Guidebook for Christchurch

Duncan
Guidebook for Christchurch

Food Scene

Some local choices
Great European breads
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Vic's Bakehouse
4B Settlers Crescent
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Great European breads
Rustic coffee spot in outdoor setting in Heathcote Valley (Bridle Path Road). Closes at 3 pm.
Upshot Coffee
131 Bridle Path Rd
Rustic coffee spot in outdoor setting in Heathcote Valley (Bridle Path Road). Closes at 3 pm.
Vietnamese in Sumner - the fish rotis are a meal themselves around $10 and are to die for.
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Le Xom
6 Wakefield Ave
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Vietnamese in Sumner - the fish rotis are a meal themselves around $10 and are to die for.
Upscale restaurant and bar in Sumner
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Clink Restaurant & Bar
29 Wakefield Ave
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Upscale restaurant and bar in Sumner
Surprisingly good food, including half portions, and the salmon/scrambled egg croissants are to die for. Only a minute's walk to Beachville Reserve on the estuary. You could drive there, or walk on the coastal pathway if you want about a half hour walk each way. Or try to find a Lime Scooter!
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The Spur On Redcliffs
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Surprisingly good food, including half portions, and the salmon/scrambled egg croissants are to die for. Only a minute's walk to Beachville Reserve on the estuary. You could drive there, or walk on the coastal pathway if you want about a half hour walk each way. Or try to find a Lime Scooter!

Neighbourhoods

Akaroa is a lovely French themed village with a beautiful harbour (prettier than Lyttelton). The Black Cat cruise to see the Hectors Dolphins is a good way to see the harbour. Lots of restaurants and cafe; we like Ma Maison near the waterfront but there are a lot of choices. If you have time driveto Onuku church. Also in the area, French Farm vineyard is nice for lunch. On your way to Akaroa, if you have time, stop in Little River where there is a nice art gallery and cafe. Then at the top of the hill is the Hilltop Tavern; just a basic tavern but with a great view. Barry's Bay cheeses at the bottom of the hill is also a good place for local cheese tasting. Another option is a drive along the Summit Road (turn left when you reach the top of the hill from Little River) and along to Okains Bay, a Maori museum. The very best beach is at Le Bons Bay – all told from Christchurch about a 2 hour drive. But a safe beach, a little river kids can play in at low tide, safe (no rip), tennis courts, picnic spots etc. Great on a hot day (nor’west). If it’s a hot windy day in Christchurch, it will be beautiful and warm at le bons and probably a lot less windy.
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Akaroa
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Akaroa is a lovely French themed village with a beautiful harbour (prettier than Lyttelton). The Black Cat cruise to see the Hectors Dolphins is a good way to see the harbour. Lots of restaurants and cafe; we like Ma Maison near the waterfront but there are a lot of choices. If you have time driveto Onuku church. Also in the area, French Farm vineyard is nice for lunch. On your way to Akaroa, if you have time, stop in Little River where there is a nice art gallery and cafe. Then at the top of the hill is the Hilltop Tavern; just a basic tavern but with a great view. Barry's Bay cheeses at the bottom of the hill is also a good place for local cheese tasting. Another option is a drive along the Summit Road (turn left when you reach the top of the hill from Little River) and along to Okains Bay, a Maori museum. The very best beach is at Le Bons Bay – all told from Christchurch about a 2 hour drive. But a safe beach, a little river kids can play in at low tide, safe (no rip), tennis courts, picnic spots etc. Great on a hot day (nor’west). If it’s a hot windy day in Christchurch, it will be beautiful and warm at le bons and probably a lot less windy.
Only 7 minutes drive away, Sumner is the best local beach - great for walks. Over the hill at the end of the beach a short drive away is Taylors Mistake - an enclosed bay /beach with better surf. On the beach is the Beach Bar - well situated on the beach but not great in terms of culinary! But good for a coffee or quick meal or a drink. Another cafe on the water is by the Clock Tower at the other end of the beach called Ocean Cafe Bar Scarborough. Also nice view and relaxed ambiance and good to start/end a walk on the waterfront. Also in terms of restaurants, there are a lot there. We recommend the Vietnamese Le Xom; great fish rotis but there are also Indian (Indian Sumner), Mexican (Headless Mexican) and more traditional NZ (Clink). To get a view, we recommend driving up to Evans Pass (back of Sumner) and turn right on the Summit Road - you can go all the way and down Mt Pleasant Road to home.
