Anna Worthington

Anna looking to camera from her kitchen.

I have been running my made-to-order business, Cakes By Anna, for almost ten years. For me, it's simple; the cakes need to taste great, be really high quality and have a natural, floral style of decoration. 

My kitchen studio is based on High Street in Christchurch city, so I spend a lot of time around that area. Because of how I decorate, I have also become quite a keen gardener. My partner and I bought a house out in Spreydon, and I have been developing the garden there.

I enjoy spending time outside and in nature, and in autumn, I go to the beach, pop out on my bike or go for a walk. When I travel, I always like to explore everywhere on foot. That's how you get to know an area, discover different side streets and come across interesting features.

It is also why I love Christchurch—the city is just super accessible, and I love its size. Christchurch is small enough that you feel the sense of community but big enough that there is always something new to uncover.

Discover Central City on Two Wheels

Take your bike through Hagley Park. The paths are nicely paved, and you can stumble across all sorts of highlights. Action Bicycle Club on Walker Street is central and the perfect place to hire bikes. In autumn, you can hop off your bike and walk through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. You’ll find the leaves turning, some new colours and even spot a few flowers still around. Make it a picnic in the park and grab pastries from ​​Grizzly Baked Goods—they always have a special seasonal treat like a fruit danish or twice-baked croissant.

Day Trip to Lyttelton

Henry Trading in Lyttelton is owned by Maree Henry, and she sources most of her stock from New Zealand or fair trade suppliers. Lots of her goods are made in Lyttelton, such as ceramics, gardening tools and beautiful candles, and you can always find something special here. Afterwards, I'd grab a bowl of chips at Civil & Naval bar and stroll around Magazine Bay.

Clock Up Steps and Burgers

You can't miss the walking tracks up through Christchurch Adventure Park. Some of them can be pretty steep, but once at the top, you're rewarded with sweeping views of the city, and then you can take the chairlift back down. Finish off by stopping at my local in Spreydon—Moon Under Water—for beer and burgers.  

See Christchurch on Foot

Harry Ell is one of those walks that people not from Christchurch typically wouldn't find. At the back of Victoria Park, it’s the ideal mix between bush walks and wide-open views. I also like Packhorse Hut, which is about a three-hour return trip through farmland. The hut is new and a beautiful place to take a picnic lunch. Or you can stay overnight—just make sure to book a bed ahead.   

Packhorse Hut on a sunny day.

Packhorse Hut

Spend a Glorious Weekend in North Canterbury

I have stayed at the Black Estate Winery B&B, which is just by the restaurant. You can go out for lunch or have a meal delivered to your room. I haven't stayed at Kumiko's Guest House, but they have a few options for smaller and larger groups. Or, drive on to Greystone PurePod. We went two years ago for my partner's birthday. It’s a gorgeous little glasshouse in the middle of a paddock up on the hill. So private and beautiful.   

Pull Up at Tom's Neighbourhood Café

My brother has just opened his own café, Tom’s, on Southwark Street. It's nice and small; he just makes good coffee, excellent sandwiches, pink buns and jalapeño scones, and I supply the cake. A great place to grab a drink and something sweet and enjoy the slow, friendly vibes.  

Catch a Wave at Hickory Bay

I love visiting my friend Rachel over at Hickory Bay Cold Water Surf Resort. The bay is relatively tiny, and they're lucky to live right on the beach. It is a famous surfing beach, and even the view as you drive into the bay is just incredible. They rent out some of the cabins on their farm, so you could stay, grab fish and chips in Akaroa and make a weekend of it.

Unwind With an Afternoon Massage

Relax with a Thai massage at Dee Dee's in the Arts Centre. The team here used to work as physios, so they really know what they're doing. It's also a convenient location to have a massage, stroll around, then pop into Frances Nation for a coffee or over to The Astro Lounge for a drink.

Scout Out Farmers Markets

While the Riccarton Sunday Market can be pretty busy, I like the South Christchurch Farmers' Market or the Lyttelton Farmers' Market for a slower pace. They are smaller, but there's still a good choice of stalls and food. You’ll find the locals going there to buy their veggies and I'll always pick up some cheese and bread for lunch. 

Farmers market.

South Christchurch Farmers' Market

Enjoy the City Views from Tūranga

I love to read, and Tūranga is the perfect place to spend an hour or two browsing for books. The top two floors have panoramic views of the city, and there are couches available to sit and relax for a while. The first floor is an incredible space for Tamariki, with a huge selection of afterschool and weekend activities that you can book online. It is a vibrant and engaging space that encourages learning and reading. I can't wait to take my niece when she's a bit older.