Christchurch, New Zealand’s largest South Island centre, otherwise known as the Garden City, is a main connection and destination with the majority of travellers visiting the lower half of the country arriving via Christchurch Airport. During the winter, Christchurch fills with skiers headed to the slopes while the summer sees more tourists stick around for the nightlife, culture and some of the city’s heritage.
With so much to do and see around the South Island, getting your own transport can really make your stay a lot more enjoyable. A lot of visitors choose to book a car hire in Christchurch airport to make getting around easier – if you don’t want to be constantly thinking about taxis, buses and how you’re going to get to your next destination, a rental car is a great idea.
While you’re in Christchurch, take some time to explore the city’s heritage parks and gardens. Each unique in its own way, they all offer the city something different.
Riccarton Bush is one of two pieces of forest that remained after huge fires swept through Canterbury during the moa hunting period and is the only one still standing after the piece in Papanui was cut down in the 1850s. A fence to keep out predators surrounds the patch of forest that is filled with tall, proud kahikatea trees. Take a walk through the forest with a guide from the Riccarton House & Bush and learn about the history of the area.
The largest park and open space in the city, Hagley Park to the west of Christchurch’s CBD is a must-visit. With a golf club and frequent events, circus visits and festivals, there’s a lot more to do than just walk around while you’re there.
Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens lie within Hagley Park, sprawling for more than 21 hectares themselves. Home of beautifully and well-maintained exotic and local plant life, there’s nothing like a relaxing amble through the Botanic Gardens during a warm summer’s day. Watch the woodpigeons, see more than 250 different types of rose in the Rose Garden and stop off for an ice cream at the cafe near the playground.
Edmonds Factory Garden
Created by Thomas Edmonds, famous all over New Zealand for his popular baking powder brand, Edmonds Factory Garden was an incredible place to visit. Displays changed every year, lawns were incredibly well manicured and visitors were always walking through. From 1923 when the garden was planted until the 1990s, it was the pride of the many different gardeners who worked on it until the main building was razed to the ground and the factory itself demolished to make room for a petrol station. With help from the locals and Linwood High Students, Edmonds Factory Garden in Phillipstown has been restored to its former glory and is once again properly maintained.
If you’re planning a trip to Christchurch for a weekend, a week or just as part of your journey around the South Island of New Zealand, make sure you visit some of the gardens and parks that the city is so proud of. Get the most out of your time in the Garden City with a rental car and see more during your stay.artwall