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10 Free or Cheap Things to do in Christchurch

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Free and cheap activities in Christchurch.

Christchurch is a must-visit destination when backpacking in New Zealand, there’s no doubt about it. With heaps of work opportunities for people on a working holiday visa, as well as artwork, gardens, beaches and lots more attractions throughout the city, most backpackers want to spend some time here. To help stick to your backpacker budget, we’ve put together this list of free things to do in Christchurch.

With a wealth of jobs, it can be an ideal place to spend some time on a working holiday. There are plenty of fun and interesting ways to spend time here without spending too much of your hard-earned cash. Learn about the real impact of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and see for yourself how the city is reviving.

For more information on the South Island’s largest city, take a look at Christchurch City – Guide for Backpackers.

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1. Quake City (NZ$20)

This museum gives visitors a deeper understanding of Christchurch’s recent history of the Canterbury Earthquakes. We recommend visiting Quake City early in your visit to Christchurch in order to put things into perspective. Find Quake City at the Re:Start Mall (see below).

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2. Hang Out at the Re:Start Mall.

Re:Start is a colourful uplifting mall offering a unique shopping experience in shipping containers. The mall boasts great New Zealand coffee, food, book stores and quirky boutiques.

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3. Go to one of the many markets.

From arts and crafts to jams and jewellery, Christchurch hosts markets across the city all year round. Checking out the stalls while often listening to live music sure beats your supermarket shop.

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4. Take a stroll through Hagley Park and Botanic Gardens.

Find out why they call Christchurch “The Garden City”. It seems like every time you walk through the gardens, there’s something new to discover. If grand water fountains are your thing – we don’t know if it’s anyone’s “thing” but this one is pretty cool – then you’ll love the restored peacock fountain found in Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens. Walking though the adjacent park and garden is a pretty and easygoing walk to take when hanging out with backpacking buddies.

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5. Get educated at the Canterbury Museum.

A walk through Botanic Gardens will lead you to Canterbury Museum – the token attraction to visit if you are on a budget (or have no money at all as it is free). Learn about NZ history, art and the natural world.

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6. Walk out to sea on New Brighton Pier.

In fact, there are quite a few things to do in the New Brighton suburb. The beaches are popular for surfing and sunbathing – weather permitted, of course. Plus, a walk along Marine Parade offers shops and cafes.

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7. Go on the Bridle Path Walk.

Who needs to pay for a gondola when you have two working legs (and a tight wallet)? Remarkable views of Christchurch can be enjoyed from the Bridle Path walk, which is 3 hours return. The Bridle Path Walk starts just below the gondola. To get there without a car, Metro Bus number 28 takes you from Central Station to the Gondola base and through to Lyttelton.

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8. Go to Quail Island.

A NZ$25 return ferry will take you to Quail Island: where sights include shipwrecks and, errr, former leperacy colony and quarantine station.

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9. Check out Brockworth Street Art Gallery.

Not like your average art gallery, Brockworth Street is an art gallery where brick walls are the canvas.

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10. Go to a free gig at the Darkroom.

Generally running Wednesday to Saturaday nights, The Darkroom on St Asaph Street puts on free live music. If you’re around on the first Monday of the month, The Darkroom hosts a magic night with hypnotists, magicians and comedians. Admission to the magic nights is NZ$10.

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Now that you have done some free things to do in Christchurch …

… Check out these articles:

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