Christchurch is a wonderful city where you will find plenty to see and do without ever having to venture outside it. However, it is also surrounded by beautiful scenery, and if you have your own transport, there are some excellent day trips that you may want to make.
The drive to Kaikoura via Waipara is beautiful with striking views and will take you just under 3 hours.
Here you will be able to head out on a boat trip to spot whales, dolphins, seals, and albatrosses. You can also take a Maori tour to discover more about their fascinating culture. Seafood is very much on the menu here, so try the crayfish, which is especially good.
Wine is the main attraction in the Waipara Valley, which is one of the best wine-producing regions in New Zealand, and is known all over the world. There are plenty of vineyards to choose from, where you can enjoy cellar door tastings and find out about the wine-making process. The landscape on the drive here is also spectacular.
Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
The drive here is stunning, and if you can arrange a car rental in Christchurch, you will be able to make the journey with ease. You will find yourself passing the natural wonders of lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, as well as stunning alpine scenery. Mount Cook is the tallest mountain in New Zealand, and you will be able to see it for yourself when you visit the national park. Even if you don't want to scale the mountain, you will find plenty of walking trails to enjoy, which will take you through the heart of this stunning scenery.
Akaroa is quite close to Christchurch, and you should be able to make the drive in no more than 90 minutes. It is a pleasant seaside town that is well known for its French heritage. You will also find excellent seafood to enjoy, and one of the highlights is to take a harbour cruise to see the dolphins.
This pleasant town, in alpine settings, is well known for its thermal pools, hot springs and spas, making it the perfect place to relax and chill out. However, there are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, including; mountain biking, bungee jumping, rafting, and horse trekking. It is no more than two hours away from Christchurch, making it an easy day trip.
Arthur's Pass National Park is an excellent destination for a day trip. This is a great place for hiking and you will find yourself surrounded by stunning scenery, including waterfalls, rivers, mountains, and gorges. There are some easy walks to enjoy, or you could go on a mountain biking trip instead, if you want something a bit more active.
See the Best of Christchurch's Surroundings
Christchurch is a great destination in itself, but you should not miss seeing some of the nearby attractions. Hiring your own vehicle is the best way to get to most of these places, but many tours are also operating, so you will not have trouble seeing them. So get out and about and make the most of your time while you are in Christchurch.
Angela Hallberg is passionate about seeing the world. She especially enjoys sharing her insights into beautiful and unexpected places near and far.