Quirky Christmas Shopping in Christchurch

Person standing by presents under the tree.

Nary a big-box gift insight, we’ve curated a list of alternative shops that will make your Christmas gift-giving one-of-a-kind.

Words by: Ashlyn Oswalt

Hero image by: Andrew Neel 

Photography by: Nancy Zhou

We understand that thinking outside the box is tough to do when December rolls around, so we’ve done the hard part for you. Christchurch is buzzing with plenty of shops that are happy to help you steer clear of boring Secret Santas and trite gifts that have been overdone, so read our alternative guide to Christmas shopping for a hyper-local and unique holiday.

Dead Video

Theatre and performance key icon.

56 London Street, Lyttelton, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

Loved by the locals of Lyttelton, Dead Video is contending that video is, in fact, not dead. Dead Video operates on a mostly rental basis (think Blockbuster but better), but also has an impressive collection of rare, cult, B-grade, specialty VHS, DVD and Blu Ray videos all for your viewing pleasure. The movie madness doesn’t stop there, though. Dead Video keeps the nostalgia alive with cinematic memorabilia, vintage comics, toys, curios and collectors cards. If you’ve got a movie buff on your list, this is the place to shop.

Ride On Super Sound

172 High Street, Christchurch

Ride On Super Sound is a jam-packed shop specialising in records, comics, zines, band merch and more. Tucked away on the top floor at Smash Palace, this eclectic place is the perfect spot to find a hard-to-shop-for muso’s favourite present. They also love helping customers find the perfect gift, or searching high and low for a coveted record, so get in touch if you know what you need but can’t find it. With a wide collection of local and international music and hard to find collector’s items, Ride On Super Sound is worth stopping in. 

Interior view of Tāpapa Store.

Tāpapa Store

3/193 Montreal Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

 You’ll find everything you need in the beautifully curated shop, Tāpapa Store. Focused on all things hemp, Tāpapa shows off a refined, elegant side of the polarising plant. Four brands showcase the plant in different forms; The Brothers Green focuses on edible hemp products, Kōaka Skincare creates organic hemp skincare, Ritual & Rise offers a plant-based protein and Original Canvas is a label for hemp clothing. If you’re shopping for someone who appreciates an alternative lifestyle, anything from Tāpapa is sure to fit the bill.

Rekindle

Stay and explore key icon.

The Arts Centre, Te Matatiki Toi Ora 28 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

For the practical, eco-conscious and craftsmanship-valuing person on your Christmas list, look no further than Rekindle at the Arts Centre. A craft workshop for the resourceful, Rekindle is one-part workshop and one-part store, selling the practical, handmade items their creators make. Here you’ll find lovingly-weaved harakeke and tī kōuka baskets, handmade soaps and hand-carved spoons, and workshops to learn how to make them yourself. If you are shopping for someone who values traditional skills or would prefer an experience to a physical gift, Rekindle is the place to go.

Neat Christchurch & Canterbury Places

Bessie

A table setting at Bessie, Christchurch's steak house.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
Restaurants key icon.

Dark, a little brooding and faultless in its theme, Bessie is an immaculate display of fine dining in the inner city.

The Observatory Hotel

A Modern Gothic lounge design.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
Accommodation key icon.

The Observatory Hotel is a beautiful central location in Christchurch, allowing you to leave the car for your stay and explore the city on foot.

A&C Homestore

A&C Homestore interior in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Found down a laneway in The Crossing precinct, the retail heart of Christchurch’s inner city, shopping at A&C Homestore is always a dreamy experience.

Dux Central

Dux Central exterior, Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

If bars could be left or right handed, Dux Central would be ambidextrous. There’s nothing this place can’t be.