Christchurch
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Christchurch Culture & History

Christchurch: Vintage Tram, Punt and Gondola Ride Combo

1. Christchurch: Vintage Tram, Punt and Gondola Ride Combo

Experience Christchurch from different perspectives with a combined city tour by vintage tram, punt along the River Avon and cable car ride aboard the Christchurch Gondola. Climb aboard a classic, flat-bottomed boat for a delightful punt along the River Avon. Venture through the city center propelled by a boatman dressed in Edwardian costume. Set off from Worcester Street Bridge and listen to the live commentary about how the city was rebuilt after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and remains fast-growing. See the beautiful alpine scenery surrounding Christchurch and its suburbs on board the Christchurch Gondola cable car. Explore the history of the region in the unique Time Tunnel experience, and pause for refreshments at the Red Rock Café. Marvel at the Southern Alps and Kaikoura Mountains, and get 360-degree views of the plains, mountains, city and harbor from the glass-enclosed cabin. Once at the summit, purchase souvenirs in the "Shop at the Top" or go for a hike on one of the many walking trails, such as the trek to Crater Rim, formed by the volcanic activity that created Port Hills. Journey by vintage tram and see the “Garden City” at your own pace with a full-day hop-on and hop-off ticket. Explore the regenerated city center to see innovative architecture, such as a shopping complex made out of shipping containers. Listen to a fascinating commentary from your driver as you take a full circuit in just 50 minutes, or jump on and off at leisure at 17 strategic stops. Discover the vast urban space of Hagley Park, explore the boutique stores of New Regent Street and much more!

Christchurch Gondola and Tram City Tour Combo

2. Christchurch Gondola and Tram City Tour Combo

Climb aboard the Christchurch Gondola cable car and enjoy spectacular 360-degree views across the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps as you glide across the slopes of Mount Cavendish in the Port Hills. See as far as the city and harbor as you ride up to the summit 445 meters above sea level. Make use of the facilities at the top, such as the Time Tunnel ride, a dramatic reconstruction of the history of the region. Revive your spirits at the Red Rock Café before or after going for a walk or bike ride along the many nature trails. Take a unique sightseeing tour of the inner city aboard an antique tram as the driver provides a live and entertaining commentary. A full circuit takes 50 minutes and includes 17 stops, where you can hop on and off as often as you wish. Visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Cathedral Junction, Canterbury Museum, and much more.  

Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

3. Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

Experience dramatic glacier lakes, snow-capped mountains, and beautiful alpine walks on a small-group day trip from Christchurch. After pick-up from your hotel, journey to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, located a 4 hours' drive through spectacular and breathtaking landscapes. Visit the historic town of Geraldine. Then discover the heart of Mackenzie Country, the captivatingly turquoise Lake Tekapo, the iconic Church of Good Shepherd, and the well-recognized statue of Sheepdog. Travel through Lake Pukaki and admire stunning views of Mt. Cook from a distance. Enjoy a short scenic hike in the National Park to view the 23.5kms long Tasman Glacier which is the longest glacier in New Zealand. On your return journey, visit the Alpine Lavender Farm and capture some beautiful moments in the pristine environment.

Arthur's Pass: TranzAlpine Train and Castle Hill Day Tour

4. Arthur's Pass: TranzAlpine Train and Castle Hill Day Tour

Experience the South Island's remarkable natural landscapes by taking a journey on a train from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass, which is considered one of the world's greatest train journeys for the scenery it passes. Enjoy breathtaking views of Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps, ice-fed Waimakariri River, lush beech forests, and stunning landscapes. Explore walking tracks in Arthur's Pass National Park with spectacular mountain views & pristine waterfalls. Capture mirror images at Lake Pearson & wander through the majestic limestone boulders at Castle Hill. A perfect day trip for nature lovers, hikers, and adventure seekers.

Christchurch International Antarctic Center Entry Tickets

5. Christchurch International Antarctic Center Entry Tickets

Embark on a journey through Antarctica without leaving Christchurch. Visit one of New Zealand's best tourist attractions, the International Antarctic Center. Visitors of all ages will enjoy an interactive, fun and exciting experience of Antarctica. Experience snow and ice, an Antarctic storm, take the polar plunge ice water challenge, learn about life in modern modern-day Antarctica and Scott Base, and hang out with Little Blue Penguins. Try the famously exciting Hagglund ride and an awesome simulated 4D cruise Ice Voyage. The entry ticket is the closest way to experience Antarctica, without mounting your own expedition. You can also enjoy a personalized commentary on your journey to Antarctica with an audio guide tour available in English, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Thai, German, French, and Spanish.

Christchurch: Hop-On Hop-Off Tour by Vintage Tram

6. Christchurch: Hop-On Hop-Off Tour by Vintage Tram

Climb aboard a vintage tram for a unique tour of Christchurch, and see the “Garden City” at your own pace with a full-day hop-on and hop-off tram ticket. Travel through the regenerated city center to see innovative architecture, such as shopping complex made out of shipping containers. See how the city center has been rebuilt after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Listen to a fascinating commentary from your driver as you take a full circuit in just 50 minutes, or jump on and off at leisure at 17 strategic stops. The tram currently starts at Cathedral Junction and travels through Cathedral Square, before passing the River Avon. Jump off at the Re:Start Mall, or Canterbury Museum, just a short stroll from the Botanic Garden and Arts Center. Discover the city’s largest urban space at Hagley Park, or explore the boutique stores of New Regent Street, New Zealand’s “Most Beautiful Street.”

