Located in New Zealand’s South Island, Christchurch is known for its English heritage. With its natural beauty, the city surrounds the travelers with its positive vibes and there is this certain kind of aura that makes Christchurch a hit with all types of travelers. Locally it is also known as the “Garden City” mainly due to the abundance of beautiful gardens and the lovely tree-lined streets. Located in the Southern hemisphere, winter in Christchurch runs from June to September. The city is often used as a departure point for all the Antarctic expeditions. All that being said, Christchurch in winter can be relatively cold, but that doesn’t mean you have to be spending all your time cooped up in a blanket and spend the winter days at your home.
Weather In Christchurch In Winter
Christchurch weather in winter is quite cool. The winter season in Christchurch officially starts from June and lasts till the end of September although the months on either side of the peak winter season are also relatively cooler. Christchurch in winter experiences a temperature around 13 degrees during the daytime and can go as low as 3 degrees. You can still enjoy many activities during these cooler months. Here we have compiled our pick of Christchurch winter activities that you can enjoy while in this beautiful destination.
10 Things To Do In Christchurch In Winter
- Mt Herbert: Walk In The Snow
- New Brighton Beach: Soak In The Sun
- Ice Skating: Break Some Ice
- Movie Night: Watch The Classics
- Festival Of Lights: Let The Light In
- Star Gazing: A Visual Treat
- Hangout With Huskies: Meet The Doggos
- Tekapo Springs: Time For A Dive
- Orama Wildlife Park: Interact With Nature
- Christchurch Art Festival: Celebrating Art & Artists
1. Mt Herbert: Walk In The Snow
This is the highest point in the bank’s peninsula and the top is always covered with sprinkles of snow in the winter months. The hike to the top of the mountain is quite a long one but you will be rewarded with stunning views over the Lyttelton harbour and Port Hills with the Southern Alps ranges as the beautiful backdrop. If you are a camera person, then you can definitely take some stunning pictures and be the first to leave your footprints in the snow!
Location: South Island, New Zealand.
Things To Do: Trek through Gebbies Pass, Diamond Harbor and Orton Bradley Park, Views of Lyttleton harbor and the Southern Alps.
2. New Brighton Beach: Soak In The Sun
There is no better way to start your day with a beautiful view of the sunrise. Set your alarm and get ready to watch a stunning sunrise at the New Brighton Beach that happens to be one of the best beaches near Christchurch. Also, the cherry on the top, before the sun rises the temperature drops a few degrees, freezing the beach sand and creating some amazing patterns. Be treated to the amazing scenery of the sunrise and don’t forget to take your camera, and one can always take out some time for shopping in Christchurch.
Location: 8 km from the centre of Christchurch
Things To Do: Views of sunrise, walk across the sand dunes, shop for handmade goods at the weekly market, surfing, birdlife spotting.
3. Ice Skating: Break Some Ice
Ice skating is a great indoor activity for the winter months. Christchurch has its own indoor ice skating rink and everyone is allowed to entertain themselves. Whether you are a beginner learning the basics or a pro with elaborate pirouette skills you can enjoy your time at Christchurch skating rink. Also during the winter months, you can enjoy an action packed, fast paced Ice Hockey League game with your friends.
Location: 495 Brougham Street, Opawa, Christchurch 8023, New Zealand.
Things To Do: Ice skating, figure skating, birthday parties, ice hockey.
4. Movie Night: Watch The Classics
If you are a fan of movies and a good snuggle, then you can enjoy a movie night with your friends and close at one of the boutique cinemas in Christchurch. Watching a movie here is a completely different experience. Alice Cinematheque and Deluxe cinema are there to entertain you with wine, cheese and board games while you enjoy a good movie with your close ones.
Location: 209 Tuam St, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand.
Things To Do: Enjoy boutique cinema experience, drinks and snacks, board games.
5. Festival Of Lights: Let The Light In
The winter festival of lights, Matariki, takes place on mid-June in Christchurch. A celebration of the Maori New Year, the entire streets and markets in Lyttelton is lit up and food stalls selling hot mulled wine and food set up everywhere whereas one can also explore the authentic dishes at some of the best restaurants in Christchurch. Not to mention the epic fireworks display that light up Christchurch is the sky is totally worth the watch.
