Flying into Ōtautahi Christchurch airport this summer? Awesome! From here you can plan all sorts of kid-friendly things to do with the family during the school holidays.
Christchurch City offers something for everyone. Home to incredible parks and gardens to wander the day away in, as well as a thoroughly modern retail and eatery precinct, there’s also plenty of exciting activities to keep the kids entertained.
Here’s our top 10 picks for fun, thrills and laughter in Christchurch these summer school holidays!
1.Grab a car rental from Christchurch Airport
The first stop you need to make on arrival at Christchurch Airport is to get yourself a rental car. Christchurch is very spread out, from the coast to further inland, and if you want to see everything that’s on offer, you’ll want a reliable set of wheels to get you (and the kids) around the place.
It just so happens we have a large selection of quality rental cars here at NZ Rent A Car.
2.Explore the International Antarctic Centre
This attraction is ideal for a wet summer’s day, because it’s all inside! Or with its chilly temperatures, it might be a nice reprieve from the heat. At the International Antarctic Centre you can experience real snow and ice, while surviving an indoor Antarctic storm. There’s also plenty to learn, from all about life at Scott Base as well as meeting little blue penguins, riding on the Hägglunds amphibious Antarctic vehicle, watching a film in a 4D theatre and lots more.
3.Take a ride on the Christchurch Gondola
If you like breathtaking views, then a ride on the Christchurch Gondola is just what the day ordered!
While ascending to the summit, you’ll enjoy an incredible 360 degree panorama of the city, Lyttelton Harbour, the Southern Alps and the sprawling Canterbury Plains. And once you’re at the top, you can explore the walking tracks, learn more about the history of the region on the Christchurch Discovery Ride and enjoy a bite to eat at the Red Rock Cafe.
4.Take a ride on the Christchurch Tram
No visit to Christchurch is complete without a ride on the tram, where you can get around the city in style, while also taking in some sightseeing. The beautifully-restored heritage trams are free for kids and only $30 for an all-day adult pass, allowing you to hop-on and hop-off wherever you’d like.
5.Visit Orana Wildlife Park
Home to New Zealand’s only gorillas, Orana Wildlife Park gets you up close and personal with a range of exotic wildlife – you could hand feed a giraffe, come face-to-face with a white rhino, meet a kiwi and experience the amazing lion encounter.
At only 15 minutes drive from Christchurch Airport, Orana Wildlife Park is definitely one for the holiday itinerary.
6.Kayak the Avon River
The beautiful Avon River meanders right through the heart of Christchurch, and if you’re up for a bit of an adventure, there’s plenty of options to get you on the water! From single and double kayaks, to paddle boats, row boats or Canadian canoes, the choice of vessel is yours.
Or, if something more leisurely takes your fancy, a punt ride may be the way to go. Your authentically attired punter will pole you along the river, while sharing interesting anecdotes about the city.
7.Take an Akaroa Nature Cruise
Here’s another fantastic day trip for the whole family – exploring the historic French village of Akaroa and spending two hours cruising on a comfortable catamaran, while being wowed by everything nature has to offer.
You may encounter Hector’s dolphins (the smallest and rarest marine dolphins in the world) as well as New Zealand fur seals, coastal birds and more. From culture to heritage and adventure, this trip has it all!
8.Ride a zipline at the Christchurch Adventure Park
The Christchurch zipline is the highest, and longest zipline in New Zealand! Which means maximum thrills for all who give it a go. Soar 150 metres above the ground while taking in the sights and surrounds of Christchurch and the Southern Alps. And if the kids love it during the day, maybe they’ll want to give it a go at night for something a little extra special – if they dare?
9.Conquer the aerial obstacle course at the Adrenalin Forest
If you’re looking to take the kids to some great heights, the aerial obstacle course at the Adrenalin Forest is certainly not for the faint hearted! There are six levels to conquer, all while suspended between two and 25 metres off the ground. From swings to wrecking balls and flying foxes, this is guaranteed to be an exciting day out.
10.Take a ride in a jet boat
The Springfield Adventure Park has three awesome options, all with speed firmly on the agenda. You can choose from the Braided Shallows, considered the home of jet boating, a Canyon Safari which offers spectacular scenery while you’re holding onto the edge of your seat, or jump aboard the Alpine Airboat – New Zealand’s first commercial passenger AirBoat that skims across the shallows of the Waimakariri River.
Looking for free things to do in Christchurch? Download our quick guide for all the inspiration you need!