Flights to Christchurch
Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand and due to its history as an English settlement, much of the older architecture as well as names of places are very English!
Flights to Christchurch from South Africa are available with Qantas, Emirates and South African Airways from Johannesburg. With Qantas, two stops are required at Perth, then Sydney, before reaching Christchurch. With Emirates there is just one stop via Dubai. The fastest route is with South African Airways to Sydney, then Air New Zealand to Christchurch.
From other cities in South Africa you generally have to get a connecting flight through Johannesburg first.
Book a Flight To Christchurch:
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The Tourist Attractions of Christchurch:
The most visible landmark in Christchurch is Christchurch Cathedral and the Square. This is an angelical cathedral which was finished in 1904 and is in the centre of the city. The cathedral is open for viewing daily and there is further information about it in the city visitor centre in the old post office building.
Outside, the Square is a good place to people-watch and listen, or ignore, the various public speakers and preachers!
Exhibits within the Canterbury Museum give an interesting look at both Maori and colonial history, as well as natural history and an Antarctic exploration display, though for an even more impressive Antarctic display, visit the International Antarctic Centre. This has many exhibits about science missions to the Antarctic along with a simulated Antarctic experience complete with polar weather and a ride on an all-terrain vehicle! You can also see penguins here, though if you’re interested in animals there are several other attractions in Christchurch where you can see some.
The Orana Wildlife Park is the largest wildlife sanctuary and conservation project in New Zealand and features endangered species from around the world, whereas the smaller Willowbank Wildlife Reserve concentrates on native species including the kiwi.
For more kiwi viewing, try the Southern Encounter Aquarium and Kiwi House in the Cathedral Square where there is viewing of nocturnal brown kiwis in addition to a walk-through aquarium with native fish and sea-life.
To see more species which are indigenous to New Zealand, the Botanic Gardens has over 30 hectares of indigenous as well as exotic plants. This, and the neighbouring Hagley Park, is a very pleasant setting on the Avon River. Talking of the Avon River, you can enjoy a ride along this is an old fashioned English punt!
Christchurch is separated from Lyttleton Harbour by the Port Hills and you can go up the Port Hills be a variety of means, including the Christchurch Gondola. This gondola, which you can reach by shuttle bus from Cathedral Square, takes you up to the summit. There are wonderful views from here of Christchurch, as well as the Southern Alps and Lyttleton Harbour. In addition you can view the Heritage Time Tunnel and enjoy nature walks.
Lyttleton itself is an attractive port town which is worth taking a visit to. It is very different to Christchurch and if you’re there on a Saturday go to the Lyttleton Farmers Market which is a great place to stock up on some local fresh produce, honeys, cheeses and home-baking amongst other things.
When Should You Visit?:
Christchurch has a temperate climate, which means it never really gets too hot or too cold! The January average daily high is 22.5C, whilst July’s average daily high is 11.3C, and a low average of 1.9C.
Precipitation falls year round, though is highest in the winter between May and August. The month with the lowest rainfall is February, with 39mm, whilst July is the highest with 79mm.