Christchurch Life and Travel Tips
(Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand NZ)
Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island and is perfect for tourists, containing a compact city centre suitable for walking and travelling around. The city is a lively and exciting place to visit at any time of the year and Christchurch is located on the eastern side of the South Island, next to the Pacific Ocean.
With sunny weather, world-class tourist attractions, many historic buildings and plenty of things to see and do, Christchurch attracts people from all over New Zealand, Australia and throughout the world. Those flying here from London can expect flights to last somewhere in the region of 24 hours, with a stop off required part-way, so that the plane can take on more fuel.
Tourism and Tourist Information
Christchurch and Canterbury Visitors' Centre
Address: 15-30 Cathedral Square, Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island, 8001, New Zealand NZ
Tel: +64 (0)3 379 9629
Located in the heart of the city centre, on Cathedral Square, the Christchurch and Canterbury Visitors' Centre is full of useful tourist information and leaflets about the city's latest festivals and events.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday - 08:30 to 16:30
Christchurch is a relatively safe area of New Zealand and crime levels are quite low. Visitors are not expected to take extra precautions against crime or theft, although it is always advisable to take particular care with any hand baggage, handbags and money, and to avoid leaving any kind of valuables in parked cars.
Places of Worship
The South Island contains many different cultures and religious beliefs. Most major religions are practiced in Christchurch, with many locals being at least nominally Christian in their belief. The spectacular Christ Church Cathedral is the head of the city's Anglican religion.
Pharmacies and Chemists
Pharmacies and chemist shops in Christchurch include a number of leading pharmaceutical chains and are usually open during normal business hours. Local chemists also provide an after-hours emergency service and dispense prescriptions, medicines and a wide range of other useful products.
English is the most commonly spoken language in Christchurch and throughout New Zealand, although many nationalities and ethnic cultures are well represented in this cosmopolitan city. Although New Zealand accents may be fairly strong at times, they are not difficult to understand.
Maori is the second official language in New Zealand and visitors to Christchurch do not need to speak any Maori, although it can help to know a few basic words and phrases, such as ' Kia ora' (hello) and 'Ka pai' (thank you).
Tipping in hotels and restaurants is not customary in New Zealand, although it has recently becoming a more common practice to tip for excellent service. Only in the finest eateries will you be expected to show your gratitude by tipping around ten percent.
Smoking in Christchurch is not permitted at the airport, on flights, in any public building, in restaurants and cafés, at sporting arenas and on all methods of regional public transport. As a general rule, it is best to check with those nearby before smoking in New Zealand, unless people are already smoking.