24 Hours in Christchurch

Our top tips for how best to spend 24 hours in Christchurch

Now that you’ve booked your mountain bike tour in New Zealand with us you need to begin planning your travel to Christchurch, and the start point of your South Island adventure.

We always recommend that you arrive at least one day before your adventure begins to allow for any travel or luggage delays. It’s also good to acclimatise to local time and recover from your journey before you start turning the pedals.

To help you make the most of your extra time in the South Island, we’ve pooled our collective local knowledge to create this handy city guide for how best to spend 24 hours in Christchurch before you set off on your fantastic mountain bike tour in New Zealand.


To kick off your 24 hours in Christchurch and get your blood flowing, do as the locals do, and take a walk through Hagley Park.

Once you’ve worked up a bit of a thirst, why not head to Re:START Container Mall, which was born from the need to breathe new life into the city after the devastating earthquake of 2011. This outdoor retail centre, made entirely of shipping containers, is now a thriving hub where you can shop, drink coffee, have lunch, and do a spot of people-watching.


To get a feel for how the city is regenerating itself, take a tram tour of the city to see the rebuild in action.

After that, you can get a bird’s eye view of the city and the surrounding Canterbury Plains, by taking the gondola to the top of Mount Cavendish. Here you’ll be able to see all the way to the Southern Alps, and you can even get your fix of culture by taking the Time Tunnel tour, which gives an overview of the history of the region.


A quick stop back at your hotel and then it’s out on the town for food and some local nightlife.

For great local food, drink and live music and entertainment, head to Strange & Co, near Hagley Park.

4 Local Phrases

‘Kia Ora’ ; A greeting in the Maori language, meaning ‘hello’

‘She’ll be right’; ‘Everything will be okay’

‘Yeah, nah’; A very vague Kiwi way of saying ‘no’

‘Rattle your dags’; A reference to sheep, meaning ‘hurry up’

Accommodation Options

Christchurch has the mix of modern hotels and quirky guesthouses you can expect from a large city.

To help your planning, here are a few of our favourites;

Merivale Manor

Chateau on the Park

The Pavilions Hotel

Christchurch Transport Links

Christchurch international airport is located about 30 minutes’ from the city centre, and here are some tips on how to get to the city by public transport:

Bus – Regular Metro Red Bus services connect the airport to the city centre and many other locations in Christchurch. Both the Purple Line and the Number 29 buses go via the city centre. You can buy your tickets from the driver. Both buses depart from the northern end of the International Arrivals Hall, between the terminal and the long-term car park (exit through door 9 past the Vodafone counter).

Private shuttleSupershuttle offer a private transfer service to take you from the airport to your hotel in Christchurch.