Looking to inject a little excitement into your next Christchurch visit? Hop into a Hertz Christchurch Airport Car Rental and make your way over to one of these attractions to get up close with some wildlife, from the mundane to the magical. From zoo encounters to horseback riding to alpaca petting, Christchurch offers many opportunities to escape the concrete jungle.
Love horses? Icelandic Rides has rides from 1 to 3 hours in groups of up to four, for all ability levels, along a tidal lagoon, the beach and in the forest. Small but strong, Icelandic horses can carry even large adults and are easy to handle, with a friendly demeanour. Bookings are essential as departure times vary based on the tides. It’s less than half an hour north of Christchurch city by car. Closed on Mondays.
For a truly unique experience, look no further than Shamarra Alpaca Farm in Akaroa, near Christchurch. Wander through a herd of more than 70 alpaca, lead an alpaca on a halter, then browse the shop full of handcrafted alpaca products, including items made from their fleece. The farm is 200m above Akaroa Harbour and enjoys stunning panoramic views. Drinks and home baking are complimentary.
15 minutes drive from Christchurch Airport, Orana Wildlife Park is New Zealand’s only open range zoo. You could hand feed a giraffe, get up close with lions, meet endangered native wildlife like kea and tuatara and pet domestic animals in the farmyard.
Combining conservation, culture and local food, Willowbank is not just a wildlife park. There are brown kiwi for the viewing, an award winning restaurant, a pre-European Maori village and interactive Maori cultural experience, including authentic kapa haka.
This animal park offers a look at New Zealand native flora and fauna, including a unique perspective through nocturnal and twilight bush walks. Experience kowhai, silver ferns, tui, fantails, bellbirds up close. You can also feed lamb, milk goats and collect eggs – just like on a real farm. For city kids, this is a chance to experience a slice of life on the other side of the fence.