Going Out

Going out

Student Discounts

Student Discount Information

A range of shops, movie theatres and transport operators offer student discounts. Where student discount information is not obvious, ask if the business you’re purchasing from has a discount offer before paying.

ID Cards

Buying Liquor

If you are buying liquor or entering a place which serves liquor you will be required to show evidence that you are over 18 (minimum age). It is advisable not to use a passport (which is expensive to replace and an important document to keep safe).

HANZ 18+ Card

The Hospitality Association NZ card is an approved photographic Evidence of Age Document under the Sale of Liquor Act, and enables young people to prove that they are over 18 and entitled to purchase alcohol.


Hot Tip

Coffee in New Zealand is popular anytime and there are many cafes to satisfy the café culture! Start your day with an early morning hit, meet a friend later for an iced coffee, then enjoy a smooth hot chocolate after a long day studying. Served in single or double shots, common coffee types include:

Cafe LatteCoffee shot/steamed milk/milk foam
Flat whiteCoffee shot/steamed milk
CappuccinoCoffee shot/steamed milk/milk foam
EspressoCoffee shot
MacchiatoCoffee shot/milk foam
Long blackCoffee shot/hot water
Hot chocolateChocolate syrup/powder/steamed milk
Black TeaTea/hot water
White TeaTea/hot water/milk

Things to Do In and Around Christchurch

Lonely planet rates Christchurch a top 6 city

Lonely Planet listed Christchurch as number 6 in their top 10 cities to visit in 2013. The city is reinventing itself after the earthquake, and every week new venues and activity spots are opening up to accommodate, entertain and engage the growing population.


Tips and Facts

Hot Tip: for great discounts on activities and trips go here.
Fun Fact: Canterbury has 41 golf courses (including one in Hagley Park). South Canterbury has the highest number of courses per capita in the southern hemisphere.

10 favourite places to visit

City Tour

Take a tour around the city and get involved with the Gap Filler city projects. View the website for more.

Air force Museum

Explore history by going to the Air force Museum of New Zealand, which holds the collection of the Royal New Zealand Air force(RNZAF). View the website for more.

Quake City

See an active liquefaction volcano and learn about the science of earthquake at Quake City. View the website for more.

Antarctic Centre

Journey through The Antarctic without leaving Christchurch at the International Antarctic Centre. View the website for more.

Hagley Park

Walk, ride or rollerblade through Hagley Park, the world’s third-largest city park, visit the Botanic Gardens and enjoy a picnic in the vast park area.
View the website for more.

Wildlife Parks

Feed a giraffe and watch lions being fed at Orana Wildlife Park, or see kiwis in a natural environment at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.


Play golf (or mini golf) on our world-class courses.

Avon River

Go punting or paddling on the Avon River. View the website for more and check out for great rates.

Port Hills

Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Port Hills, including trails to hike and mountain bike around. Find out more about the Port Hills and Walking Tracks.

The Beach

Swim, surf and body board on any one of the many beaches close to Christchurch including New Brighton, Sumner and Taylors Mistake. In New Zealand, you should swim in the areas patrolled by Surf Lifesavers to be safe. Flags indicate patrolled areas.

Event Calendar

International Student Event

Sport and Recreation

Casual Sport and Recreation

There are a number of places to go where you can play sport casually. Some of the cheaper options include:

Christchurch City Council community facilities.
The YMCA has well priced recreation options available at a city and suburban venue.

Organised Competitive Sport

If you want to join a sports team to play in local competitions, you can:

Try out for a team at your school/institution.
Join a club team which will have people from the community.


Movie Theatres

In New Zealand, movies are also called the pictures, films or cinema. Show your student card and you will get a student discount. It’s also cheaper to go during the day or on Monday or Tuesday. Cinemas include:
Hoyts Cinema.
Reading Cinema.
Academy Gold Cinema.
Hollywood Cinema.

Videos and DVDs

You can hire videos and DVDs from video shops. It is usually free to join a video shop but you need proof of your name and address before they give you a membership card. Look in the Yellow Pages under “Video Libraries”.


The Court Theatre is a professional theatre company offering a range of entertaining plays. It is also the home of Scared Scriptless, a late night improvised theatre group.

Other productions occur around the city at different times of the year.For information look in the “Entertainment” section of the newspaper or go to the Christchurch Visitor Centre in Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

Art Galleries

Christchurch Art Gallery is the largest art institution of the South Island and is the home of one of New Zealand’s most important public art collections. It has been closed since the earthquake although some collections are open to view in venues around the city. For more details and news on its re-opening, click here.

The CoCA Gallery is a centre of contemporary art and exhibits a wide range of art from New Zealand and overseas. It is currently undergoing repairs after the earthquake. For information and updates, click here.

Canterbury Museum

Visit the Canterbury Museum and learn about the cultural and natural history of New Zealand and Canterbury. One popular exhibit is a replica of a 19th century Christchurch street. The museum is open 9am to 4.30pm every day except Christmas Day and Good Friday (Easter).

Botanic Gardens

Right next to the Canterbury Museum, the Botanic Gardens has a large collection of exotic and indigenous plants including a tropical plant house (which is a good place to visit on a cold day!). The gardens are a good place for a walk or picnic with friends

Outdoor Activities, Beaches & Water Sports

Here are some ideas for outdoor activity options

Regional Walks
There are many walks and hiking trails in the Canterbury region. For a list of routes, tracks and trails, click here.

