Best Things To Do In Christchurch This Spring

The old greenhouse in the centre of the Christchurch botanical gardens is surrounded by tall green trees.

On a gorgeous day, it’s hard to beat Ōtautahi Christchurch in the springtime as the garden city comes into its own.

Words by: Julia Rutherford

Photos by: Nancy Zhou

Pink and white blossoms are on show around the city, ducklings scurry after their mothers, the sun shines, and spring certainly feels like it is here. With our Instagram and TikTok feeds filling up with the natural beauty of Christchurch this time of year, it is a must-do to get out there and experience this season for yourself. So embrace the longer days, venture out and enjoy all the best things there are to do in Ōtautahi this spring.

Inside the Christchurch Botanical gardens greenhouse with pink, purple and white flowers.

Hagley Park blossoms and Botanic Gardens' spring beauty.

Christchurch Central

It is pretty clear why Christchurch has been coined the garden city when you see the vast expanse of Hagley Park and the pristine Botanic Gardens. If you fancy a bit of forest bathing - a Japanese term adopted in the 1980s to describe the physiological and psychological benefit of walking amongst the trees - the park and gardens are the ideal destinations. A gentle walk is bound to offer up reflection, mindfulness and wonderment. Spring is a particularly good time of year to soak up these spots, with the famous blossom trees in full bloom and colourful horticultural beauty throughout the gardens. You might also spot some new fluffy ducklings learning to swim in the lake!

Victoria Park Christchurch is surrounded by tall trees with a playground and a big slide.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park Road, Cashmere, Christchurch

Located on the Cashmere Hills, Victoria Park is a firm favourite outdoor destination year-round and a must in the springtime. The generously sized park features a variety of walking tracks that are regularly befriended by mountain bikers, dog walkers, runners and more. The elevation of the park offers breathtaking panoramic views across the city to the Southern Alps, which on a clear, crisp spring morning, is pretty unbeatable. There’s still snow to be seen, yet there’s gorgeous greenery emerging all around and wildflowers and kowhai popping up everywhere.  

The brown tusk-covered hillside with a walkway overlooking the harbour.

Lace up the hiking boots

Coastal Path Lyttelton + The Crater Rim Walkway

A wee jaunt over to Lyttelton allows an opportunity to explore the beautiful coastal path that starts on Park Terrace and finishes at Pony Point Reserve (approximately one hour one way). The well-established track weaves along the coastline boasting great perspectives of the Banks Peninsula and Quail Island. There are plenty of chances to take a pit stop along the way - we’d suggest at one of the sandy bays. If you’re game on a particularly sunny day, pack your togs and take advantage of an ocean dip - it might still be a bit chilly but it’s good for the soul!

If you want to stretch your legs a bit further, choose a part of The Crater Rim Walkway to traverse. The well-beaten tracks (of which there are many) follow the rim of the extinct Lyttelton Volcano and will have you walking the skyline of the familiar Port Hills. On a clear spring day, you can expect to see incredible vistas. 

Eight bikes lined up against dark blue brick walls at Action Bicycle.

Cycling the City

Spring is the perfect time to hire two wheels and get pedalling! Cycling is a fantastic way to see the city from another perspective, and with so many green spaces at your fingertips, you can choose a relaxed pace to see the sights. Action Bicycle have a range of bikes for hire, or you can take a bespoke Urban Explorer Tour with the experts at Chill.

Shop for your best cup week outfit

Fashion key icon.

Christchurch Central

One of the biggest springtime events in Christchurch is, of course, On Show in November. The weeks prior are the time to scour the central city shops and find your best race day attire. For something fun, colourful and perfectly fitting the springtime aesthetic, head to New Zealand’s own RUBY in The Crossing. Or if you want a more understated look, then PLUME is the place to visit. Head Over Heels have you covered in the footwear department, and for a headpiece that will wow, local department store icon Ballantynes is your best bet.

Looking across the blue water to the Godley Heads hills in Christchurch.

Pack a picnic and take a drive to Godley Head

Godley Head

Springtime = the beginning of picnic season, so throw your rug in the boot of the car, gather up your favourite supplies and take a drive out to Godley Head. With a stunning walk along the coastline, it’s your choice to picnic before, during or after you wind your way around the peninsula taking in the beautiful views. If it’s a particularly good weather day, our pick is to set up the picnic on Taylor’s Mistake Beach and to take your time soaking in the vistas around you.

Check out some top tips on where to fill your picnic basket here.

Dine al fresco at your favourite cafe

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40 Mona Vale Avenue Off, Kilmarnock Street, Riccarton, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

On these (hopefully) warmer days, there’s nothing better than taking your coffee and a bite to eat to the outdoor spots of your favourite café. Luckily around Ōtautahi, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to cafes with courtyards and garden spaces. If you’re in the Botanic Gardens, make your way to Ilex which is inside the gardens’ perimeter and where there are plenty of outdoor tables and even an outdoor coffee cart to order from. Another beautiful green space to explore in Christchurch is Mona Vale Garden Park, and fittingly the homestead on site has a delightful café with outside tables to take in your surroundings. Or if you find yourself in the heart of the central city, Child Sister is hard to go past with their incredible food and coffee options and beautiful sunny al fresco seats.

Neat Christchurch & Canterbury Places

Mind Your Temper

A close up of colourful chocolates on display at Mind Your Temper Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
Cafes key icon. Goods key icon.

If you’re feeling grumpy or a little blue, a visit to Mind Your Temper is sure to lighten your mood.

Hinewai Reserve

A view of the ocean from the Banks Peninsula.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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Not far from the township of Akaroa (walking distance if you’re really game), lies an idyllic haven of regenerating native bush nestled in the wild south east corner...

Tūranga

Harry Potter stairs at Turanga.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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It’s not often that grand designs are plucked from the mind’s eye and brought to life. At Tūranga they are, every day.

Seven Dining

The dining room interior with people dining at Seven, Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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Take the elevator to Level 7 of the Muse Art Hotel in Christchurch, and from there you’ll be ushered into the elegant restaurant, Seven.