Top Destinations In Christchurch To Explore With Your Minibus Hire

Top Destinations In Christchurch To Explore With Your Minibus Hire

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island, and certainly not one you want to go around on foot. Traditionally, this particular city is also the one with the strongest English influences in the South. It was hit by two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, but despite the adversity, the city has found creative ways to cope and bounce back, and is still one of New Zealand’s top travel destinations to this day. Visit the best spots and sights around Christchurch with Christchurch minibus hire.


Isaac Theatre Royal

This theatre is stunning monument of the Edwardian style architecture and indeed culture which so pervades the city of Christchurch. With its red brick walls and intricately designed columns, the Isaac Theatre Royal is a sight to behold. The theatre itself was opened in 1908, and is still functional today as New Zealand’s only operational Edwardian-style theatre. Locals and tourists alike flock to this venue to catch some of the world’s most interesting and vibrant theatre performances by troupes and acts from all over the world. After all, New Zealanders still do enjoy an evening at the theatre, and what better way to get into the spirit of Christchurch than to get tickets to a show?

Victoria Clock Tower

Anyone cruising around the city centre of Christchurch is bound to notice the Victoria Clock Tower, located some distance from The Arts Centre and actually walking distance from the Christchurch Casino. The Victoria Clock Tower was made in England in 1860 and brought to New Zealand as a temporary feature of the Provincial Buildings, with its striking design by Benjamin Mountfort, commissioned by the Canterbury Provincial Council. It then became a monument to mark the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, and since then has been relocated once more in 1930 to Victoria Street, where it remains today.

The Avon River

The English truly enjoy punting down the river in Cambridge, but they might be surprised to find that this activity can also be enjoyed in Christchurch! In fact, punting is one of the key attractions that the Avon River is renowned for. The river was originally known as Otakoro, a Maori name meaning ‘the place of a game’ but was given this English name in honour of the Scottish Avon. With a length of 14 kilometres, the Avon River meanders right through the city and out into the Pacific Ocean, via the Avon Heathcote Estuary. It offers a lovely placid journey to take in the city’s Botanic Gardens and even the bustling city centre in style and comfort, guided by a punter in traditional Edwardian attire. For those not interested in a city tour, however, the river in itself is a beautiful place to stop by anywhere in the city and have a picnic lunch or a sandwich, while you wave to the boats passing by.

The Bridge of Remembrance

The Bridge of Remembrance is actually one of the two main war memorials in Christchurch. It links the Oxford and Cambridge Terrances to Cashel Street, over the Avon River, and was opened on 11 November 1924 in remembrance of all the soldiers in New Zealand who fought in World War I. This is a wide bridge which makes for a lovely stroll at any time of day, and many tourists find a photo opportunity in the beautiful stone archways over the entrance and exit points of the bridge.

The Canterbury Museum

Located in the city’s Cultural Precinct, the Canterbury Museum was established in 1867, with Julius von Haast as its first director. Architecturally, the building is striking in its Gothic Revival style by Benjamin Mountfort, who also designed the Victoria Clock Tower. The museum sustained some slight damage during an earthquake in February 2011, but it was estimated that 95% of the collections were unharmed, not including the statue of William Rolleston, Superintendent of the Canterbury Province from 1868 to 1877, at the front of the museum, which toppled off its plinth during the quake. There are many activities ongoing at the museum which are family friendly, and entry to the museum is free, so it’s not a difficult decision to visit this museum with your tour group.

The Air Force Museum of New Zealand

A sure win for aviation lovers, the Air Force Museum is a visual treat. It was opened during the air force’s 50th anniversary celebrations on 1 April 1987, intent on preserving the history of the nation’s aviation and military. The museum’s collection, spread out across six different buildings, consists of historical relics from local aviation efforts, and even items that were obtained from former enemy forces. Paying homage to history, it is located at Wigram, the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s first operational base. For a more fun-filled way to explore the museum as a family or group, take on one of their Museum Hunts with regularly changing themes and challenges. Admission to the museum is free and it is open daily.

Travis Wetland

While Christchurch is mostly an urban city, the Travis Wetland National Park defies expectations of a city – it is a large conservation site right smack in the middle of urbanity. Located in north-east Christchurch, the Travis Wetland covers an area of 56.5 hectares, making it the largest wetland in the district. It is very close to sea level and also not far from the sea itself, and contains several species of native plans such as manuka (from which the famous manuka honey is produced), New Zealand flax, and native ferns. Visiting this wetland area would not be too arduous a journey from the city and it is also a great opportunity to take a peaceful stroll amidst nature.

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

For those who prefer animals to plants, no worries – there’s also the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Established in 1974 by the Willis family who still own it to this day, this reserve is committed to protecting indigenous fauna, and houses 50 different animal species. Willowbank Wildlife Reserve also puts the spotlight on local Maori culture, offering an educational experience that gives participants a glimpse into the lives of the Ngai Tahu people who lived on the land originally, before Europeans came and settled on the South Island.

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