Christchurch Journals

Top Stuff in Christchurch

An April 2001 trip to Christchurch by LenR

Christchurch Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand More Photos
Quote: Christchurch is the international gateway to the South Island of New Zealand but it is often seen as nothing more than a one-night stopover. A recent visit showed me that the city is a destination worthy of several days and the surrounding area could keep you occupied for weeks.

Top Stuff in Christchurch

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Overview

Christchurch Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island. Facilities are generally of a high standard and the following locations and activities are particular recommended: . the inner-city Mall precinct with its good shopping, dining and sightseeing options · the Canterbury Museum · the Antarctic Centre · the Christchurch Casino · the Christchurch Tramway · balloon flights over the plains towards the snow capped mountains · the Botanic Gardens · the historic French village of Akaroa · a stay at a high country lodge · lunch and wine tasting at a local winery Quick Tips: Unless you are a skier, it’s probably best to...Read More

Grand Chancellor Christchurch

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Hotel | "Hotel Grand Chancellor Christchurch"

Grand Chancellor Christchurch Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
This is a high-rise central city hotel in a great location, 50 metres from the downtown Mall. Don’t stay here if you want gardens outside your window. The view from our room was of the adjacent office block roof but I saw an upper level room and this has nice views over the city towards the distant Southern Alps. We had a rental car and were concerned about parking but the hotel has a free valet arrangement with the adjacent parking garage and we were able to leave the vehicle there for up to 30-hours for NZ$5. That was a great arrangement. The staff was very friendly and no tips were sought by anyone. The room was large and well equipped. As well as the usual facilities, my wife appre...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 2, 2001

Grand Chancellor Christchurch
161 CASHEL STREET
Christchurch, New Zealand
64-337-92999

Christchurch Casino

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Restaurant

Christchurch Casino Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
This was New Zealand’s first casino when it opened in 1994. It has proved to be one of the most successful. The casino is heavily advertised and discount dining vouchers are available from many outlets in the city. Free casino shuttles operate to and from local hotels and motels each evening from 6pm to 2am. We could have made arrangements with our hotel concierge but we phoned the 0800 227 466 number instead. The minibus arrived exactly on time – we were the only passengers. Compared to the large Las Vegas casinos, this one is minute but it has a nice atmosphere. An interesting feature is the free demonstration table where you can learn how to play any of the table games, machines or ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 2, 2001

Christchurch Casino
30 Victoria Street
Christchurch, New Zealand
(03) 365 999

Canterbury Museum

Attraction

Canterbury Museum Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
Opening Times: 7 days; 9am-5.30pm summer; 9am-5pm winter Charges: Free; Discovery Centre NZ$2 I am not big on museums but I enjoyed this one because of its size and variety of displays. You can see the major exhibits in one hour then spend much longer if you have special interests. The main exhibitions are on two levels and there is a natural route through them. You start with several Maori galleries then move through to an interesting transport gallery. I was very impressed with the recreated Christchurch Street from the Victorian era. It was a great way of displaying both the architecture and the artifacts from this era. Top marks! The Antarctic Gallery on the upper ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 2, 2001

Canterbury Museum
Rolleston Avenue
Christchurch, New Zealand 8001
+64 (0)3 366 5000

Botanic Gardens

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Attraction | "Christchurch Botanic Gardens"

Botanic Gardens Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
Open: Daily from 7am; information centre 10.15am-4pm; garden café 10am-4.30pm. It is said that these gardens have the finest collection of exotic and indigenous plants in New Zealand. I do not doubt it! The gardens are next to the Canterbury Museum and are part of Hagley Park, a huge slice of green within walking distance of downtown Christchurch. The massive trees set in fine lawn areas impressed me. So too did the rose garden, the herb garden, and the tropical plant hot houses. There were shades of London’s Kew Gardens here and the comparison did not reflect poorly on Christchurch. The information centre and garden café are close to a delightful lake almost over-run with du...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 2, 2001

Botanic Gardens
Rolleston Avenue
Christchurch, New Zealand 8001
+64 (0)3 366 1701

Arts Centre

Attraction | "The Arts Centre"

Quote:
Opens: 7 days; 10am-5pm 40 or so art galleries, craft studios, speciality shops, cafes, restaurants and bars occupy this group of Gothic revival buildings that were once part of the University of Canterbury. We turned up early one morning and found it bare and almost deserted but we went by later in the day and there was more activity. We were told that on Saturday and Sunday, the place really bustles with artists, craftspeople, musicians, buskers and food vendors. There is also a market. Unfortunately we were long-gone by then. As this place is heavily advertised we were somewhat disappointed by our visit and would probably only go back again on a weekend or during the recog...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 2, 2001

Arts Centre
Worcester Boulevard
Christchurch, New Zealand
+64 3 363 2836?

Christchurch Tramway

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Attraction

Christchurch Tramway Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
Christchurch had trams in the nineteenth century with horse-drawn and steam services operating different routes. Electric trams operated from 1905 until 1954 when they were discontinued. In 1995 trams returned to the city thanks to the tramway Historical Society and government/private enterprise cooperation. The beautifully restored trams now follow a 2.5 kilometre loop around central Christchurch, taking in many of the historic city sights. It proved to be a fun, safe and easy way of seeing many of the interesting places in the central city. The live commentary added a lot to our enjoyment. Tickets are purchased on board from the conductor and you can chose between a one-hour or all-d...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 2, 2001

Christchurch Tramway
7 Tramway Lane
Christchurch, New Zealand 8001
+64 (0)3 366 7830

Renting a vehicle

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Story/Tip

Maui Car Rental Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
Self-drive is a great way to explore New Zealand. Even those used to driving on the right won't be too phased by the keep-to-the-left conditions in New Zealand. Roads are generally of a good standard and traffic, except in the centre of cities, is light. Car rental outlets are numerous and there is considerable difference in rates between operators. To some extent you get what you pay for but there are some operators with reasonable rates and good vehicles, service and backup. We did some investigation and chose to use Maui, a large New Zealand operator with depots in both the North and South island. You need to decide if you want a regular car or a motorhome. Both have certain advanta...Read More