Christchurch Frequently Asked Questions

We've created a list of Christchurch and Canterbury frequently asked questions to help you with your trip to this region.  For additional information you can also refer to our 'Christchurch Useful Info' and 'Useful Numbers' sections for more details. 

When is the best time to visit?

Christchurch and the Canterbury region enjoy a dry, temperate climate with less rain than many other major cities of New Zealand.  The average temperature in summer (December to February) is 22.5C (72.5F), while in winter (June to August) the temperatures averages 11C (53 F). 

How do I get there?

Christchurch International Airport is a 30 minute drive west of the city centre.  The port of Timaru has an airport taking daily domestic flights from many other New Zealand cities.  Christchurch is a 4 hour drive from Nelson, 6 hours from Queenstown and 4.5 hours from Dunedin. Refer to our Christchurch Driving Distances to see the driving time from all areas of the South Island. Bottom Bus, Kiwi Experience, Southern Link and Intercity operate frequent coach services into Christchurch.

The TranzAlpine Express departs Greymouth on the West Coast to Christchurch on the East Coast.  The daily trip travels via Arthur's Pass. The TranzCoastal train connects to Picton at the top of the South Island where you can take the ferry to Wellington.

How do I get from Christchurch Airport into the town centre?

Various taxi companies operate from the airport terminal for a trip to the city centre.  A 20 to 30 minute shuttle can transfer you to all parts of Christchurch and is available from various companies.  The Airport Flyer Bus costs $7 for an adult single and takes about 30 minutes.

Where can I take a punting trip on the River Avon? 

Punting of River Avon operates from Antigua Boat Sheds, 2 Cambridge Terrace.  They operate from 10.00am until 4.00pm, 7 days a week. 

Where are the medical centres?

There are 15 hospitals located in the Canterbury region.  Christchurch Hospital, the largest, is situated on Riccarton Avenue - 03 364 0640. View the Canterbury Hospital Directory.

What are the numbers to dial in case of an emergency?

Police, Fire and Ambulance = 111

AA Emergency Road Service – 0800 500 222

You can also refer to our ‘Useful Numbers’ list

What’s the currency?

The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) is divided into 100 cents. Coins consist of 10c, 20c and 50c.  Notes consist of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100

What’s the Time Zone?

Christchurch is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and two hours ahead of Sydney.  The clocks are put forward one hour for daylight saving, from October to March.

What are the electrical specifications?

The electrical current is 230/240 volts, 50 hertz.  Many hotels provide 110 volt AC sockets for electrical razors. Power outlets accept flat, 2 or 3 pin plugs.

What clothing should I bring?

The summer months are warm where shorts and t-shirts will be suitable. However, it’s always advisable to take out layers with you to suit changing conditions.  Once the sun goes down it does get cooler so an extra layer will be fine.  Check out our Christchurch Weather Forecast to see monthly temperatures and a 5 day forecast. Mount Olympus is a 70 minute drive to Windwhistle then a further 45km drive to the resort. If you are based at Methven it's onyl a 20 minute drive.

Where can I go skiing?

The closest ski field to Christchurch is Porters, at Springfield with a 1 hour 20 minute drive. Mount Hutt is a 90 minute drive from Christchurch although many choose Methven as their base which is only 45 minutes from the resort. The Craigieburn Range is 90 minutes from Christchurch along Highway 73. The Mount Cook Mackenzie region offers three different snow fields and the Tasman Glacier for something different -  Fairlie is 2 hours 15 minutes from Christchurch and is the base for Mt Dobson.  Tekapo is 3.5 hours drive from Christchurch and is the base for Roundhill Ski Resort.  Lake Ohau is 4.5 hours drive from Christchurch and is the base for Ohau Snow Fields.