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Sumner
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Only 7 minutes drive away, Sumner is the best local beach - great for walks. Over the hill at the end of the beach a short drive away is Taylors Mistake - an enclosed bay /beach with better surf. On the beach is the Beach Bar - well situated on the beach but not great in terms of culinary! But good for a coffee or quick meal or a drink. Another cafe on the water is by the Clock Tower at the other end of the beach called Ocean Cafe Bar Scarborough. Also nice view and relaxed ambiance and good to start/end a walk on the waterfront. Also in terms of restaurants, there are a lot there. We recommend the Vietnamese Le Xom; great fish rotis but there are also Indian (Indian Sumner), Mexican (Headless Mexican) and more traditional NZ (Clink). To get a view, we recommend driving up to Evans Pass (back of Sumner) and turn right on the Summit Road - you can go all the way and down Mt Pleasant Road to home.
The Antarctic Centre is a must visit, but it's right by the airport so a long way to go. Penguins, a cold weather experience and great exhibits and a ride in an ice ATV. The Arts Centre is mostly restored. Central Art Gallery is worth a look - and of course the main Art Gallery on Montreal Street. Also for contemporary art lovers, Jonathon Smart Gallery in Buchan Street. The main museum near Hagley Park has great NZ and Antarctic exhibitions. The Botanic Garden of course is worth a walk around, and for kids, the Margaret Mahy playground is fantastic. The P Bus goes every 20 minutes and is pretty direct. It goes all the way to the airport (takes about an hour) so is a cheap way of getting to the Antarctic Centre. The tram is fun to ride around (but expensive at $25) From a media article: The Riverside Market is a bustling hub of local artisans, tucked away in a cavernous building near the Avon River. The entrance is a little laneway off Cashel Street, lined with local gems like the "The Butcher's Pie Shop". Walk through the sliding doors to the market, and it's like you've arrived in the city's hidden temple of food. And worship takes place seven days a week. There are dozens of enticing stalls - from the Bohemian Bakery, Donut Dispensary, Kombucha Girls, Empire Chicken, Cluck Cluck Slurp, The Kathmandu Momo House and the social media sensation that is Moustache Milk and Cookie Bar. The brilliant thing about the market is that local artisans can rent a single shelf - so even those just starting out can show off their goods. The entrance is a little laneway off Cashel Street, lined with local gems like the "The Butcher's Pie Shop". Walk through the sliding doors to the market, and it's like you've arrived in the city's hidden temple of food. And worship takes place seven days a week. There are dozens of enticing stalls - from the Bohemian Bakery, Donut Dispensary, Kombucha Girls, Empire Chicken, Cluck Cluck Slurp, The Kathmandu Momo House and the social media sensation that is Moustache Milk and Cookie Bar. The brilliant thing about the market is that local artisans can rent a single shelf - so even those just starting out can show off their goods. Across town, Little High is the kind of place your "coolness index" rises sharply after you enter its doors: it's a funky food court, food-truck style. The family-run eateries include a bacon burger bar and Eightgrains Dumplings & Bao. Let's be honest, nothing in life goes wrong when dumplings and bao are involved. The final place to visit, making up a golden triangle of chic eateries, is The Welder - where six heritage buildings have been rebirthed into a health and wellness centre. Aside from the delicious organic food, tasty pastries, and a yakitori bar, there's O-Studio: a yogi's paradise that includes relaxation classes, massages and even float pools. Drop in for a 20 minute meditation, it was like a massage for the soul. If Christchurch is the Garden City, its snaking green artery is the Avon River. I lived in Christchurch for three years, and like most, never thought of exploring the city by river. We spend so much time looking at the Avon, but very little time looking at the city from the Avon. It's a completely different perspective. We started on our Christchurch Sea Kayaking tour just after dawn, and thanks to a spritely current - and buoyed by sunshine and a constant birdsong - we floated through the botanical gardens into the central city, under the Bridge of Remembrance, and on to the Margaret Mahy playground - the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. If you bring kids to the city, a stop here is