Christchurch may not be the biggest city in New Zealand, but it’s far from dull. It’s a culture centre with plenty to offer visitors. Don’t make the mistake of confining yourself just to the central city either; there’s much to be enjoyed further out (Christchurch is more spread out than you might think) and a car rental from Hertz can help you in getting from point A to B. Here are a few of the top events to look out for this year that you might want to time your visit with.
A lineup of local, national and international musicians are scheduled to play Christchurch in April, including the legendary Bonnie Raitt. Our own Nathan Haines, along with Warren Maxwell, Mark Vanilau and Louis Baker will also grace Christchurch. The series is rounded off with two of our finest jazz singers, Jennine Bailey and Naomi Ferguson, along with Irish songstress Mary Coughlan, playing tributes to Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Etta James.
Plus, there’s a lunchtime series spotlighting Maori folk music, and a special New Orleans-themed dinner – ‘Food, Wine and All That Jazz’. Most of the performances are being held at the Geo Dome in Hagley Park in the city, and run from April 3-7.
The SCAPE 7 Biennial of Public Art is a top public art event on the New Zealand calendar. As part of the Biennial at least 10 temporary artworks, and one permanent legacy artwork, will be installed at various city locations. A public walkway will also include artworks from previous SCAPE Biennial events, an education and community engagement programme and a series of public events.
The SCAPE 7 Biennial is a free event, and is being curated by Blair French, the New Zealand-born executive director of the Artspace Visual Arts Centre in Sydney. Together with an advisory group, he’s working to ensure the commissioned art is relevant to Christchurch. The event runs from September 20-November 2.
Perhaps the biggest event on the Christchurch calendar is Cup and Show week. It’s quite an experience to be in Christchurch during this time. It’s a week of racing thrills, agriculture, entertainment, fantastic fashion and plenty more.
New Zealand Cup and Show Week involves key events at three venues – Riccarton Park Racecourse, Addington Raceway and Canterbury Agricultural Park. Alongside the races are best dressed competitions on many days (with prizes to be won). The rest of the city also comes alive on the retail and dining front. If you’re in town for the week, consider looking into Christchurch car hire options for getting around.