Fly To Christchurch, New Zealand
A lot has changed in Christchurch since the quakes a few years ago, but the city has bounced back with remarkable aplomb. It’s fast becoming one of the most exciting cities on New Zealand’s South Island, with entrepreneurialism and ingenuity adding some serious quirkiness to the traditionally English ambiance.
Without losing sight of its cultural heritage, Christchurch is embracing innovative and modern concepts in its reconstruction, bringing a futuristic edge to what is still, essentially, a picturesque, garden city.
Find the cheapest flights to Christchurch from South Africa using the online search tool above, and experience the incredible positive energy that pervades this resilient city in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Visa Requirements and SA Embassy Details
- South African Passport holders don’t need a Visa to visit Christchurch, or anywhere else in New Zealand, for up to 90 days. Just make sure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 3 blank pages available for entry stamps.
- The South African High Commission to New Zealand is situated in Wellington. Level 7, State Insurance Building, 1 Willis Street, Wellington, 6011. Phone: + 64 4 815 8484.
See and do
That English charm is still evident in Christchurch’s public spaces, with punts floating up and down the Avon River, and picnickers enjoying the gardens and parks. The heart of the city, however, is not quite as bucolic, despite its goal of remaining a “city within a garden”.
One of the best examples of the new edge that has sharpened Christchurch’s image is the use of shipping containers as a way to kick-start rebuilding in the city. Far from being harshly industrial, the colourful steel boxes have been modified into chic spaces that house everything from bars to book stores. The Re:START mall is a fabulous example of this trend, and a great place to find high fashion, good coffee and free Wi-Fi. Pick up gifts and souvenirs from Christchurch classics like Scorpio Books, and support the local industries in their efforts to rebuild.
If you’re looking for more traditional tourist attractions, there are still museums, galleries and reserves aplenty. Try the Christchurch Art Gallery or the Canterbury Museum, or visit the International Arctic Centre for something a little different. The Earthquake Tour is also a great experience, allowing visitors into otherwise off-limits areas where some of the historic Christchurch architecture is still undergoing repair.
Christchurch is a flat city and fairly compact, which makes bicycles both a convenient and popular form of transport. The dedicated bike lanes and simple grid layout are easy to navigate, but keep an eye open for the numerous one-way streets. If you’re heading further afield than comfortable on a bike, renting a car, or using the bus system is probably a better bet. The buses have improved in recent years, but can still be infrequent in some areas.
Christchurch International Airport – CHC
Food and beverage: Espresso to GO, Long White Café, South Bar & Café, The Coffee Club, and Underground Coffee Company.
Currency Exchange: Travelex has stores in the International Terminal of Christchurch International Airport. They also offer online pre-purchased foreign exchange to save you time.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Contact (03) 353 7749 for items lost or found within the airport, or visit the Airport Services desk.
Airport Hotels: None on site. Nearby: Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport, and Copthorne Hotel Commodore.
Car Hire: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty, Back Packer, Britz, Explore More, Maui Rentals, GO Rentals, and Jucy Rentals.
Airport Hub: Christchurch International Airport (code CHC) is a hub for Air New Zealand.