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Welcome to NZ Motorhome Rentals - Christchurch is the largest city in New Zealand’s South Island, the crown jewel of the Canterbury Region and home to around 400,000 people. Stunning mountain vistas, adventure sports galore and the beautiful Hanmer Springs make Christchurch an exceptional base from which to begin your New Zealand campervan hire adventure. The winters in Christchurch are particularly good for skiing and snowboarding with Mt Hutt, Mt Cheeseman and Porter’s Pass a stone's throw away.
South from Christchurch on one of the most incredibly scenic drives in the world you will find Queenstown, hailed as the adventure capital of New Zealand and featuring skydiving, jet boating, luxury golf courses, the Queenstown luge track and incredible skiing. Queenstown has something for everyone. Search, book and save on your campervan hire adventure in the stunning South Island of New Zealand with NZ Motorhome Rentals. Find great deals on by comparing over 34 suppliers of motorhomes suited to your needs, NZ Motorhome Rentals is proud to bring you the best deals on 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6+ berth motorhomes to make booking your New Zealand motorhome vacation easy and enjoyable.
As New Zealand's premier motorhome comparison service, we have been offering our customers premium service since way back in 2002. Find your perfect hotel on wheels to tour Christchurch on your terms (and while you’re here, how about adding a few extra spots to your motorhome tour of New Zealand - Christchurch is the perfect launch pad for an epic adventure!). At the booking window simply enter your preferences for flexible pick up and drop off in multiple New Zealand locations, NZ Motorhome Rentals has got you covered for your Christchurch motorhome hire experience.
We've got you covered with 35 fleets across New Zealand
We mean it when we say we've got you covered. Book with confidence by comparing local and international suppliers across the country. Jucy Rental, Britz, Maui, Apollo - you'll find them all on NZ Motorhome Rentals.
Perform a search, compare trusted local and international brands and secure your NZ campervan rental.
Known affectionately to Kiwis as the Garden City, Christchurch, a coastal city situated on the east side of the South Island, has earned its praise from people at home and abroad. Christchurch is the perfect spot to begin your NZ motorhome odyssey, central to skiing and snowboarding destinations, the Central Otago wine and adventure region, and featuring a multitude of fully equipped campgrounds to have you exploring all the South Island has to offer in style and comfort.
We provide our customers with the ability to quickly search, compare prices on 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6+ berth motorhomes and book their dream motorhome for hire catering to solo travellers as well as small and large groups of explorers enjoying their dream New Zealand escapes. Christchurch is a must see location whilst visiting New Zealand and is located 483 kilometres (approximately 300 miles) from Queenstown and only 310 kilometres (approximately 193 miles) from Dunedin.
In 2010 and 2012 Christchurch was affected by a series of earthquakes which caused a great deal of damage to the city. In response to the disastrous events which took place years ago Quake City was established. Quake City is a combination of both a tourist attraction and informational exhibit and the establishment of a positive stance on the natural disaster in order to educate and bolster the local tourism economy. Quake City is a number of thought provoking displays, posters and video content designed to educate serve as a constant reminder of what took place on those fateful days. Quake City also serves to highlight the incredible rebuilt projects that have taken place since the quake and how far Christchurch has come since.
Christchurch Motorhome Rental Itinerary Ideas
NZ Motorhome Rentals offers flexible pick up options in Christchurch central and from Christchurch international airport with the best prices guaranteed all year round. Collect your campervan and head into the garden city to explore from the Port Hills to the central city.
Head into Christchurch City and visit the beautiful Christchurch Botanic Gardens, one of the cities most popular attractions, particularly in the spring and summer time when the flowers are in full colour. The Christchurch Botanical Gardens are home to an incredible array of native and international plans in addition to the network of streams, waterways and water features scattered throughout the gardens. The Gardens were established over 150 years and serve as a special spot for the local people of Christchurch to enjoy the flora and fauna the city is home to.
