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If you’re thinking about studying English in New Zealand, your hardest decision may be deciding which kiwi city to live in while completing your studies. A South Island city well worth consideration is Christchurch, located in the Canterbury district.

Let’s look at Christchurch and the greater Canterbury region, working our way through five must-do activities and attractions that both locals and visitors love to experience.

1. Get an adrenaline fix at Christchurch Adventure Park

Christchurch Adventure park is open all year and is located just a 20-minute drive from the city centre. The outdoor facility has New Zealand’s longest chairlift, which transports sightseers, mountain bikers and their bikes to the top of the Port Hills.

Visitors are rewarded with panoramic views over Christchurch and across the Canterbury plains to the stunning Southern Alps. Mountain bikers of all experience levels can enjoy trails of varying difficulties, adrenaline-seekers can get their fill with zipline tours, and sightseers can lap up the views and visit The Handle Bar & Café for refreshments. Check it out for pricing, directions and opening hours.

2. Witness the vibrant Christchurch street art

Christchurch has championed tasteful street art installations as part of the city’s rebuild and rebirth following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. As you walk around the city streets, you can admire the numerous pieces adorning the walls of buildings scattered across the city. These ever-evolving works can be found and followed using the Watch This Space map which charts the locations where you can view the street art.

If you’d like to have a more informed Christchurch street art experience you could book a tour, led by a knowledgeable local guide.

3. Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

If you’re in Canterbury and are looking to unwind, head to Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa, 128km north of Christchurch. The thermally active spot features a range of soothing sulphur pools, relaxing rock pools and a day spa that spoils visitors with private pools, sauna/steam rooms, and a range of spa treatments available.

Take a look at the relaxation and pampering on offer at Hanmer.

4. Visit Akaroa and Banks Peninsula

Akaroa is a small settlement on the Banks Peninsula, a 1.5-hour drive from Christchurch. The area boasts beautiful bays and a rich French and English history, as documented in the Akaroa Museum.

When visiting Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula, consider guided swimming with the playful (and wild) Hector’s dolphins, taking a wine tour, or completing one of the excellent (and free) walking tracks offering rewarding views of the Akaroa Harbour.

See which Akaroa activity suits you best.

5. Take a stroll, run or cycle around Hagley Park

Widely referred to as The Garden City, Christchurch has an abundance of outdoor parks and reserves. Extending into Canterbury these gardens and parks offer colourful flora backdrops to wander aimlessly through or have a picnic amongst.

Hagley Park is one of the most notable inner-city greenspaces in Christchurch and is home to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. The expansive area has century-old trees; a network of pathways for runners, cyclists and walkers; a fitness circuit; and hosts floral shows during spring.

Read more about other greenspaces in and around Christchurch.

Where can you study English in Christchurch?

If you think Christchurch is sounding like a pretty cool place to live while studying English in New Zealand, then check out our English New Zealand member school based in The Garden City.

Christchurch CCEL

The Christchurch CCEL English language school is part of the beautiful University of Canterbury campus. Made up of 22 classrooms CCEL puts a focus on keeping the number of students in each class low to optimise learning conditions. English courses available here include Cambridge Exam Preparation, TESOL and General English.

Due to its partnership with the University of Canterbury, CCEL has an exceptional range of facilities including eateries, bars and restaurants; sports fields and courts; libraries; student residences and a self-study centre.

Learn about CCEL.

Coming to Christchurch to study English in New Zealand

Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s most liveable cities. It is a great place to experience our kiwi culture, socialise with students from all over the world, and explore the great outdoors of Aotearoa. If it sounds like Christchurch might suit you, please drop us a line for more information.


Christchurch Adventure Park’ by Geoff Trotter via CC BY-SA 2.0.

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