There are a number of ski fields located between 1.5- 2 hours drive from Christchurch. Some fields are commercial and have chairlifts; others are club fields and use rope tows. To find information on skiing go here.

Mountain Biking
You can hire mountain bikes or buy them new or second-hand at reasonable prices. There are many mountain bike tracks around Christchurch. To find out information on mountain biking, click here.

Canterbury is well known for salmon and trout fishing. Before you set off with a rod and reel, you need to obtain a fishing licence and to check when the fishing seasons are go here.

Other Outdoor Activities
Rock climbing and abseiling, kayaking, windsurfing, rafting, jetboating, horseriding, skiing and snowboarding, paragliding, skydiving, hot air ballooning, bungy jumping, and sailing. For more information go here.

Beaches & water sports

Christchurch has many beaches ideal for swimming. If you enjoy boogie boarding, surfing or paddling there are also beaches with good waves. Taylors Mistake and Sumner beaches are popular for both swimming and surfing. On the east coast there are many patrolled beaches starting at South Brighton and continuing north into Brighton, Waimairi and further up the coast.

The estuary is a unique water sport playground with windsurfing and kite surfing as well as a sailing (yachting) club.


Watching Top Level Sports

Passionate about sports

Christchurch people are passionate about their sports teams and the region has many high performing teams. The Crusaders are a world famous rugby team – to get an understanding of NZ culture and passion, attend a game. The following table lists Canterbury’s top teams playing in national competitions and where they play. Visit the website for a schedule of when their home games are on.

SportTeam NamePlay at
RugbyThe CrusadersAMI Stadium (95 Jack Hinton Drive in Addington)
CricketThe Canterbury KingsHagley Oval at Hagley Park
NetballThe Canterbury TactixCSB Arena in Addington
BasketballThe Canterbury RamsCowles Stadium (210-220 Pages Rd in Wainoni)
FootballCanterbury United DragonsASB Park in St Albans

Wine Experiences

Well known for our wines

New Zealand is well known for its wines and there are a wide number of grape varieties planted throughout the country. While the major French varieties dominate, there has been increasing experimentation and success with other styles of wine.



Christchurch/South Island is the newest member of the Great Wine Capital Network of 9 wine capitals around the world. It’s made up of five renowned wine regions: Central Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough, Nelson/Tasman and Waipara Valley.


Day Trip Ideas

Lots of places to visit

There are lots of places to visit around Christchurch each offering a different experience.

This is a fishing town located 2.5 hours north of Christchurch by road. It has become hugely popular for its whale watching, dolphin watching and swimming with dolphins and seals. You can also get there by train from Christchurch.


Hanmer Springs
This thermal resort is 2 hours’ drive from Christchurch. As well as soaking in the hot pools, and pamper spa packages on offer, there is horse trekking, forest trails, rafting, bungy jumping, jet boating, golf and skiing in winter at a nearby ski field.


Banks Peninsula and Akaroa
Historic, French-flavoured Akaroa is 1.5 hours’ drive from Christchurch. The settlement has quaint houses, museums, interesting craft shops and galleries, cafes, launch trips, horse riding, a herb farm, wineries and at Barry’s Bay, a cheese factory.


Arthurs Pass
This mountain township is about 2.5 hours’ drive from Christchurch. You can also get there by train. Once there you can go skiing, climbing, tramping, walking, camping and picnicking. There are youth hostels, backpackers, motels and bed and breakfast places to stay.


Travelling outside of Christchurch

Handy tips for traveling around New Zealand

If you plan to do some traveling around New Zealand during your stay here are some handy tips. For other travel enquiries around New Zealand check out this page.

For air travel throughout New Zealand, there are two main domestic airlines. It can be expensive getting flights close to the time of travel so try to plan and book early.

Air New Zealand: This is the main airline with most flights. They have “Grab a Seat” offers which provide heavily discounted seats for flights booked in advance. Visit the main website.

Jetstar NZ: Jetstar flies to the main destinations. Although their schedule of flights is less frequent, Jetstar offers cheaper fares for later bookings. Visit the main website.

Buses are a convenient option for day trips or longer journeys – especially when you travel to places where there aren’t airports. For bus travels in New Zealand see below:

Intercity Bus.
Naked Bus: offering cheap inter-city bus fares from $1 nationwide.
Atomic Shuttles: offering discount fares.

Rental Cars
Tourists and visitors often underestimate the challenge of driving in a new country. New Zealand roads offer spectacular scenery but distances between towns can be longer than anticipated and many roads are quite difficult. Drivers should be prepared.


There are two routes operating from & to Christchurch:

TranzAlpine: Recognised as one of the great train journeys of the world, the route travels between Christchurch and Greymouth and traverses the Southern Alps. Visit the main website.

CoastalPacific: This is the train to Picton and connects with the inter-island ferry that takes passengers and vehicles between the North and South Island. Visit the main website.

If you want to drive up to the North Island, you should take the ferry across the Cook Strait, click here to find out how.

Hot Tips
Couchsurfing is the practice of moving from one house to another, sleeping in whatever spare space is available, floor or couch, generally staying a few days before moving on to the next house. It’s one of the best ways to minimize your travel expenses while making new friends. To find out more click here.

A holiday house is a great option for accommodation if you travel with a group of friends for trips in and outside of Christchurch. Visit for your holiday home options.