013
+64 3 365 7363
kingofsnake.co.nz

Eliza's Manor Boutique Hotel

You won't get a better location than this cute hotel right near Hagley Park. The rooms are a mix of historic ambiance and modern amenities. Kiwis Ann and Harold operate the luxury bed and breakfast, and they'll be happy to share their travel tips and local knowledge.

82 Bealey Avenue
Christchurch Central
8013
+64 3 366 8584
elizas.co.nz

The Classic Villa

You'll know you're in the right place when you arrive at the Classic thanks to the hotel's distinctive pink paint job. The former historic home has been repurposed into a five-star hotel that's cozy, quiet, and close to all of Christchurch's attractions.

17 Worcester Boulevard
Christchurch Arts Centre
Christchurch Central
8013
+64 3 377 7905
theclassicvilla.co.nz

Jailhouse Accommodation Backpacker Hostel

You're sure to make good memories if you stay at Jailhouse, a quirky accommodation option that’s popular with travelers on a budget. The location, just south of Hagley Park, is perfect for getting around the city and the attractive prices, for dorm beds or family rooms, work, too.

338 Lincoln Road
Addington
8024
+64 800 524 546
jail.co.nz

Colombo in the City

For a unique experience that's somewhere between five-star hotel and backpacker hostel, head to Colombo, where modern, comfortable rooms in an apartment style await. This is a good choice if you're a group of travelers looking for plenty of space.

863 Colombo Street
Christchurch Central
8013
+64 3 366 8775
motelcolombo.co.nz

Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square

For a great mid-range hotel in Christchurch, head for the Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square. It’s perfect for families, with babysitting services available on request and leafy Hagley Park just a short distance away. As you'd expect from the name, the views of the nearby Christchurch Cathedral are striking.

52 Cathedral Square
8011
+64 3 372 2111
accorhotels.com/gb

The George Christchurch

Regularly rated as one of the best boutique hotels in the country, the George is the epitome of classy accommodation in Christchurch. The rooms are opulent and elegant, the location perfectly situated to provide easy access to downtown, and the staff are friendly and helpful.

50 Park Terrace
Christchurch Central
8013
+64 3 379 4560
thegeorge.com

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Flights from United States to Christchurch12 destinations