Things to Do in Christchurch for Couples
Gorgeous gardens, historic trams and scenic train journeys, Christchurch is a city where couples can enjoy some of the more traditional-yet-charming romantic experiences of New Zealand. You’ll get a good dose of the metropolitan lifestyle with boutique cinemas, indulgent restaurants and cocktail bars. Saying that, there’s always room to escape the city, whether it’s on a wine tour or tackling one of the nearby hikes together. Plan things to do on your romantic retreat, honeymoon or date night with this list of the most romantic activities in Christchurch.
For more things to do in Christchurch for couples, see The Honeymoon Guide to Christchurch.
1. Experience Punting on the Avon River
Arguably, the most romantic thing to do in Christchurch is punting on the Avon River. Join Christchurch Attractions for a gentle 30-minute float on a flat-bottom boat as you pass willows lining the riverbank and ducks on the water (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). With your punter dressed in traditional costume using a long pole to propel the boat along the river, this is a truly unique experience that exists nowhere else in New Zealand.
Location: 2 Cambridge Terrace
2. Walk Hand-in-Hand Through the Botanic Gardens…
The picturesque themed gardens that make up the Botanic Gardens is a fine example of Christchurch’s beautiful grounds that have given the city the nickname of the “Garden City”. Smell the roses in the rose garden, observe beautiful water features, or even take a picnic using the services of Christchurch Luxury Picnics who curate irresistible hampers and picnic displays in your chosen Christchurch location. Learn more about the city’s gardens in the 10 Beautiful Gardens & Parks in Christchurch.
Location: Access off Rolleston Avenue. Car parks on Riccarton Avenue and Armagh Street.
3. … Or Hike to the Top of the Port Hills
If you’re more of an active couple, head to the Port Hills for the tremendous scenery. Hike to the top of the Port Hills on the Bridle Path, which is a steep two-hour return walk but offers breathtaking vistas of Christchurch, the Lyttelton Harbour, the Banks Peninsula and all the way to the Southern Alps on a clear day. If you don’t fancy walking, you can always take the Christchurch Gondola (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) to the top.
Location: Bridle Path car park, 10 Bridle Path Road, Heathcote Valley, approximately 9km (6 miles) from Christchurch city centre.
4. Indulge in a Wine Tour of the Waipara Valley
Go from boutique winery to boutique winery, sampling the unique terroir of the Waipara wine region on a guided wine tour. Companies like Leisure Tours (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) and Cheeky Wine Tours (Viator and Tripadvisor) offer affordable small-group wine tours, while NZSI Tours & Travel (Viator and Tripadvisor) offers private wine tours should you want to keep things more intimate. Learn more about the wineries in the 10 Wonderful Wineries in the Waipara Valley.
Location: Christchurch accommodation pick-ups are offered.
5. Wander Around the Picturesque Mona Vale
A popular wedding venue, Mona Vale is one of the most romantic corners of the city. These elegant gardens consist of beds of roses, irises, mature trees and sloping gardens ideal for a romantic picnic or a short stroll. The grounds are also home to a gorgeous homestead and lodge, a bathhouse and fernery offering endearing travel photos for your honeymoon or romantic escape.
Location: 40 Mona Vale Avenue, Fendalton, approximately 4km (2 miles) from Christchurch city centre.
6. Snuggle Up at the Back of a Boutique Cinema
While going to the cinema doesn’t sound like the most imaginative idea for date night, the boutique cinemas in Christchurch offer something pretty special. Lumière Cinema sits in the grand building of the Christchurch Arts Centre opposite the Botanic Gardens. Pick up a cocktail, wine or craft beer from the Bijou Bar with some gourmet chocolates, cheese platter or gelato to complement, while sitting in the plush and spacious chairs in one of the two cinemas. Alternatively, pick a movie from Alice in Videoland, a DVD rental store (yes, really) stocking an unusual range of foreign and art house films to take back to your romantic accommodation in Christchurch. They also have a boutique cinema.
Location: Lumière Cinema – 26 Rolleston Avenue. Alice in Videoland – 209 Tuam Street.
7. Dress Up for a Night at the Theatre
In true city spirit, enjoy an evening of the arts at one of the theatres and music centres in Christchurch. There’s a show going on most nights at the Isaac Theatre Royal, which is set in a grand heritage building of ornate interiors that are bound to make you “wow” even before seeing the show. For music-lovers, try The Piano: Centre for Music and Arts showcasing musical arts at least a couple of times a week.
Location: Isaac Theatre Royal – 145 Gloucester Street. The Piano – 156 Armagh Street.
8. Enjoy a Scenic Train Journey on the TranzAlpine
Often ranked as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, the TranzAlpine train journey makes a picturesque transition from the lush Canterbury Plains to the mountainous Southern Alps (find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor). Either get off for a few hours in Arthur’s Pass in the heart of the Alps or journey all the way to Greymouth for the full experience. Activities like guided hikes in the Arthur’s Pass National Park or sheep farm visits can be organised through Canterbury Trails (Viator and Tripadvisor) and Leisure Tours (Viator and Tripadvisor).
Location: Christchurch Railway Station, Troup Drive, approximately 5km (3 miles) from Christchurch city centre.
9. Book a Table-for-Two on the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant…
Combine your evening meal with a memorable experience on the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Cosy up at a window seat and indulge in a four-course meal of New Zealand cuisine while seeing the sights of the inner city, including the lush Botanic Gardens and the gentle waters of the Avon River. It’s that simple!
Location: Cathedral Junction, 109 Worcester Street.
10. … Or Treat Your Loved One to Date Night at One of Christchurch’s Romantic Restaurants
For a more traditional date night or honeymoon treat in Christchurch, book a table at one of the city’s romantic restaurants. A good go-to is along “The Terrace” lining the Avon River with an array of restaurants, such as Crockett for its European-style sharing plates, Amaterrace for a Japanese teppanyaki experience, or Amazonita for charcoal-grilled cuisine combined with creative cocktails. Elsewhere in the city, enjoy the atmospheric dining room and plush seating of the TMR Restaurant & Bar serving New Zealand cuisine. On the funky New Regent Street, find Story offering an intimate dining experience with a three- or two-course set menus reflecting seasonal ingredients. For more restaurant recommendations, check out The Foodie Guide to Christchurch.
Location: Crockett – 122 Oxford Street. Amaterrace – 134 Oxford Terrace. Amazonita – 126 Oxford Terrace. TMR Restaurant & Bar – 161 High Street. Story – 8 New Regent Street.