The garden city of Christchurch suffered a terrible tragedy with the earthquake of 2011. Fortunately various areas of the city weren’t affected and together with the massive rebuild project, things are looking up with great number of visitors coming back to this wonderful city.
There are many fun things you can do within Christchurch and in the neighboring regions, so I have a lot to choose from but I’ll list three of my top choices.
Visit a Wildlife Reserve
Christchurch is not only about nice restaurants and cafes but it also holds this beautiful wildlife reserve called Willowbank.
It’s located in Harewood and is open at 9:30 am on most days of the year. It closes at 7:00 pm in the summer months and 5:30 pm in the winter months.
I think the prices were reasonable;
- Children (5 to 14 years) get into the reserve for $10 (NZD)
- Under 5’s get in for free
- Adults are charged $25
- Senior citizens and students cost $20
- And a family ticket (for 2 adults and 3 children) costs $65
For that we got access to the entire park but some of the tours and animal encounters are not included in that price, such as the Kiwi Breeding Tour, so check with them or their site at www.willowbank.co.nz (their page showing what attractions you have to pay for is at www.willowbank.co.nz/packages-and-prices), to find out what is and what isn’t included before you visit.
Overall we really enjoyed visiting this place which had many different animal and bird life including an ostrich, lemurs, otters, llama, miniature horses and kiwi.
They also have a Maori culture show which we found informative and entertaining.
Do a Cycling Trip
Another thing we really enjoyed was to go on a cycling trip around various areas in and outside of Christchurch. I personally enjoyed riding outside the city itself; there’s nothing wrong with the city but I love the countryside more than city life.
If you want to cycle in the city then you can try cycling along the coastal road of Marine Parade or ride south along Main Road then into Evans Pass Road and follow it around the harbor.
For people (like me) who want to try some longer biking trips then you can head out of the city, northwest, towards Arthur’s Pass National Park (on state highway 73) or head north through Hanmer Conservation Park (on state highway 7). If you go via Hanmer then make sure you stop by Hanmer Springs which is a spa complex, great for a day’s relaxation.
For those who want to try a cycling trip with a guide, usually over a number of days, then you can try www.pedaltours.co.nz and their page showing where they ride in New Zealand is at www.pedaltours.co.nz/new-zealand-cycle-tours.
Most of the roads are good in and around Christchurch, so most road bikes should be fine.
If you’re new to cycling then remember to take things easy, as you’ll be surprised how many muscles you’re using, which usually only really hurt the next day!
When I was a child, one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up was a tank driver. Well that didn’t happen!
But at least I have the chance to try it on my next visit to Christchurch (I haven’t tried this yet but I definitely will when I next visit).
The place I’m talking about is www.tanksforeverything.co.nz, located at 985 Mcleans Island Road, in the northwest part of the city.
They have all kinds of army vehicles from the Seracen (an Armoured Personnel Carrier) and the FV432 (even more heavy duty than the Seracen. But it’s the Centurion Tank which I’m really looking forward to try! It’s a huge and heavy duty beast of a tank which must be amazing fun to drive.