|New Zealand||Main pages||Places||Other links|
Auckland • Gisborne • Hamilton • Rotorua • Hastings • Napier • New Plymouth • Palmerston North • Taupo • Tauranga • Wellington • Blenheim • Christchurch • Dunedin • Kaikoura • Oamaru • Nelson • Golden Bay • Picton • Arthurs Pass • Aoraki/Mount Cook, Queenstown • Wanaka • Invercargill • The Catlins • New Zealand West Coast • Fiordland • Rakiura (Stewart Island)
Christchurch or Ōtautahi (in Ngāi Tahu), aka The Garden City. Population: 350,000.
Located on the east coast, Christchurch is the south island's largest city. For many travelers Christchurch International Airport is the point of entry to New Zealand.
- On the eastern edge of the city is Pegasus Bay and the Pacific Ocean with safe swimming beaches and good surfing
- Kaikoura is 2 hours to the north on SH1.
- Dunedin is 4-5 hours drive to the south on SH1
- The West Coast is 2 hours drive to the west over Arthurs Pass
Hospitality Exchange Community
Couch Surfing Community
- There is a healthy number of active CS hosts in Christchurch and a growing CS Community. Regular meetings are held each Thursday evening at various venues. Other get togethers, outings, movie nights, indoor climbing, etc, occur on a regular basis. Check the Christchurch group for info about the next get-together or organise one yourself.
- CS Groups:
- Upcoming CS Social Meetings
Check the Christchurch group for info about regular CS social meetings. The Christchurch CS community is very active.
Be Welcome Community
There is no active BeWelcome community and BeWelcome lists only 3 members in Christchurch. (as at 11/11/09)
Christchurch for the Visitor
SHORTAGE OF BACKPACKER HOSTELS IN THE CENTRAL CITY
Which hostels are available?
- Hostels that are open:
- Old Country House
- The Jailhouse
- Kiwi Basecamp
- Kiwi House
- Avon City Backpackers
- Around the World Backpackers
- Dorset House Backpackers
Hostels that are closed:
- Charlie B's Backpackers
- Coachman Backpackers
- Cokers Backpackers
- Sir Cedric's City Oasis Backpackers
- Stonehurst Accommodation
- YHA Christchurch City Central
- YHA Christchurch Rolleston House
- Maori oral history suggests that people first inhabited the Canterbury area about a thousand years ago.
- These first inhabitants were moa-hunting tribes and these were followed by the Waitaha who are thought to have migrated from the east coast of the North Island in the 16th century. This migration was joined by the Ngati Mamoe and Ngai Tahu and continued until about 1830.
- The first European landed in Canterbury in 1815, 45 years after Captain James Cook sighted what he named "Banks Island", later found to be a peninsula.
- In 1840 the first Europeans settled on the plains and whaling ships were operating out of Lyttelton by 1850.
- During 1850-1851 the first organised groups of English settlers, the founders of Christchurch, arrived on the 'first four ships' into Lyttelton Harbour.
- Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on July 31, 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand.
- In 1893 New Zealand women achieved a first in the world when they won the right to vote. This significant event was honoured in 1993 when the Kate Sheppard memorial, a commemoration to Women's Suffrage was unveiled on 19th September 1993.
- Canterbury's economy was built on primary products and Canterbury has long been recognised as living "off the sheep's back". Although its economic beginnings were in refrigerated sheep and dairy meats and in other dairy products, Canterbury now has a diversified regional economy with growth across a range of sectors.
Christchurch has experienced several serious earthquakes since 4th September 2010 and thousands of aftershocks. The first earthquake of 7.1 magnitude struck at 4:35am on 4th September 2010 and a more devastating 6.3 magnitude quake struck at 12:51pm on 22nd February 2011. The February quake caused serious damage and loss of life in the central business district of Christchurch and serious damage to the eastern areas of the city. The central business district remains cordoned off as around 900 buildings are still to be demolished. Liquefaction in the eastern suburbs caused major damage to infrastructure such as water supply, electricity, sewers and roads. Many former central city businesses and government offices have relocated to the western suburbs of Christchurch (eg Riccarton, Papanui, Hornby). Most backpacker hostels were located in the CBD and are closed or destroyed. A few hostels are open on Bealey Ave on the north side of the CBD but these few hostels are very often full. There is also one hostel in the seaside suburb of New Brighton that is open.
