The city of Christchurch has a long and rich history, one that is currently in a new phase as it rebuilds from the major 2011 earthquake that shook the city and surrounds. It’s a large city worth exploring with your Christchurch Airport car rental. To learn more about Christchurch’s heritage, look into options such as the ones outlined below.
Journey through Christchurch’s city centre on board an impeccably restored heritage tram. Drivers provide commentary about landmarks and attractions – take in the Canterbury Museum, Cathedral Junction, gothic architecture and various other city sights. Get on and off as many times throughout the day as you fancy, whether it’s for punting on the Avon or to stroll through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. The begins at New Regent St finishing inVictoria Square, with 10 different stops along the way.
Riccarton House is billed as Christchurch’s premier heritage attraction. It comprises two restored historic buildings – Riccarton House and Deans Cottage – set in lush gardens and parkland, ringed by the Avon River. The 12 hectare reserve is just 3.5 km from Christchurch’s city centre. In the 1800s it was home to the pioneering Deans family – the first Europeans to settle in the Canterbury Plains. Take a guided tour, walk through the bucolic native bush – a 10 minute walk takes you to a grove of tall 600 year old kahikatea trees – and take lunch or afternoon tea in the rose studded courtyard or the Drawing Room restaurant.
Think of Christchurch and you invariably picture the river Avon. Gliding down the water is an iconic and eco friendly Christchurch activity that shouldn’t be passed up. Summer or winter, you can climb aboard a hand crafted, flat bottomed boat, poled along by a skilled punter in traditional Edwardian clothing at the rear of the vessel. Tours travel from the historic Antigua boat sheds, through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, or alternatively, from the heart of the city through the growing Avon River precinct and various other city developments that make up the rebuild effort. Return trips take about 30 minutes; all tides are shared rides but you can book exclusive private tours for your party as well.