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Flights to Christchurch
Christchurch International Airport, located 12kms from the city, is the air hub for South Island, serving around six million travellers a year. The airport hosts extensive domestic flights and several international routes to destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Singapore and Bangkok. Australian cites are well-served, with national flag carrier Air New Zealand offering flights to Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Brisbane, Qantas flying to Sydney and its subsidiary JetStar covering the Gold Coast as well as Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Pacific Blue for Virgin also operates the same three routes, giving plenty of choice for travellers looking for the best fares.
If you’re coming from one of the smaller Australian cities, many of which are served by JetStar, your flight might stop in Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney. Australian nationals arriving in New Zealand do not need a visa, nor do Australian residents holding a return entry visa or UK passport holders. Visitors in these categories are allowed to stay in New Zealand for six months. Other nationalities may be covered by the extensive visa waiver scheme, allowing a three-month stay on proof of an onward travel ticket and funds to cover the stay.
Transportation to Christchurch from the airport is by three separate bus services #3, #10 and #29, as well as by various shuttle bus companies and taxi firms. A good way to travel on holiday is by hire car, easily arranged at the airport and giving visitors the choice of where and when to go over the course of the holiday. Car rental in Christchurch is cheaper than in many other South Island cities and towns. If you’re planning to explore the island’s remote beauties, it’s essential as long-distance buses and trains tend to only cover the better-known destinations, resorts, towns and cities.
The wild beauty of New Zealand’s South Island has been a favourite with tourists for many years, with most arriving by air in the charming city of Christchurch. Most of the city and its green spaces are safe for visitors who wish to use it as a base for touring South Island, and its friendly people welcome visitors as warmly as before.
Everything possible is being done to restore the city’s heritage sights and its famous city centre tramway, most of which are set around Cathedral Square, although several of its greatest historic buildings including the once magnificent Catholic and Anglican cathedrals may take many years to repair. Other attractions such as the Botanical Gardens remain peaceful places although several of its buildings are closed.
The Air Force Museum is open, although the main Canterbury Museum may still be closed and the city’s Art Gallery as well as its historic Arts and Performance Centre complex is closed, awaiting structural reinforcement. The International Antarctic Centre is open, as is the Ferrymead Heritage Park. As regards accommodation, many of the bed-and-breakfast places, guest houses and smaller hotels are located away from the centre and are open for business.
Christchurch lies in South Island’s Canterbury province and is well served with bus and rail transport options to nearby cities and places of natural beauty and interest, with its airport providing domestic routes for longer journeys. Canterbury province is mostly flat plains running from the Conway River to the magnificent Waitaki River in the south and stretching from the Pacific to the western ranges of the Southern Alps. Ever-popular tourism destinations here include Kaikura for its whale-watching and Otago and Southland for the popular resorts of Queensland, with its dramatic mountain backdrop and scenic lake, and Wanaka for Mount Aspiring National Park.
Christchurch: Must See sites
Christchurch Maori and Colonial Museum
Air Force Museum
International Antarctic Centre
Orana Wildlife Park
Christchurch: When to go
Today's currency rate
SGD 1.00 = NZD 1.043
Temperature average in February
10.8 - 22.3°C
Rainfall average in February
Cheapest time to fly to Christchurch (CHC)
All prices refer to return flights to Christchurch and include taxes and charges.