compulsory. If I had more time, I'd love to do the extended tour the company offers that goes further: floating through the Red Zone, and out to meet the sea. Forget rock walls; bouldering is what the cool kids (and adults) do in 2020. If you're like me, and have a fleeting relationship with being cool, and need an explainer, bouldering is similar to rock wall climbing, without the help of ropes. The walls are therefore less high, but much harder: think smaller grips and more overhang, with padded mats if you fall. It's big in Christchurch: the city is home to Uprising, one of the largest bouldering gyms in the Southern Hemisphere. While hugely popular with locals, tourists can also pop in for an affordable day of fun: a day-pass is just $18 for adults or $14 for kids. It's challenging and addictive. And non-climbers can watch-on from the elevated cafe for free. One of the country's most spectacular day walks is a short distance from the CBD, at Godley Head Park in the Port Hills. Few realise it, but Lyttelton Harbour is an ancient caldera, formed more than 8 million years ago. Crater Rim Walks took us on a spectacular guided day trip around the dramatic cliff-lined trails, with views of Lyttelton Harbour, the Southern Alps, and Pegasus Bay. Our ever-knowledgeable and bubbly guide, Nicole Ellwood, punctuated the trip with fascinating bits of history, such as the unexploded World War II minefield that some believe sits off Lyttelton Harbour. We then descended to Boulder Bay - where historic baches cling to a windswept shoreline - for a picnic lunch And with that, our two short days exploring Christchurch were over. I think on my previous visit I was a little lazy; the Cathedral is no-longer the compass of the city. Before the earthquake, it was the natural starting point to explore the region. Now, you need to work a little harder to find the city's soul. But when you do, the city becomes the country's most exciting destination for a visit. From <https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/destinations/nz/119454826/christchurch-new-zealands-city-of-secrets>
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Christchurch
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The Antarctic Centre is a must visit, but it's right by the airport so a long way to go. Penguins, a cold weather experience and great exhibits and a ride in an ice ATV. The Arts Centre is mostly restored. Central Art Gallery is worth a look - and of course the main Art Gallery on Montreal Street. Also for contemporary art lovers, Jonathon Smart Gallery in Buchan Street. The main museum near Hagley Park has great NZ and Antarctic exhibitions. The Botanic Garden of course is worth a walk around, and for kids, the Margaret Mahy playground is fantastic. The P Bus goes every 20 minutes and is pretty direct. It goes all the way to the airport (takes about an hour) so is a cheap way of getting to the Antarctic Centre. The tram is fun to ride around (but expensive at $25) From a media article: The Riverside Market is a bustling hub of local artisans, tucked away in a cavernous building near the Avon River. The entrance is a little laneway off Cashel Street, lined with local gems like the "The Butcher's Pie Shop". Walk through the sliding doors to the market, and it's like you've arrived in the city's hidden temple of food. And worship takes place seven days a week. There are dozens of enticing stalls - from the Bohemian Bakery, Donut Dispensary, Kombucha Girls, Empire Chicken, Cluck Cluck Slurp, The Kathmandu Momo House and the social media sensation that is Moustache Milk and Cookie Bar. The brilliant thing about the market is that local artisans can rent a single shelf - so even those just starting out can show off their goods. The entrance is a little laneway off Cashel Street, lined with local gems like the "The Butcher's Pie Shop". Walk through the sliding doors to the market, and it's like you've arrived in the city's hidden temple of food. And worship takes place seven days a week. There are dozens of enticing stalls - from the Bohemian Bakery, Donut Dispensary, Kombucha Girls, Empire Chicken, Cluck Cluck Slurp, The Kathmandu Momo House and the social media sensation that is Moustache Milk and Cookie Bar. The brilliant thing about the market is that local artisans can rent a single shelf - so even those just starting out can show off their goods. Across town, Little High is the kind of place your "coolness index" rises sharply after you enter its doors: it's a funky food court, food-truck style. The family-run eateries include a bacon burger bar and Eightgrains Dumplings & Bao. Let's be honest, nothing