Location: Lyttelton, Christchurch, New Zealand
Things To Do: Enjoy food and mulled wine and cider from the stalls, stroll around to enjoy the views of lit up streets, enjoy the firework display in the evening.
Suggested Read: 8 Trails Where You Can Go Hiking In New Zealand
6. Star Gazing: A Visual Treat
The night sky in the southern hemisphere is much clearer and undoubtedly astonishing. It is indeed a good time go stargazing that happens to be one of the best things to do in Christchurch in winter. The night sky view from the Godley Head Reserve is simply astonishing. The Canterbury Astronomical Society runs an explanatory star gazing session every year in West Melton and you can join one of these sessions to learn about different stars, constellations and galactic anomalies.
Location: 218 Bells Road, Mcleans Island, West Melton 7671, New Zealand.
Things To Do: Star gazing, informative sessions on various stars, constellations and the galaxy.
7. Hangout With Huskies: Meet The Doggos
If you absolutely love furry canines, then The International Antarctic Centre is the perfect spot for you. It is a cool hangout spot where you bounce along on Hagglunds and go about patting adorable huskies and not mention you can learn all about Antarctica. Don’t forget to add this spot on your list as the adorable canines are waiting for you!
Location: 38 Orchard Road, Christchurch Airport, Christchurch 8052, New Zealand.
Things To Do: Antarctic exhibits, Hagglund Ride, snow room for kids.
Suggested Read: 15 Waterfalls In New Zealand That’ll Leave Your Speechless
8. Tekapo Springs: Time For A Dive
A 3hr stunning and scenic drive from Christchurch, Tekapo Lake is one of the best lakes in Christchurch and is full of fun and leisure activities. If you are looking for a relaxing outdoorsy day, you can head to the Tekapo Springs. Set in lovely Mackenzie County, Tekapo Springs is the perfect location for outdoor ice skating, snow tubing, tobogganing and star gazing. You can also unwind at the Tekapo Springs Glacial Spa that provides hot pool services and you can take a dip in one of these hot pools and relax on a cool winter day.
Location: 6 Lakeside Dr, Lake Tekapo 7945, New Zealand
Things To Do: Dip in the hot pools, star gazing, tobogganing, ice skating.
9. Orama Wildlife Park: Interact With Nature
The Orama Wildlife Park is only a 25-minute drive from Central Christchurch. This 80 hectares Wildlife Park is home to many wild animals and you can visit the place to enjoy close encounters with some of these animals. Hand feed lemurs and giraffes and watch over 400 different animals with special New Zealand only native animals like kiwis, tuataras and keas.
Location: 793 McLeans Island Road, Harewood, Christchurch 8051, New Zealand.
Things To Do: Watch native or exotic wildlife, learn about environmental issues.
10. Christchurch Art Festival: Celebrating Art & Artists
If you are an art lover then you should definitely visit this festival. This art festival that takes place every two years in Christchurch, is a mix of both local and international art communities from around the globe. They offer many stunning performances from cabaret to circus, dance, music, theatre and so much more. This awesome festival is a great opportunity to celebrate arts in all its forms and classes. Enjoy a fun and entertaining evening at this winter art festival at Christchurch.
Location: Christchurch Arts Centre
Things To Do: Enjoy various forms of arts and performances.
When you are backpacking in New Zealand, Christchurch in winter without any doubt is a must visit destination. With loads of locations to explore like gardens, beaches, artwork galleries and much more to explore throughout the city has a lot to offer. So, pack your bags and book your trip to New Zealand right now!
Frequently Asked Questions About Christchurch In Winter
A. The coldest month recorded in Christchurch so far is the month of July wherein the temperature fell to about 10-degree Celsius and the average temperature does not go beyond 16-degrees Celsius.
A. It is very rare that we get to hear about snowfall in plains but not when it comes to Christchurch. Although the hilly areas enjoy snowfall twice a year, it also snows on the plains at a frequency of about once every two years.
A. The time spanning from June to August is considered to be the winter months in Christchurch.
A. The month of June marks the onset of winters in Christchurch. Having said that, one might witness snowfall in case the temperature drops with time.
A. Taking precautions for your own safety is always better. Although the city is pretty safe to explore in the broad daylight as well in the late evenings, it is always better to avoid isolated and offbeat areas during the night.
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