10 Luxury Activities in Christchurch© ChristchurchNZ
10 Luxury Activities in Christchurch

10 Best Luxury Experiences in Christchurch

© ChristchurchNZ

Luxury Activities and Tours in Christchurch

For many of us, we’re only in Christchurch once. With that in mind, you might want to make the most of it by treating yourself to some of the most exclusive and premium tours in Christchurch. Whether your style is a private tour to the South Island highlights or something special like taking to the skies in the hot air balloon, there’s something to suit discerning travellers in the South Island’s largest city. Find the most idyllic tours and activities in this list of the best luxury experiences in Christchurch.

For more on planning a trip with luxury in mind, also take a look at The Luxury Guide to Christchurch.

1. Take to the Skies in a Luxury Helicopter Excursion

Ideal for travellers on limited time on the South Island or who want to simply do something epic, Christchurch Helicopters offers thrilling helicopter excursions to the South Island’s highlights and hard-to-reach places. Land on the snowy peaks of the Southern Alps as part of the Southern Alps Scenic tour or try flying a helicopter yourself on the Trial Flight experience. You can even fly as far as New Zealand’s longest glacier, the Tasman Glacier, and enjoy a glacier landing to the backdrop of the country’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook, on the Mt Cook Experience. All tours feature insightful commentary from local pilots.

Alternatively, soak up the views of Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula on a 20-minute scenic helicopter flight with Garden City Helicopters. They also offer a helicopter trial flight should you want to be a pilot for the afternoon, while their helicopter wine tour is a unique way to visit the Waipara vineyards – more on that below.

Location: Christchurch Helicopters – 25 Aviation Drive, Harewood Aviation Park, Christchurch International Airport, approximately 15 km (9 mi) from Christchurch city centre. Garden City Helicopters – 73 Grays Road, Yaldhurst, approximately 12 km (7.5 mi) from Christchurch city centre.

10 Luxury Activities in Christchurch© Christchurch Helicopters

2. Indulge in a Waipara Wine Tour

Explore the boutique wine region of the Waipara Valley, just outside of Christchurch, on a guided wine tour. Join NZSI Tours & Travel for a hassle-free excursion to the Waipara wineries including four different wine tastings and a gourmet lunch. What’s more, the private tour is entirely for you. Alternatively, Cheeky Wine Tours offers more social yet small-group wine tours of the region to various cellar doors with lunch, snacks and fine wine included.

Location: Christchurch accommodation pick-ups are offered.

10 Luxury Experiences in Christchurch© ChristchurchNZ

3. Explore the South Island Highlights on a Private Tour

Sit back in a luxury Mercedes 4WD mini-bus and relax as you hit the highlights of the South Island on a private tour. Maossie Tours can get you to iconic attractions and landscapes with ease, whether you want an excursion to Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula to see the little blue penguins or an alpaca farm or Mt Sunday and The Lord of the Rings filming location including a Clysdale horse wagon ride. Whatever you choose, your passionate and knowledgeable Maori guides will help you make the most of your time in Canterbury.

Location: Departure from the Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue or pick-up is available from local accommodation.

10 Luxury Activities in Christchurch© Maossie Tours

4. Ride Scenic Plus Class on the Iconic TranzAlpine Train Journey

For sightseeing with a difference, jump onboard the TranzAlpine for one of the world’s most scenic railway journeys. Starting from the Christchurch Railway Station, the journey takes you through the lush Canterbury Plains to the mountainous wilderness of Arthur’s Pass National Park. You’ll have no issue seeing it all as you relax in carriages with panoramic windows while dining on New Zealand cuisine and regional wines in “Scenic Plus Class”. Either journey all the way to Greymouth in the wild West Coast (check out tickets Viator and Klook) or stop off in Arthur’s Pass Village to enjoy the short walks before embarking on the journey back to Christchurch. Canterbury Trails also offers guided walks, lunch and afternoon tea in Arthur’s Pass between your train journeys.

Location: Christchurch Railway Station, Troup Drive, approximately 5 km (3 mi) from Christchurch city centre.

10 Luxury Activities in Christchurch© Kiwi Rail

5. Feast on a Four-Course Gourmet Meal on the Historic Christchurch Tramway

After your welcome drink, you’ll sit down in a beautifully restored Christchurch Tramway Restaurant for a scenic journey of Christchurch city centre while indulging in a gourmet four-course meal. Dine on New Zealand fare with a menu including lamb shank, locally-farmed salmon, and more paired with regional wines. After your meal and enjoying the views of the Botanic Gardens and the Avon River on a relaxing journey through the city, your dining experience concludes with tea or coffee. Plus, for more activities like this, see the 20 Romantic Things to Do in Christchurch.

