One of the first things you should do upon getting to Christchurch is sorting out your transport. Hertz offers car rental at Christchurch Airport as well as car rental in Christchurch, giving you maximum choice, flexibility and freedom. And once you’ve arrived safely and gotten your bearings, it’s time to to sink your teeth into all the city has to offer. Here are some of the more interesting options on offer.
Christchurch’s rebuild will be a long process, and the central city remains shattered in certain parts. Bus tours offer an insight into what happened during the earthquakes and how the city is changing. You’ll get to enter parts of Christchurch such as Cathedral Square that usually closed to the public. Included is video footage and commentary from a Canterbury Museum guide. The Red Zone tours operate seven days a week and run for 30-40 minutes. Tickets are $15 per person.
There are so many things to see and do in Christchurch, it’s hard to know where to start. You might opt to find a cheap car hire (Hertz can provide you with car rental, Christchurch Airport or car rental Christchurch) and create your own sightseeing route. Or you could book a tour; there are plenty of tour operators, each with their own itinerary. One especially interesting way to tour Christchurch is on a bike. Christchurch is flat and has plenty of cycle-ways, so it is perfect for biking, even for novices.
Bikes come with baskets for your belongings and helmets. Guided tours start from $40 for two hours and take in top sights like the pop-up Re:START Project, part of the red zone cordon, the Antigua Boatsheds, Botanic Gardens, Christchurch Arts Centre, Christ’s College, Hagley Park and Mona Vale Gardens. Farmer’s market bike tours, gourmet food bike tours and custom tours are also available.
Some call it a cable car, while others know it as a gondola. Either way, it’s hard to beat the experience of soaring over Christchurch and the stunning views of city, mountains and ocean.
The Christchurch Gondola whisks you nearly a kilometre in just 10 minutes to the Crater Rim in the Port Hills, a collapsed crater of an extinct volcano. The ride stops at both summit and base; walking down from the top takes about 45 minutes. At the top, you’ll find the Time Tunnel, a reconstruction of the history of the Port Hills and Christchurch. The Red Rock cafe offers snacks and drinks to sate the appetite you’ll have worked up.
A shuttle bus makes return trips from the city centre, or if you drive, allow half an hour for the journey. Parking is available. Adults $25, children under 5 $12, families $65.