Christchurch serves as a gateway to the whole Canterbury region and is a wonderful place to begin your South Island journey. Booking a campervan with VroomVroomVroom is the perfect way to discover the city and surrounds. Visit the stunning Lake Tekapo, and see the stars from Mt St John Observatory. Methven and the Mt Hutt ski area is also a popular route from Christchurch, while a side trip to Aoraki Mt Cook is also worthwhile.
Christchurch is sometimes known as "The Garden City", and as the home of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park, it is not difficult to see why. For the more adventurous, test your courage by trying out the aerial obstacle course at the Adrenalin Forest. Alternatively, you can get a dose of full-throttle action by riding the Jet Thrills through the Waimakariri Regional Park.
Some of our favourite things to do year-round in Christchurch are:
Summer (December, January, February): There's nothing better than spending the day at the beach on a hot day. Located in the southwest of the city, Sumner Beach is a favourite escape among the locals, who like to spend their summer days basking at its beauty as they soak up the sun. Other popular beaches worth-visiting in and around Christchurch are Tumbledown Bay, Akaroa Beach, Taylors Mistake, New Brighton Beach, and Hickory Bay.
Autumn (March, April, May): Admire the vibrant foliage lining Avon River and take a leisurely walk through Hagley Park. The city is also the perfect starting point if you want to explore the south island of New Zealand because there are major airports nearby, plus the popular Christchurch to Queenstown road trip route that everyone needs to try at least once.
Winter (June, July, August): Enjoy your time at Christchurch skating rink located at Brougham Street or plan your visit to watch an action-packed Ice Hockey League game. Less than 2 hours by campervan from Christchurch, a visit to Hanmer Springs is a great way to spend your winter weekend. Visit the famous Hanmer Springs Hot Pools to relax and soak in the silky-smooth sulphur pool while admiring the view. Or if you want to hit the ski slopes, the area also offers great skiing opportunities, as well as several great hiking trails.
Spring (September, October, November): Wander into the central city to see what has been happening over spring. Usually, the flowers in the Botanic Gardens are in bloom during these months. Take this chance for some amazing photo opportunities or enjoy a lovely stroll through the gardens.
You can also head out of the city to enjoy wine tastings, delicious food and beautiful scenery at some of North Canterbury’s superb wineries.
Year-Round: Discover the best tourist attractions in Christchurch such as the Christchurch Adventure Park, New Regent Street, Christchurch Art Gallery, Bridge of Remembrance, The Victoria Clock Tower, Cardboard Cathedral, and Christchurch Botanic Gardens. A visit to Arthur's Pass also makes for a great day trip from Christchurch.
Christchurch Top 10 Holiday Park: Located on the outskirts of the city, this is one of the top campsites in the Garden City. Fitted with all your typical necessary facilities and providing bonus extras such as a giant jumping pillow, playground, indoor heated pool, private spa, library and games room, this park has something for everyone.
Amber Park: Awarded a Certificate of Excellence in 2014, this top-ranking campsite is just 15 minutes from the CBD. The park offers kitchen, laundry and bathroom facilities as well as a playground and BBQ area.
All Seasons Holiday Park: Ten minutes outside of central Christchurch, this cosy holiday park provides all the facilities you need, as well as a swimming pool, BBQ area, and playground. Have a comfortable stay at this holiday park.
John's Motel & Holiday Park: Just ten minutes north of Christchurch Airport is one of the top-ranked holiday parks in the region. Located near the Groynes Recreational Reserve, the park has travel facilities, a playground and entertainment options.
North South Holiday Park: Five minutes north of Christchurch Airport, find this holiday oasis lined with trees. The park caters to all your travel needs with laundry and kitchen facilities, plus the added bonus of outdoor swimming pools, and a children's playground.
Explore the Christchurch Botanic Gardens: Located in central Christchurch, the Botanic Gardens are a fascinating place to explore. Discover many different plant species, including many that are native to New Zealand.
Take a day trip to Hanmer Springs: Take a day trip to the alpine resort town of Hanmer Springs. You can walk up Conical Hill for amazing views, then soak in the hot pools to recover.
Take a stroll at Hagley Park: Close to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Hagley Park is deemed as the largest open space in the city. A visit to Hagley Park is a must as it hosts plenty of important events. It also offers a lot of recreational facilities for its visitors.
Visit the Christchurch Art Gallery: The gallery, which opened in 2003, is home to a substantial public art collection. It holds plenty of national and international exhibitions throughout the year from New Zealand and internationally based artists.
In most cases, you need to be at least 21 to rent a campervan. Some campervan rental companies will rent to those 18-years-old but an underage driver surcharge may apply.
No, you can drive a campervan with a standard driver's licence valid for one year. However, if your licence has expired, it will not be accepted at the depot. You will also need to present an International Driving Permit (IDP) if your licence isn't printed in English.
Only if your campervan is certified self-contained then you may be permitted to freedom camp in some areas of Christchurch. For more information on the prohibited freedom camping areas, check out the Christchurch City Council website.