Christchurch, New Zealand is considered by many to be one of New Zealand's most livable cities. The geography, Gothic architecture, and modern city atmosphere bring the city together in an enchanting way to give the city its own particular aura. There is many places to visit and different things to do so it depends on your particular taste as to what might be enjoyable to you on this list.
First and foremost is the Christchurch Botanic Gardens in downtown Christchurch. They are well know for the stunning collection of indigenous and imported plants that everyone can agree is a great way to spend part of your day.
Banks Peninsula is in the area of Little River and Akaroa harbour is worth checking out too. It is a small, quiet place but the nature is awesome with excellent hiking and biking trails. The scenery is wonderful with mountains in the background and forest all around.
Lake Pukaki is a treasured place for some locals, with the turquoise water and views of Mount Cook. It is peaceful and quiet, with beautiful views but not many facilities around so come prepared.
Southern Encounter Aquarium & Kiwi House has eels, seahorses and turtles along with the shy kiwis. It is in the center of the city so the location makes it an easy stop but it isn't the largest of these.
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve also has kiwis and there is no glass so you can see them up close. There is also Kea, Tuatara and other native species. They have a Maori cultural experience, the wildlife reserve with noctural North Island Brown Kiwi, and a restaurant with school activities as well as children's birthday parties available.
Hagley Park is also located centrally and a great place to take in fall colors if you are here during that season. There is a nice plaground for kids and a lot of events are held here. It is the largest open urban space in Christchurch along the Avon river with distinctive trees and many events such as concerts taking place here. The Avon River is a great place for a stroll. The banks of the river and the trees surround you to give you a tranquil feeling a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the center.
Orana Wildlife Park is New Zeland's largest wildlife preserve. There is a lion experience and a tiger experience where you can pay to get close to these gentle giants. There is a nice bird display and a good playground for kids. There is also giraffes, lemurs, rhinos, cheetahs, and tuataras.
Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden is located in Timaru to the south of Christchurch and shows off over 1000 kinds of roses.Port Hills is a great neighborhood for a walk to enjoy the city just outside Christchurch. You can enjoy spectacular views of the Southern Alps and the ocean.
These are just some of the great places in and around Christchurch to enjoy. It is a lovely city and receptive to tourists as the kind folks who live here will tell you.