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Our Favourite Activities

Below are some of our favourite activities. There are many more, please come to reception and have a chat to our friendly and knowledgeable staff.  

Re-Start shipping container shopping mall (open 10am to 5pm)
Check-out our post-earthquake mall. This funky and innovative mall has been made out of shipping containers and hosts a range of shops, food stalls and also a post shop.

Walks on the Port Hills (Bridal Path and Rapaki)
Two of our favourite walks are the Bridal path (up to the gondola – yes call us crazy!) and Rapaki. Our receptionists can explain which busses to take.

The gondola is a 10 minute ride to the top of the Port Hills giving you stunning views of the city with the Southern Alps in the background on one side and Lyttelton and Diamond Harbour on the other. You can buy a return ticket or if you’re brave enough you can walk up or down. We definitely recommend checking out the café at the top, as it has a delicious menu.

Hagley Park
A 2 minute walk from Dorset House Backpackers and a great place to go for a stroll. Over summer it’s hosting many events such as the Buskers Festival, Lazy Sundays (live music from 3-4.30pm), the Great Kiwi Beer Festival or the Food and Wine festival. To see what’s on over summer check out Summertimes or for any other time of year go to bethere

Botanical Gardens
These gorgeous gardens are great any time of year to stroll through (bring a picnic)! Fancy lunch or a coffee, you’re only minutes away from Curators House, Antigua Boatsheds or the visitor centre.

Canterbury Museum (9am to 5pm)
Explore the natural and human history collections, have fun in Discovery, relax in the cafe or browse the store - there's something for the whole family to enjoy! They often have different exhibitions on. Great cheap day activity, as you can leave a donation at the end.

Lyttelton is a funky port town with great cafes and bars with live music. You can walk here from the gondola and catch a bus back to town (or gondola). Catch the ferry to Quail Island or visit on a Saturday and experience the Lyttelton Farmers Markets (10am to 1pm)

Sumner Beach
A great beach to go for a stroll complete with beach café (and many other cafes). Lovely on a Sunday to visit the Sumner markets (10am to 2pm – only in summer) or to have a go at surfing.

Dolphin Swim Akaroa with Black Cat Cruises
See amazing wildlife, giant volcanic sea cliffs and hear about Akaroa’s fascinating past, and that only 1.5 hours away from Christchurch (a great day trip!). Check out their video.