Plan a Premium Trip to Christchurch
The South Island’s largest metropolis goes by many names: The Garden City, The Most English City Outside of England, and so on. Locally, it’s simply known as Christchurch, a sprawling and vibrant hub with an inspiring story of resilience in light of the Canterbury Earthquakes. Additionally, the city is surrounded by iconic South Island attractions, from the peaks of the Southern Alps to the beaches lining its shores. This makes Christchurch an idyllic base for exploring New Zealand if you’re on limited time. If you have the luxury of time, however, then Christchurch can provide the luxury. Find out how with the most premium tours and lodgings in this luxury travel guide to Christchurch.
Premium Tours and Activities in Christchurch
- Take to the skies in a luxury helicopter excursion
- See the sights of Christchurch in a VW Combi
- Indulge in a Waipara wine tour
- Explore the South Island highlights on a private tour
- Ride Scenic Plus Class on the renowned TranzAlpine
- Feast on a four-course gourmet meal on the historic Christchurch Tramway
- Soak in the scenery from a hot air balloon
- Take a timeout with a luxury spa day
- Do a multi-day luxury trip of the South Island starting from Christchurch with The Road Trip
- Be treated to fine dining in the city centre.
For elaboration on each experience, see the 10 Luxury Activities in Christchurch.
Luxury Adventure Activities
Yes, even in the city, there are some spectacular adventures to be had, many of which by helicopter with Christchurch Helicopters. Enjoy a short excursion to the snowy peaks of the Southern Alps on the Southern Alps Taster tour (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or try flying a helicopter yourself on the Trial Flight experience (Viator and Tripadvisor). 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 (Viator and Tripadvisor). All tours feature insightful commentary from local pilots.
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.
As for other Christchurch adventures, you’ll find them combined in the all-weather section below or in the 10 Luxury Activities in Christchurch.
Luxury All-weather Activities
Whatever the weather is doing, exploring Christchurch and its surrounding wine regions and landscapes are well worth doing from the comfort of a luxury vehicle.
Explore the boutique wine region of the Waipara Valley, just outside of Christchurch, on a private guided tour. Join NZSI Tours & Travel for a hassle-free excursion to the Waipara wineries including four different wine tastings and a gourmet lunch – see more details on Viator and Tripadvisor. 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. Find out more about this tour on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Want to see the sights of Christchurch? Do it in style with a vintage VW Combi tour with Carolines Kombi Tours. Offering a more personal touch, this private tour of the city enables you to discover the art galleries, Maori culture, history and more that many tourists miss. Get more information on Viator and Tripadvisor.
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 with “Scenic Plus Class” carriages featuring panoramic windows, takes you through the lush Canterbury Plains to the mountainous wilderness of the Arthur’s Pass National Park. Either journey all the way to Greymouth in the wild West Coast (check out tickets on Viator and Tripadvisor) or stop off in Arthur’s Pass village to enjoy the short walks before embarking on the journey back to Christchurch.
For more all-weather inspiration, head to the 10 Things to Do in Christchurch on a Rainy Day.
Fine Dining in Christchurch
What Christchurch lacks in luxury adventure activities, it certainly more than makes up for in fine dining. If looking for that special place to celebrate a big occasion, or simply because you’re only going to be in Christchurch once, these are the fine dining establishments well worth booking a table.
Inati (48 Hereford Street) is a fine dining restaurant with cuisine designed to be shared. Showcasing quality Canterbury cuisine, the menu dips into the earth, land and sea for a comprehensive gastronomical experience.
Impeccably-presented plates in a restaurant adorned in fabric draping down the walls, Chillingworth Road (478 Cranford Road) offers a European bistro experience in elegance.
For something a little different, dine on Christchurch’s beautifully restored historic tram-turned-restaurant as you travel the city. The Christchurch Tramway Restaurant (13 Cathedral Junction) serves a four-course gourmet dinner of New Zealand cuisine paired with a welcome drink and hot drinks after your meal. Check out Viator and Tripadvisor for more information on this experience.
Other honourable mentions include Bloody Mary’s (30 Latimer Square), 50 Bistro (50 Park Terrace), Yamagen Japanese Restaurant (53 Victoria Street) and The George (50 Park Terrace).
For more recommendations, browse The Foodie Guide to Christchurch.