Christchurch, New Zealand is one of the most beautiful seaside areas on New Zealand’s South Island. When visiting, you will have more than enough to do. Whether you are looking for culture in a historic museum, gaming excitement in the Christchurch Casino, or an adventure excursion in the nearby ski slopes, there is something for everyone. The following article explores some of the best things to do during your trip to Christchurch.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Christchurch is the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Founded in 1863 to honor the marriage of Prince Albert and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the gardens provide a sprawling 21 hectares of lush plant life for beautiful garden escape. These gardens have it all for all types. Those rose lovers amongst us will adore the Heritage Rose Garden, which truly comes to life in the summer. Those looking for more exotic options can check out the conservatory complex that has a Victorian glasshouse featuring many tropical varieties and cacti. Those more adventurous will appreciate the Giplin House, where they can find a collection of carnivorous plants. Just don’t get too close! And for the medically inclined, the Herb Garden by the Curator’s house is a can’t miss for its collection of medicinal plants and herbs. There is also a dedicated Erica Garden, which displays gorgeous Ericas and Callunas which stay on display year-round. No matter what your inclinations, you will simply adore your time here.
Geology buffs would especially enjoy visiting the Canterbury Museum in downtown Christchurch. This museum features many beautiful geological artifacts, including moa bones, plants, birds, rocks and minerals. It also includes many other locally donated artifacts, flora and fauna for display. Make sure to check out the traditional exhibits to get a classic piece of Christchurch cultural experience. Those less interested in geology will still find themselves a good amount of points of interest by checking out the Ravenscar House across the street from the Canterbury Museum. Still under construction, once ready The Ravenscar House will feature the beautiful Ravenscar Collections of some of New Zealand’s most celebrated artists, including Frances Hodgkins, Charles Frederick Goldie and Gottfried Lindauer. The pieces will be featured in four rooms scattered throughout the house. The house will also include a landscaped garden and a central courtyard. No matter what you decide upon while here, you will be sure to find something quite of interest.
Margaret Mahy Family Playground
Those looking for a fun family outing could do no wrong visiting the Margaret Mahy Family Playground. Located in the Central City, this area will be sure to delight younger children and provide a wonderful respite for their parents to sit and watch them play. Named for children’s author Margaret Mahy, the park features all kinds of fun play equipment, including the perfunctory slides swings and jungle gyms. However what sets it apart is the sheer size and variety of the usual playthings. For example, the slides come in all different shapes and sizes, including swirly slides, the swings are in funny shapes. The giant playground also includes less common playground equipment, such as giant sandpits, flying foxes, interactive fountains and spinning rides. It even has a trampoline!
There are rope net courses and climbing walls as well. No matter what kind of play you are looking to get into, you will be sure to find something fun to do while at this playground. So check it out, just make sure to set a time limit, because you might wind up spending the whole day here!
One of Christchurch’s crown-jewel entertainment landmarks is the Christchurch Casino. Located in the heart of the Central City, the Christchurch Casino is your one-stop-shop for all of your gaming entertainment needs. This place has it all. Test your luck at any of its 34 table games, including blackjack, Roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, or Tai Sai. For blackjack fans on a budget, you even have the popular $2 blackjack game available evenings every Wednesday through Saturday. If unwinding at the slots is more your speed, you can sit at one of the more than 500 slot machines available. Using the simple ticket system, you can easily get pulling the arm of your favorite one-armed bandit. There are machines available for any gaming budget as well, ranging from as low as 1 cent to $2, with multi-denominational and multi-line options galore.
Looking to compete with your fellow gamer instead of the house? Well take a seat at a table in the casino’s illustrious Poker Room and raise and bluff your way to glory. There, you can sit at any one of 6 different cash game varieties at various limits, playing either No-Limit Hold’em or Pot-Limit Omaha. You also have the option of playing in various weekly tournaments, in either hold’em or PLO, including Deep Stack Turbo and Rotation styles.
Once you’ve scratched your gaming itch and taken in some winnings, what better way to celebrate than a nice hearty meal? Well at the Christchurch Casino, you need not travel far, as you have at your convenience an in-house Sports Bar, the Monza Sportsbar. At Monza, you can fill your belly with your favorite sports bar staples, such as handmade pizza, burgers or ribs, and then wash it down with your favorite craft beer or regional wine. During your meal, you won’t miss the big game while enjoying it with your companions on their huge 208 inch LCD wall.
Mt. Hutt Skiing
For the ski bums and bunnies out there, Christchurch is a quick 2-hour drive away in the glorious Mt Hutt Skifield. Situated to the west of the Canterbury Plains, Mt Hutt rises up to 2190 meters above sea level and features over 365 hectares of skiable area. The Mt Hutt Ski area is an award-winning Ski resort that will cater to all of your snow sports needs. The resort features plenty of amenities for the whole family, including easy rental options and a fully stocked cafe. For kids, they have a fully licensed Early Learning Centre for young children between 3-5 years, or School Holiday programs for children 5-15 years.Plus, children under 10 years of age get their lift passes for free.
Waipara Wine Trail
When traveling to New Zealand you would be remiss to pass on opportunities to visit their famous wineries. New Zealand is known worldwide for their delicious wines and a must-stop for any oenophile. The key to quality wine here is the rich soil and mild climate. Luckily while in Christchurch you are nearby several wineries worth visiting. One good choice is the Waipara Valley in the Caterbury region. Just a short one-hour drive from Christchurch, the Waipara Valley is home to dozens of boutique wineries, including Waipara Hills, Pegasus Bay, Greystone Wines and Muddy Water. You can visit any of these individually, or take an organized wine trail tour. During the tour make sure to not just indulge in the poignant pinot noirs and rieslings, but also get your eats on at many of the dining establishments along the trail. Many of the wineries have food options, but there are also plenty of restaurants along the trail as well to make your country excursion complete.
Christchurch has everything you need for an amazing stay in New Zealand’s South Island. You have exciting casino gaming at the beautiful Christchurch Casino. You have fun for the kids at the playground. You can learn about geological artifacts and beautiful local art at the Canterbury Museum. Or just take a short excursion to the beautiful nearby wineries or ski slopes. Whatever you decide to do, you will be sure to have made some amazing memories during your time while in Christchurch.