THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN AND AROUND CHRISTCHURCH 

Gondola 

An unmissable Christchurch experience, the Gondola offers stunning unique views of the city, Lyttelton Harbour and beyond from the summit station situated at the top of the Port Hills.  

Take in the spectacular 360-degree views and see Christchurch from a different perspective: gaze at the snow-capped Southern Alps, sprawling Canterbury Plains and the sparkling waters of Pegasus Bay and the Pacific Ocean. 

Christchurch Tram 

The Christchurch Trams offer a unique experience combining history and sightseeing. The beautifully restored heritage trams are one of the city’s best loved attractions. 

Explore the best of the central city from the 17 stops enroute: the Canterbury Museum & Botanic Gardens, Turanga and Margaret Mahy Playground are must-visit spots. The friendly and knowledgeable drivers will keep you updated about the latest city changes in their informative live commentaries. 

Punting on the River Avon  

An iconic Christchurch activity not to be missed. Admire the beautiful Christchurch Botanic Gardens or the changing face of the citycentre as you are expertly guided gently along the Avon River on the Edwardian-style punting tour. 

Punting tours are set aboard handcrafted flat-bottomed boats, poled along by your punter from the platformedtill at the rear end of the boat. Punting on the Avon is an eco-friendly way to relax and enjoy Christchurch from a different perspective. 

International Antartic Centre 

Explore Antarctica at this award-winning visitor destination. 

Hägglund Field Trip 

Enjoy a 15-minute adrenalin-filled taste of the challenges driving across, through and over the icy continent. You’ll be aboard the Hägglund, an amazing all-terrain amphibious Antarctic vehicle that’s been built to conquer the rough terrain on the ice. 

This unique tracked machine delivers an incomparable passenger experience. You’ll feel what it’s like for scientists in Antarctica as they travel across the ice, up and down hills, over crevasses and through water. 

Storm Dome 

To experience an Antarctic storm up close and personal, you can either embark on a grueling expedition south to the ice. Or you can step through the door into the incredible indoor storm room to see what everyone (and their teeth) are chattering about. 

This safe indoor polar storm room is chilled to -8 degrees Celsius and buffeted by a -18°Celsius wind chill machine. Every hour a chillingly realistic Antarctic storm blows through and you’ll be happy to shelter in an ice cave (make sure you have brought a warm jacket) - they provide you with overshoes. 

After the Antarctic Storm you can also let your hand take the ‘Polar Plunge Challenge’ and experience icy cold Antarctic water (if you think you’re cool enough). 

Penguin Rescue 

The kororā (or Little Blue Penguin) is New Zealand’s smallest penguin and we think it is the cutest. Whether scuttling over rocks or diving for food, these incredible birds are small in stature but big on entertaining.  

Humans, dogs and other pests are all responsible for a negative impact on the survival rates of the Little Blue Penguin. As a result, their numbers in the wild are in decline, and their conservation status is ‘at risk.’ That’s why they only house rescue penguins at the International Antarctic Centre. 

Penguin Rescue is New Zealand’s first combined indoor/outdoor penguin viewing area. It can hold up to 26 Little Blue Penguins and allows visitors to view the penguins in a Banks Peninsula natural-themed environment. 

Each day at 10:30am and 3pm, it’s feeding time. Choose to watch the feeding from the outdoor viewing area or downstairs in the pool auditorium. At both spots, you’ll get a good view of the table manners (or lack thereof) of these cute little birds. 

The International Antartic Centre also has visiting Huskies and an amazing 4D theatre experience where you will be shaken, jolted and sprayed.  Over the course of a short film, you’ll be wobbled in your seat, have mist and wind blown into your face, feel things grabbing at your legs and see incredible 3D sights on the screen. 

Cardboard Cathedral 

The "Cardboard" Cathedral opened after the devastating earthquakes of 2011 damaged the old Cathedral. It was one of the first new buildings to be constructed after the quakes and has become an icon of the city that is on every visitor's "must see" list. In the heart of the city, it is an extraordinary space. The walls are waves of cardboard drawing the eyes upwards and the roof is a thin translucent skin. It is one of very few buildings in the world made substantially of cardboard, and certainly the only cathedral. 

Akaroa 

Akaroa is New Zealand's only French settlement and still enjoys a distinct French charm. Akaroa's beautiful harbour is set in an ancient volcanic crater and is home to some rare native wildlife including Hector's dolphins, little blue penguins and fur seals. Settled by the French in 1840 there is a scenic lighthouse, quaint cottages, galleries and cafes. 

Dolphin Cruise 

Hector’s dolphins are only found here in New Zealand, and they are the world’s rarest and smallest oceanic dolphin. Sail with these dolphins from Akaroa harbour  on New Zealand's oldest ketch Fox II. Learn about local history and the help crew if you want. With two wooden masts and sails there is always a halyard to hoist or a sheet to be pulled. A three-hour tour with historic narration, complementary fresh brewed coffee, tea, homemade hot chocolate and biscuits. You are guaranteed to see dolphins and maybe penguins, albatross and seals, visit Cathedral Cave, see a waterfall and giant cliffs. 

The Giant’s House 

A historic Akaroa house with original contemporary artworks, terraced gardens with sculptures, mosaics, ceramics ... a creative sensory, quirky, colourful feast...a unique creation by artist Josie Martin.  

The garden is a seriously playful, extraordinary wonderland, with a fully integrated combination of art works and gardens. 

The Giant's House has featured on top television programmes and in numerous house/art/garden magazines. The house has many extraordinary features - a grand entrance hall with mahogany staircase imported from France, original open fireplaces, beautifully proportioned rooms, a conservatory with mosaic floor, a large sunny sheltered verandah, quirky bathrooms, bright yellow farmhouse kitchen, comfortable large bedrooms with unique artistic features and artwork throughout. 

At The Giant's House you will be pampered, and stimulated, in surroundings that will uplift your soul. It is a very special experience, quite 'out of this world'. 

Positive, colourful - it will make you smile. Seriously playful yet charming and elegant. 

The Giant's House has been awarded as a Garden of International Significance since 2018, and National Significance since 2012. 

 


















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