Inspiring Views Around Christchurch
Arguably the best view of sunset in Christchurch is from the Port Hills
After spending some time exploring Christchurch and surrounding area, you'll see that the region has some of the best views in New Zealand. In Christchurch you never have to go far to find a good view of the beach. Some of the best can be found within a twenty minute drive, so pack a picnic, grab your jandals and don't forget the sunscreen.
Head to New Brighton, where you'll find the New Brighton Pier. This 300 metre long pier is popular with both fishermen and families, and offers a windy view over the water. Stop in at Salt on the Pier which is located at the pier terminus on Marine Parade in New Brighton. Here you can relax and enjoy views of both the pier and the pacific.
Take a drive to Corsair Bay in Lyttelton Harbour which is a secluded little beach. For a stunning view of Taylor's Mistake and Whitewash Head make your way to Scarborough Hill, or grab some fish and chips and enjoy them on the beach in Sumner.
Sign of the Kiwi
Arguably the best view of sunset in Christchurch is from the Port Hills. Drive along Summit Road and stop at the Sign of the Bellbird. On Dyers Pass road you will find the Sign of the Kiwi which is also a fantastic place to view the sunset, and often you will see the red, pink, and purples that are so prevalent in Christchurch.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens is an oasis in the city with beautiful gardens to enjoy. It's well worth taking a guided punting tour along the Avon River. Bottle Lake Forest is a great place to go horse riding, or simply take a stroll and enjoy the many marked paths. For a relaxing day with the kids, take a picnic to The Groynes where you can lounge under a shady tree and watch the dogs in the dog park.
For those who like to fish, head an hour south from Christchurch. The Rakaia River is the best river for salmon fishing in the South Island, so make sure you visit in February or March before getting a photo with the giant fiberglass salmon in the local park.
Victoria Park is a local's favourite and it's where you will find a panoramic view of the city. Located at the end of Colombo Street, gates open at 7.30 am so get there early to beat the crowds and make sure you bring your camera.
Take a ride in the Christchurch Gondola from the base station in Heathcote Valley to the summit station at the top of Mt Cavendish. The trip takes around ten minutes and you will be treated to views of the city, Southern Alps, Canterbury Plains and Lyttelton harbour.One of the best views of the mountains can be found from the John Britten Reserve on Summit road in Mt Pleasant.
Only 90 minutes drive east of Christchurch, Akaroa is a charming, French-influenced harbour town in the heart of the Banks Peninsula. Located in the middle of a volcanic crater, the harbour is home to seals, rare Hector’s dolphins, penguins, birds, and much further out to sea, whales.
If you have a day or two, take the Tranz Alpine from Christchurch to Greymouth for views of the Southern Alps, the Waimakiriri River Gorge, and Arthurs Pass.
Grab a seat on the right side of the train on the way there for the best views, and make sure you spend some time in the open-air viewing platform for some spectacular photo opportunities. The ride takes four and a half hours. From Greymouth, it's just over two hours drive along the wild and untamed West Coast to the spectacular Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier, a further 30 minutes drive.
Mount Cook National Park
To view New Zealand's highest mountain, head to Mount Cook National Park. Located four hours from Christchurch and one of the best places to take a scenic flight over the pristine alpine environment, you will also find glaciers, hiking trails and many different native species of birds and plants within the park.