Christchurch is the largest city in New Zealand’s south island. The city is located in close proximity to some of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand including some of the best ski fields that the country has to offer. If you like the outdoors Christchurch is a great place to be.
Canterbury region is one of the driest and flattest regions of New Zealand. Travelling through Canterbury Plain offers classic holiday snaps and still-life videos: emerald sheep-strewn pastures backed by jagged, snow-tipped mountains. Christchurch city has a mild relatively dry climate, but chilly frosts are common in winter. With around 2100 hours of sunshine per year (above the national average), Christchurch is a pleasantly sunny city. Temperatures are often moderated by cooling sea breezes.
You can get from most suburbs to the city, all major shopping malls, educational facilities, and a range of attractions around Christchurch by bus (from NZD2.55). Using Metrocard saves you at least 30% off the regular fares compared to paying cash. Good news for keen cyclists - all buses now have facilities to carry bicycles (bike hire NZD4 per hour). The Christchurch Tram is a major city attraction that holds an important place in the garden city's culture. It is a unique yet effective way to travel round the Christchurch CBD. This is also a great sightseeing option for those wanting to visit some of the Christchurch rebuild in action and existing heritage buildings using heritage transport (adult ticket is NZD20). Walking is the ultimate mode of transport as Christchurch city is flat. Many Christchurch locals walk to work, to their school and to the shops as part of their regular exercise plan.
Being the South Island’s largest city, Christchurch is the focal point for employment in the Canterbury region with one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the OECD. The unemployment rate in Canterbury Region is 2.8% for people aged 15 years and over. Christchurch offers plenty of part-time jobs in Hospitality & Tourism industries. There are also year-round part-time jobs in retail, sales and merchandising. Perhaps you are feeling adventurous about job hunting? Give it a go and apply for a lifeguard position or a pony rider (experience required!). If you’re a student with a Student Visa enrolled in a full-time programme, you may be able to work up to 20 hours per week during the year and full-time during scheduled breaks in your study. It is useful to keep in mind that a minimum wage in New Zealand is $15.25 an hour (before tax for adults over 16 years old).
Renting a house with other flatmates means you may get a fully furnished bedroom and will have to share the common areas such as kitchen, living room and bathroom with other people (unless you are lucky to get an ensuite bathroom). Christchurch house rent prices vary from NZD160 to NZD220 per week including utilities (power and Internet). If you can’t be bothered cooking for yourself and generally prefer a home-like accommodation, then we recommend a so-called “homestay” option for you. It costs between NZD160 - 250 per week in Christchurch. This includes all utilities covered and meals provided (usually breakfast and dinner). Another option is a lodge student accommodation. Accommodation is in units with four students. So you have your own single bedroom and share the kitchen, lounge and bathroom with three others. It will cost you between NZD130.00 - 140.00 per week.
Canterbury is made for outdoor recreation - you can bungy jump (from NZD169), hike, ski, golf, surf, mountain bike, swim, see whales (from NZD320), dolphins and seals - all within two hours of Christchurch. Canterbury region is rated among the world’s top wine-producing areas so one absolutely must visit its wineries. For art-lovers Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu in the heart of Christchurch is home to one of New Zealand's most important public art collections (free daily guided tours available). To explore culture & foods further, visit the Riccarton Market, the South Island's largest outdoor market with more than 300 stalls selling just about everything you can think of. On top of that, Christchurch loves to host festivals. Several interesting events are held here each year, with a distinct party atmosphere taking over the city.
Christchurch is a sunny, compact and ever-evolving city that is surrounded by a region of natural wonders. Enjoy the vibrant arts and culture scene, and don’t forget to pay a visit to iconic Christchurch gardens.