in life goes wrong when dumplings and bao are involved. The final place to visit, making up a golden triangle of chic eateries, is The Welder - where six heritage buildings have been rebirthed into a health and wellness centre. Aside from the delicious organic food, tasty pastries, and a yakitori bar, there's O-Studio: a yogi's paradise that includes relaxation classes, massages and even float pools. Drop in for a 20 minute meditation, it was like a massage for the soul. If Christchurch is the Garden City, its snaking green artery is the Avon River. I lived in Christchurch for three years, and like most, never thought of exploring the city by river. We spend so much time looking at the Avon, but very little time looking at the city from the Avon. It's a completely different perspective. We started on our Christchurch Sea Kayaking tour just after dawn, and thanks to a spritely current - and buoyed by sunshine and a constant birdsong - we floated through the botanical gardens into the central city, under the Bridge of Remembrance, and on to the Margaret Mahy playground - the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. If you bring kids to the city, a stop here is compulsory. If I had more time, I'd love to do the extended tour the company offers that goes further: floating through the Red Zone, and out to meet the sea. Forget rock walls; bouldering is what the cool kids (and adults) do in 2020. If you're like me, and have a fleeting relationship with being cool, and need an explainer, bouldering is similar to rock wall climbing, without the help of ropes. The walls are therefore less high, but much harder: think smaller grips and more overhang, with padded mats if you fall. It's big in Christchurch: the city is home to Uprising, one of the largest bouldering gyms in the Southern Hemisphere. While hugely popular with locals, tourists can also pop in for an affordable day of fun: a day-pass is just $18 for adults or $14 for kids. It's challenging and addictive. And non-climbers can watch-on from the elevated cafe for free. One of the country's most spectacular day walks is a short distance from the CBD, at Godley Head Park in the Port Hills. Few realise it, but Lyttelton Harbour is an ancient caldera, formed more than 8 million years ago. Crater Rim Walks took us on a spectacular guided day trip around the dramatic cliff-lined trails, with views of Lyttelton Harbour, the Southern Alps, and Pegasus Bay. Our ever-knowledgeable and bubbly guide, Nicole Ellwood, punctuated the trip with fascinating bits of history, such as the unexploded World War II minefield that some believe sits off Lyttelton Harbour. We then descended to Boulder Bay - where historic baches cling to a windswept shoreline - for a picnic lunch And with that, our two short days exploring Christchurch were over. I think on my previous visit I was a little lazy; the Cathedral is no-longer the compass of the city. Before the earthquake, it was the natural starting point to explore the region. Now, you need to work a little harder to find the city's soul. But when you do, the city becomes the country's most exciting destination for a visit. From <https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/destinations/nz/119454826/christchurch-new-zealands-city-of-secrets>
Ferrymead is only 5 minutes away. Lots of cafes. Evil Genius has an off-beat vibe and has Korean food, with a view of the estuary. Countdown is the local supermarket, and has a pharmacy in it. Otherwise most of the shops and banks you'll need are in Ferrymead. Pharmacies are closed on weekends (but there's one in Countdown) For a visit, Ferrymead Historic Park is fantastic - an old colonial village, steam trains, trams, etc. The Gondola runs from the end of Bridle Path Road in Heathcote Valley - a great view and a small museum at the top. For the fit, the Bridle Path runs from the bottom of the Gondola to the top - you can follow the footsteps of the early settlers.
Ferrymead
Ferrymead is only 5 minutes away. Lots of cafes. Evil Genius has an off-beat vibe and has Korean food, with a view of the estuary. Countdown is the local supermarket, and has a pharmacy in it. Otherwise most of the shops and banks you'll need are in Ferrymead. Pharmacies are closed on weekends (but there's one in Countdown) For a visit, Ferrymead Historic Park is fantastic - an old colonial village, steam trains, trams, etc. The Gondola runs from the end of Bridle Path Road in Heathcote Valley - a great view and a small museum at the top. For the fit, the Bridle Path runs from the bottom of the Gondola to the top - you can follow the footsteps of the early settlers.