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How to Spend 2 Days in Christchurch

How to Spend 2 Days in Christchurch

Two days in Christchurch means you can cover plenty of ground in the Garden City. Delve into the city center with a variety of sightseeing options by bus and beyond. Whether you hop on a heritage tram, horse, or scenic train, there’s plenty to see. Below are some options for maximizing time on your 2-day stay.

Day 1: In and Around Town

**Morning:**Sightseeing by double-decker bus is a great way to get your bearings. Hear narration about Christchurch’s rebuild following the devastating earthquakes, with the opportunity to hop off and learn more at stops including Quake City. A sightseeing pass includes the Christchurch Tram, Gondola, and Botanic Gardens with a punt (boat) ride.

**Afternoon:**Devote the afternoon to animal antics at the Penguin Encounter at the International Antarctic Centre, or observe New Zealand’s endangered national bird—the kiwi, of course—in its nocturnal habitat at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Choose a tour with meal options and round-trip transport provided from hotels for convenience.  

**Night:**Settle in for a 4-course dinner and a nearly 3-hour tour of city lights aboard the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant. Take a window seat on the heritage tram and discover the evening views. It’s elegant, but Christchurch-casual, dining and sightseeing at its best. 

Day 2: Easy Escapes

**Morning:**When you’ve had your fill of city highlights, it’s time to head for the hills. You have your choice of traveling by horseback, helicopter, or railway. Trot alongside Waimakariri Canyon, view the Banks Peninsula from above, or hop on the TranzAlpine Train for Arthur's Pass via the Southern Alps.

**Afternoon:**A quick escape from the city awaits. Swap your urban landscape for nature’s splendor with an outdoor adventure on the Waimakariri River, aka the Waimak. Jet boating takes you through scenic gorges and canyons. Alternatively, there’s time for a Hagglund snowmobile ride at the International Antarctic Centre. 

**Night:**If you opted to take the family to Willowbank, why not stay for dinner? A traditional hangi buffet is accompanied by evening entertainment with a Maori cultural performance of dance and music. It’s a great way to learn about New Zealand’s indigenous community while partaking in a traditional feast.

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7 Tours and Activities

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TranzAlpine Train Pass from Christchurch to Greymouth

TranzAlpine Train Pass from Christchurch to Greymouth

star-4.5
41
Ride a train through the Southern Alps on a remarkable scenic journey aboard the TranzAlpine Train. Choose between three different segments of the TranzAlpine Train route, then enjoy views of native beech forest, the powerful Waimakariri River, and Arthur's Pass National Park from a comfortable carriage or open viewing deck. For getting the history and context of the landmarks along the railway, GPS-triggered audio commentary is available on headphones at every seat.
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  • 4 hours 50 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$141.96
From
$141.96
Taking safety measures

Tramway Restaurant 4 Course Dinner Service through Christchurch

Tramway Restaurant 4 Course Dinner Service through Christchurch

star-4.5
91
Enjoy a 4-course dinner aboard the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant and travel in heritage style through the city center, round-trip from Cathedral Junction. Relax and enjoy views of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Avon River from your window-side table. The journey in this elegant restaurant on wheels includes a welcome drink upon arrival, with tea and coffee to accompany your gourmet meal, served by professional waitstaff.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$90.52
From
$90.52

Willowbank Kiwi Tour and Maori Concert Including Hangi Dinner from Christchurch

Willowbank Kiwi Tour and Maori Concert Including Hangi Dinner from Christchurch

star-3.5
12
Enjoy seeing a variety of birds and animals during a guided tour of the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, followed by an entertaining evening with the Ko Tane Maori cultural performance plus a buffet dinner. You’ll enjoy two popular attractions, including a traditional 4-course ‘hangi' meal followed by a short city tour of Christchurch at night. Round-trip hotel transport is included.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
From
$172.18
From
$172.18

Waimak Gorge Jet Boating from Christchurch

Waimak Gorge Jet Boating from Christchurch

star-4.5
8
Take a jet-boat ride on the Waimakariri River, locally known as ‘The Waimak,’ with round-trip hotel transport from Christchurch. Select whichever duration best suits your schedule: enjoy a 30-minute braided Blast on the Lower Waimak, a 30-minute Adventure tour through Waimakariri Gorge or a 1-hour Canyon Safari adventure full of thrills and spills — suitable for the whole family.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$106.24
From
$106.24

Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour

star-4
13
This guided tour from Christchurch includes a Hagglund snowmobile ride at the International Antarctic Centre and a dinner buffet at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Start with the Snow and Ice Experience and watch the antics of playful arctic birds at the Penguin Encounter, then observe both native and exotic animals — including the endangered kiwi bird — at the wildlife reserve after your five-course meal. Round-trip hotel transport is included.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
From
$172.18
From
$172.18

Rubicon Valley Horse Treks - 2 Hour River Trail Horse Trek

Rubicon Valley Horse Treks - 2 Hour River Trail Horse Trek

star-5
125
Enjoy a guided horseback ride at a high-country sheep farm in Springfield, outside Christchurch. This horse trek takes you on a riverside trail that is suitable for the entire family. Beginning or more experienced riders can walk, trot or canter past the Waimakariri River Canyon with views of the Southern Alps. Set out in the morning or afternoon in a small group of six people per guide.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$97.70
From
$97.70

Christchurch Scenic Helicopter Tour

Christchurch Scenic Helicopter Tour

star-5
10
Fly over Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula on a 20-minute helicopter tour that takes in city sights. From an aerial view, you’ll appreciate the scale of Christchurch’s devastation and recovery following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. Soar above the ruins of ChristChurch Cathedral and see the new sports stadium while the pilot comments on rebuilding efforts. See the suburbs of Sumner and Redcliffe, and view the port of Lyttelton.
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  • 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$183.17
From
$183.17
Taking safety measures