Hire a vehicle in Christchurch and enjoy
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region, Christchurch lies on the South Island's east coast. Christchurch is served by Christchurch Airport and by buses and trains. The local bus service, known as Metro, is provided by Environment Canterbury. The car, however, remains the dominant form of transport in the city, as with the rest of New Zealand. Christchurch has over 2,300 km of roads, of this 360 km is unsealed and 43 km is motorway. Christchurch has three motorways consisting of the Christchurch Northern Motorway, Christchurch Southern Motorway and the Christchurch-Lyttelton Motorway, making it easy to get around by car.
Christchurch has a temperate oceanic climate with a mild summer, cool winter, and regular moderate rainfall. It has mean daily maximum air temperatures of 22.6 °C (73 °F) in January and 10.9 °C (52 °F) in July. Under the Köppen climate classification, Christchurch has an oceanic climate (Cfb). Summer in the city is mostly warm but is often moderated by a sea breeze from the north-east. A record temperature of 41.6 °C (107 °F) was reached in February 1973. In winter it is common for the temperature to fall below 0 °C (32 °F) at night. There are on average 80 days of ground frost per year. The coldest temperature recorded was -7.1 °C (19 °F) on 18 July 1945.
11.8°C / 53.2°F
Average annual temperatures
577mm / 22.7inches
Average annual precipitation
Average annual precipitation days
Christchurch recommended destinations
At the heart of Christchurch's reputation as the Garden City, the Gardens are a place of ever-changing beauty. Showcasing flora and fauna of New Zealand and other parts of the world, the Gardens feature one of the finest collections of exotic and local plants in New Zealand. With more than 1.1 Million visitors each year the Botanic Gardens are one of the Christchurch's most popular and well-loved attractions.
Christchurch Art Gallery
The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu is the biggest and most famous gallery in the South Island. The art on display ranges from the old masters to modern art. The Art Gallery also has regular events including talks, museum tours and film evenings. It has a spectacular external design and is well worth a visit.
The Christchurch Gondola ascends the Port Hills, overlooking not only the city but the crater rim and Mt Cavendish summit. At the top you will be rewarded by wonderful views of the cityscape, the Canterbury Plains and Lyttleton Harbour. In the distance you can take in the Southern Alps. When you reach the top there is a restaurant and you can watch a video about the geologic and human history of Christchurch.
The museum is located in the central city and is part of the rebuilt Cultural Precinct. Whilst the museum dates back to 1867 with the Julius von Haast collection forming its core, it is now a place where you can learn about the history of Canterbury and its connection to Antarctica. Highlights include the Māori galleries, the historic Christchurch street and the Victoria Museum.
Christchurch Town Hall
The Christchurch Town Hall is situated in the heart of the city on the banks of the Avon River. It never fails to bring a sense of excitement, whether you attend an exhibition, concert, function or enjoy fine dining. It was recently extensively restored and strengthened, opening again in 2019. It includes the Douglas Lilburn Auditorium, the James Hay Theatre, the Limes Room, Avon Room and the Victoria Room.
The Christchurch Trams offer a wonderful experience combining history and sightseeing. These trams have been beautifully restored and are a favourite for visitors and locals. A all-day hop-on and hop-off ticket allows you to visit all the central city sights. It runs on a 17-stop route that takes in the Canterbury Museum, the Botanic Gardens, the Margaret Mahy Playground and inner city stores and restaurants. You can even dine on-board on the Tramming Restaurant.