Keep up to date with the latest quakes at Canterbury Earthquake Live.
Earthquake related news at stuff.co.nz
- World Buskers' Festival - January each year
- for a comprehensive list of festivals, shows and events (many free) see be there
- Switch Espresso, Carnaby Street, New Brighton Mall, New Brighton. Award winning roasters of excellent organic Fairtrade coffee. Open 7 days 9am - 5 pm. Good food and NZ's best coffee.
Live Music Venues
- Dux Live, 363 Lincoln Road (behind the Mobil Station), Addington, Christchurch 8024
- Pierside, 3 Brighton Mall, New Brighton, Christchurch 8061
- Wunderbar, 19 London Street, Lyttelton. Located just out of the city in the harbourside town of Lyttelton. Another great live venue for kiwi musicians, also hold regular poetry nights. Definitely the bar with the best (and most interesting) decor in the Canty area.
- darkroom, 336 St Asaph Street, Christchuch (central)
- FOR A LIST OF MUSICAL ACTS, PLAYS AND OTHER ENTERTAINMENT IN VENUES THROUGHOUT CHRISTCHURCH SEE: nzlive
- the roxx climbing centre Cnr Waltham road and Byron Street (about 30 mins walk from Square or 10 mins by bus. Over 100 top rope & lead climb routes; dedicated bouldering area with marked problems.
- YMCA climbing wall, 12 Hereford Street, in the central city.
- South Island Surfing Company Beach end of New Brighton Mall, New Brighton. Learn to surf with Dave or Trish. Lessons for beginner and intermediate surfers. Summer and winter.
- One hour of internet access at an internet cafe usually sets you back NZ$2
- Wifi hotspots are limited but are becoming much more widely available.
You can find free wifi at all Christchurch City Libraries (opening times). Just bring your wifi-enabled computer and accept the license terms upon launching your browser. Note: Several libraries are closed to earthquake damage or they are inside the exclusion zone. Similar free wifi services available in the foyer of the Hoyts movie theatre at Riccarton Mall, however, there are no power sockets available so you must run your laptop off battery. Many of the Esquire Coffee Houses offer free wifi for their customers. Store locator guide
A lot of pubs and bars offer free wireless internet to patrons. You usually need to obtain the password from the barperson upon buying a drink.
- MetroInfo - Bus timetables and routes.
Cash Fare - Single Trip $3.20 - Includes one free transfer within 2 hours
Metrocard - Single Trip $2.30 - Includes unlimited free transfers for the first 2 hours
All Day Travel Pass (with Metro Card) - $4.60 is the maximum you pay per day for as many trips as you like
- Bicycling is a great way to get around within the central city (it being flat as a pancake with biking lanes on most of the main arterial roads). There are numerous mountain biking tracks on the nearby Port Hills and in Bottle Lake Forest at Waimairi Beach/North Shore.
Christchurch has a temperate climate. In summer temperatures range from 15 - 35 degrees Celcius but most commony between 20 - 25 degrees during the daytime and around 9 - 15 at night. Winter temperatures are above freezing except when there are early morning frosts when it can be down to -5. It snows in Christchurch only once or twice each winter and the snow quickly melts.
Updated weather forecasts are available from the following sites:
Banks Peninsula or Horomaka is a large peninsula immediately south-east of Christchurch. It is now officially a part of Christchurch city. When you look at a map of New Zealand Bank's Peninsula is the big bump half way down the right hand side of the island. features sheltered bays, sandy beaches, bush clad valleys, rocky coastline and high, wild places. Boating, tramping, a visit to the wineries and the harbourside village of Akaroa are key peninsula attractions. Akaroa is a beautiful town 1.5 hours drive from Christchurch. A popular holiday town it has a good sized permanent population. Settled for a short time by the French the town plays up to that by having French street names and a faux-Frenchness about just about everything.
There are a few CouchSurfers living on Horomaka but no easy way of locating them. You can only find them by looking through all the Christchurch CS profiles.
- The Peninsula is of volcanic origin - Lyttelton Harbour and Akaroa Harbour are old craters. The peninsula has a rugged coastline with many deep bays and the two large harbours. Many beaches ranging from boulder to shingle to sandy.
- Located by the beach in Birdlings Flat is Wharehapuku art studio and gallery owned and operated by local CS host Ian Robertson. Birdlings Flat is a small oceanside community just off the highway to Akaroa from Christchurch - just before you get to Little River.