Christchurch Tram City Tour & Punting Combo

7. Christchurch Tram City Tour & Punting Combo

Climb aboard a classic flat-bottomed boat for a delightful punt along the River Avon in Christchurch. Choose from two departure points - the Antigua Boat Sheds or Worcester Street Bridge - for a punt through the park or city center. A punter dressed in Edwardian costume will guide you down the river, providing a live commentary along the way. From the Worcester Street Bridge landing site, discover how the city is fast-growing and how it rebuilt itself after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. Take off from the Antigua Boat Sheds to journey through Hagley Park. Punt alongside the Botanic Gardens, and admire some of the native flora of New Zealand. Blankets and hot water bottles are provided on cold days, so don't let the weather put you off! Climb aboard a vintage tram for a unique tour of Christchurch, and see the “Garden City” at your own pace with a full-day hop-on and hop-off tram ticket. Travel through the regenerated city center to see innovative architecture, such as shopping complex made out of shipping containers. See how the city center has been rebuilt after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Listen to a fascinating commentary from your driver as you take a full circuit in just 50 minutes, or jump on and off at leisure at 17 strategic stops. The tram currently starts at Cathedral Junction and travels through Cathedral Square, before passing the River Avon. Jump off at the Terraces and Riverside Market, or Canterbury Museum, just a short stroll from the Botanic Garden and Arts Center. Discover the city’s largest urban space at Hagley Park, or explore the boutique stores of New Regent Street, New Zealand’s “Most Beautiful Street.”

Christchurch: 20-Minutes City Helicopter Flight

8. Christchurch: 20-Minutes City Helicopter Flight

Discover the city of Christchurch from above on a scenic helicopter flight. The city is known for its English heritage and fondly referred to as the Garden City due to its abundance of parks and trees. Observe the lush banks of the serpentine Avon River and the beautiful botanical gardens, which are a delight to see from above. Your expert pilots will inform and entertain you with all the latest facts and points of interest such as the Cathedral, new landmarks including the library, and the vision for the future of this thriving city. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Banks Peninsula which is formed from three now dormant volcanoes, where you will also see the busy Port of Lyttelton. On the return leg enjoy a bird’s eye view of the estuary and coastline before you return via the seaside suburbs of Sumner and Redcliffs.

Mt Cook, Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre Day Trip

9. Mt Cook, Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre Day Trip

Set off from Christchurch on a small-group day trip for jaw-dropping scenery and an amazing alpine experience in incredible surroundings. Travel in the comfort of a modern minibus, soaking in the breathtaking scenery of the Southern Alps. Discover sites such as the Ben Ohau Range, Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki, and even multiple sites from "Middle-Earth". Savor a delicious lunch at the famous Hermitage Hotel. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre's 3D theatre, museum, and Digital Dome Planetarium. Educational and entertaining, you will explore the history of the Mount Cook region through spectacular 2D and 3D experiences. Learn about one of the world’s greatest explorers, pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary.  Enjoy the close proximity and spectacular views of New Zealand’s highest peak in the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, located in Te Wāhipounamu UNESCO World Heritage area. For the more adventurous, you can undertake an included side trip to the Tasman Glacier. Alternatively, relax at Mt Cook Village where you can spend more time at the Alpine Centre, the Hermitage’s Retail Centre, or at the Department of Conservation’s Visitor Centre before being picked up later for the return journey to Christchurch.

From Christchurch: Helicopter Flight to Akaroa

10. From Christchurch: Helicopter Flight to Akaroa

Embark on a helicopter flight from Christchurch that follows the spectacular rugged coastline until you head inland to Akaroa harbour. The locals will tell you that no trip to the Christchurch area can be complete without a visit to Akaroa, the jewel in Banks Peninsula’s crown. On the way, discover the lush forests and grasslands that run down the hillsides to the azure water of the endless bays, fed by the Pacific Ocean itself. Upon arrival at Akaroa explore its excellent shops, cafés, and restaurants. Early French settlers gave Akaroa its heritage and distinct French feel that is reflected in the names of the streets and local bays.

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What people are saying about Christchurch

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 46 reviews

If you're short of time then this is the best way to explore Christchurch. We started with Punting then went for Gondola where we had our lunch with the great view. Food options are good at the restaurant and price is reasonable. Next we did the Tram. Highly recommend to do this combo on a beautiful day. Tram you can you use a different day, it doesn't have to on the same day as other activities. But we left Christchurch the following morning so did all these together.

We turned up to the boathouse to a very warm welcome, the service was excellent and so friendly, our guide shared very interesting information and the punt skill was smooth we thoroughly enjoyed it and will be back again. The Tram ride was so enjoyable, the guide was so nice and pleasant. Really enjoyed it and so did our teenagers

Excellent experience would recommend it to anyone who is looking at a casual outing and just wanting to spend some time with someone special.

Pre ordered event's, saved queues and last minute decisions. We totally enjoyed our day.

Charming way to enjoy history. Tram impeccably maintained.