Location: Cathedral Junction, 109 Worcester Street.

10 Luxury Activities in Christchurch© Christchurch Tramway Restaurant

6. Soak in the Scenery from a Hot Air Balloon

Another, perhaps more unique, way to take the skies is on a hot air balloon ride with Ballooning Canterbury. Soak in the scenery of the vast Canterbury Plains without engine noise, without obstructions. Drift with the wind as you float over lush pastures lit up with the golden glow of the sunrise. At the end of the experience, you’ll be treated to chilled Champagne, orange juice and a seasonal fruit platter.

Alternatively, Adventure Balloons in the nearby town of Methven also offers incredible ballooning experiences. Find out more on Viator and Klook.

Location: Ballooning Canterbury – 2136 Bealey Road, Hororata, approximately 55 km (34 mi) from Christchurch city centre. Christchurch accommodation pick-up is offered. Adventure Balloons – Main Street, Methven, approximately 95 km (59 mi) from Christchurch city centre.

10 Luxury Activities in Christchurch© ChristchurchNZ

7. Escape to the Hills of the Banks Peninsula on a Guided Hiking Excursion

Soak in the scenery and enjoy hiking without having to bring all your own heavy equipment with Crater Rim Walks. After a morning pick-up and 30-minute drive, start your walk with the backpack, walking poles, food and bottled water included. Your knowledgeable guide will share fascinating insights into the volcanic-formed scenery you’re observing, as well as give you access to photo opportunities that you wouldn’t find on your own. The experience also includes morning tea and lunch, of course, with a magnificent view.

Location: Christchurch accommodation pick-up included.

10 Luxury Experiences in Christchurch© Crater Rim Walks - Viator

8. Take a Timeout with a Luxury Spa Day

If you find yourself in Christchurch on a rainy day, it might be a good excuse to hit the pause button and relax with a spa treatment. You have some spectacular day spas to choose from, including Lotus Day Spa amidst the picturesque Swan Lake Gardens. Alternatively, Moss Spa is conveniently located in the city centre and offers an array of spa and beauty treatments in a contemporary yet elegant setting.

Location: Lotus Day Spa – 9 Ernlea Terrace, Cashmere, approximately 4 km (1 mi) from Christchurch city centre. Moss Spa – 49A Salisbury Street.

10 Luxury Activities in Christchurch© Pixabay

9. Treat Yourself to a Multi-Day Luxury Trip of the South Island Starting from Christchurch with The Road Trip

Travelling around the South Island doesn’t have to be about squeezing onto a coach or figuring out the drive yourself. The Road Trip specialises in private luxury tours of the South Island, with plenty of multi-day tours starting from Christchurch. Enjoy the freedom of experiencing New Zealand the way you want to with the guidance of your private driver-guide, who can be as involved in your tour in New Zealand as you want. The tours include all breakfasts, some meals and accommodation in four-star hotels and lodges.

Location: Christchurch i-SITE/Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue.

10 Luxury Experiences in Christchurch© Jack Austin - ChristchurchNZ

10. Be Treated to Fine Dining in the City Centre

If looking for that special place to celebrate a big occasion, or simply because you’re only going to be in Christchurch once, there are fine dining establishments well worth booking a table at. Inati is a fine dining restaurant with cuisine designed to be shared with quality Canterbury cuisine and a menu dipping into the earth, land and sea. Impeccably-presented plates in a restaurant adorned in fabric draping down the walls, Chillingworth Road offers a European bistro experience in elegance. Other honourable mentions include Bloody Mary’s and 50 Bistro at The George. For more recommendations, browse The Food Guide to Christchurch.

Location: Inati – 48 Hereford Street. Chillingworth Road – 478 Cranford Road. Bloody Mary’s – 30 Latimer Square. 50 Bistro – 50 Park Terrace.

10 Luxury Experiences in Christchurch© Nancy Zhou - ChristchurchNZ

[CLOSED] See the Sights of Christchurch in a VW Combi

Want to see the highlights of Christchurch? Do it in style in a vintage VW Combi (camper)! A private tour with Caroline’s Kombi Tours brings a more personal touch, incorporating aspects of the Maori culture. Discover the art galleries, history and more that many tourists miss with your passionate local tour guide. The experience lasts approximately three hours.

Location: Departure from the Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue or pick-up is available from local accommodation.

More Luxury Experiences in Christchurch

That’s it for the best luxury experiences in Christchurch. For more about Christchurch that might not necessarily fall into the “luxury” category but still might prove useful, take a look at these guides:

Find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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