Your new city

Your new city

Arrival – Christchurch information

Welcome to Christchurch

You have made a great choice in moving here. In 2013 Lonely Planet selected Christchurch as one of the 10 best cities in the world. Your new city – the second largest in New Zealand – was described by Lonely Planet as “re-emerging as one of New Zealand’s most exciting cities”.

You have the rare chance to experience the rebuild of an entire city centre during your study time here. You can visit the new bars, cafes, restaurants and shops that are popping up daily; engage in the festival and arts activity unfolding on empty sites and parks and participate in the lively debate that is shaping the way the new city develops.

Christchurch is reinventing itself as a vibrant, resilient, innovative and amazing city.

Already the scale of the rebuild project is gaining international attention and attracting talented professionals – in all fields – to experience the opportunities available. You will have the chance to work and study alongside leading architects, engineers, academics and professionals.

Fun Facts

Hagley Park, is the biggest city park in New Zealand and it is the third biggest city park in the world. It occupies almost 165 hectares in the centre of the city and is home to the Botanic Gardens, cycle ways, a golf course and numerous sports fields.
Christchurch is one of only 8 pairs of cities that are almost exactly on the opposite end of the earth from each other—If you were to start digging in Christchurch and continue straight through the centre of the earth, you’d wind up in A Coruña, Spain.

Christchurch has been the gateway to the Antarctic ever since Scott and Shackleton’s discovery Expedition in 1901. It is home to the Antarctic programmes of New Zealand, USA and Italy.
Christchurch was named the first official city in New Zealand on the 31 July, 1856, beating the runner-up Nelson by two years.

Exciting and Innovative Projects

Many exciting and innovative key projects are planned within the City Blueprint (plan). Proposals include:

New convention centre

A new convention centre that will cater for up to 2,000 delegates and will include hotels and retail outlets.

New covered stadium

A new covered stadium – ideal for all weather conditions – with natural turf will be created within an easy walk from the city centre. The stadium will seat 35,000 people and is designed to host major concerts and sporting events.

Metro sports hub

A metro sports hub due to open in 2017 will include a competition size swimming pool, leisure pools, indoor courts and other facilities

New venues

New venues will be built to cater for performing arts and music enabling Christchurch’s and the world’s leading artists to showcase their talents.

Precincts dedicated to business, innovation and health

Precincts dedicated to business, innovation and health – adjacent to the current tertiary level hospital – will be developed as part of the overall plan.

City As It Was

Christchurch city as it was

See how the city was before the earthquakes and building demolitions. Using a smart phone, you can walk around the city and see life-sized virtual models of what the buildings and sites looked like before the earthquake and demolitions. Information includes pictures and text.
To download this great app you must use a mobile device (not a computer): Download here.

City Map

Click here to open the Christchurch Map in Google Maps

Transport Options


Metro bus is the public transport service that operates in Greater Christchurch (including Lincoln).To get a timetable, select routes or for information visit


Journey Planner and the Next Bus functions on the Metro homepage save you time when planning a bus trip.
The Airport buses (No 3 & the Purple Line) are the cheapest transport option to and from the airport and can be picked up at many places across town.
The Orbiter is a circular bus route – running in both directions – which links major shopping malls and other services. It is a fast and efficient inner city loop. View the timetable here.

Cheap Bus Fares

Metrocard is the cheaper and more convenient way to travel by bus. You don’t have to think about having the right change for the bus and it saves you at least 25% on your trips compared to paying cash. Find out more information here.

Once you have purchased a bus ticket (or used your Metro card) you can change buses and travel for the next two hours for free.
Check out other special deals using your metro card for travel.


Cycling is popular as the terrain is so flat in Christchurch. Many main roads have cycle lanes. Bicycles are reasonably cheap, especially second hand ones.

Some simple tips about riding a bike

Cycle helmets must be worn when riding on the road – this is the law.
Cycling on footpaths is not permitted unless it is on a dedicated cycle way.
When riding at night your bike is required to have a white front light and a red rear light and reflectors.
Secure your bike with a good strong lock to prevent it being stolen when leaving it anywhere.
For more information and rules on cycling, click here.

Buying a Bike

There are plenty of cycle shops to purchase a new bike and gear. Alternatively you can buy a second hand bike:
Check out TradeMe.
The Press newspaper under classified section “For Sale”.
Check out garage sales or second hand shops.


To catch a taxi you can
Telephone the company.
Go to a taxi stand.
Flag down a passing taxi.
A list of taxi companies can be found by clicking here.
All taxis use a meter for charging. Taxi fares can vary for per km rates and there is a minimum charge. Always check the fares advertised inside and outside each taxi.
Hot Tip
To check out taxi fares click here.

New Friends and Networks

Global Student Club:

Visiting students often say that ‘making connections with the local community’ really eases their transition to a new environment. To ensure that happens, Christchurch has established a Global Student Club – a club operated by students, providers and locals – creating opportunities for international students and locals to meet, share experiences and develop friendships.

Fun meetings, activities and social events are regularly scheduled to enable you to see and experience Christchurch and surrounds.

Cultural Groups:

There are a large number of cultural groups in the city with members of different ages. They generally get together for social events and celebrations or sport. To meet up with others from your nationality, check it out here.

Many of the tertiary providers have cultural clubs who meet and undertake activities and events for their group and wider community. Check out the student and club noticeboards for more details.


InterNations is a worldwide community network which helps you learn everything you need to know about a move to New Zealand with the helpful and experienced network of expats at InterNations. By becoming part of a global community of expats you can gain valuable knowledge and insights about New Zealand without having to conduct hours of research yourself. Find out more about InterNations, click here: (

Standard of Care

The Code of Practice of Pastoral Care for International Students sets the standards to assist and protect all international students studying in New Zealand. For information on the Code, click here.

Questions or Concerns

If you have questions or concerns about your study or homestay not meeting the code of practice you should:

first talk to your student services advisor
secondly, appeal to the IEAA which is an independent organisation.