Head North from Christchurch 30 kilometres (approximately 19 miles) to Waimakariri on State Highway 1 or the inland Scenic Route 72 for jet boating on the river, kayaking on Lake Pegasus and farm tours all within thirty minutes drive of the city. Next set your sights on Hanmer Springs and Hurunui, a Trip Advisor 2012 top destination, the Alpine Pacific Touring route provides many gems to explore the adventure, wine and thermal attractions in the area just 45 minutes from Christchurch International Airport.
Hanmer Springs is home to fresh mountain air and warming natural hot springs nestled in the wooded alpine gardens. For a more adrenaline fuelled adventure, hit the trails on a mountain bike, catapult yourself off a bridge on a bungee jump, or traverse the rapids on a white water rafting trip. Hanmer is also home to the North Canterbury wine region and plenty of spots to park up your motorhome to stroll or cycle between vineyards featuring award winning dining and wine.
Then head to Kaikoura, a seaside town on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, 3 hours drive north of Christchurch, embrace all that this eco-tourism centre has to offer. All year round wildlife are present, with sperm whales, dusky dolphins, fur seals and the majestic albatross frequent the area. Being Earthcheck certified, the benchmark for sustainable tourism free from green washing, leaves you to rest assured that while touring in your NZ Motorhome Rentals campervan the sights and sounds are looked after.
Make your way toward the ski fields through Arthur’s Pass and Mid-Canterbury. Arthur’s Pass doubles as Middle Earth, featuring many of the sites made world famous by the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Within the Arthur's Pass National Park you will find Selwyn, the home of several hiking and mountain biking tracks, or ski the famed Selwyn 6. Take your rental campervan on the ski trip of a lifetime and enjoy the mountains only 1.5 to 2 hours from Christchurch International Airport. For those that have more time up their sleeve, grabbing a Queenstown motorhome rental and driving toward Christchurch is a once in a lifetime journey.
Explore more places to see and things to do with Christchurch NZ.
Driving tips for the deep south
We at NZ Motorhome Rentals take the offering of the cheapest deals of the day to our customers seriously. Vastly more important to us here at NZ Motorhome Rentals is the active promotion of campervan driver safety. It is vital that during your time in New Zealand you abide strictly by the New Zealand road rules for the safety of your friends and family and other road users while driving your campervan hire.
We recommend taking note of the following tips and tricks for a safe and successful motorhome based exploration on New Zealand’s roads. The Police in New Zealand are responsible for the enforcement of the road safety rules and they rightly take their jobs very seriously to ensure New Zealand roads are safe for all users so make sure you obey any directions from our safety officers.
NZ Motorhome Rentals recommends all of the following before and during your RV adventure on New Zealand roads:
Review the Kiwi road code: the road code sets out clear expectations for all road users to ensure the safety of your friends and whanau (whanau, pronounced ‘pha-no’, meaning family in the Maori language);
Make sure that you keep in the left land on the road (the centre line should always be on the right side of the driver) and ensure that you and others are wearing seat belts at all times whilst your RV is operating;
Go slowly: take it easy, the stunning New Zealand scenery looks far better when you’re travelling sub-warp speed. There is a zero tolerance for speeding and endangering others whilst out on the road in New Zealand;
Watch out for the recommended speed signs: many corners on New Zealand roads feature large reflective recommended speed signs rated for the particular corner so stick to the recommended speed and take it easy;
Use your mirrors and check what’s going on behind you: if you notice traffic building up behind your motorhome, we urge you to find the next safest spot to pull over and let the traffic pass your RV, you’ll make everyone’s day!
If you need more information about the roads and New Zealand and you’d like to speak to a human then there are nearly 150 iSite information centres located all over New Zealand. Drop into one of these centres and the friendly staff will be more than happy to assist you with any questions you might have.
If you have any further questions please visit our FAQ section or contact us.
Ōtautahi was originally the name of a site located in the middle of Christchurch, a kāika situated on present day Kilmore Street near the fire station.
Ōtautahi means ‘the place of Tautahi’ and was adopted as the general name for Christchurch in the 1930s. Earlier, Ngāi Tahu had referred to the Christchurch area as Karaitiana.
Te Potiki Tautahi was one of the first Ngāi Tahu to settle in the Canterbury region. His settlement was at Koukourarata (Port Levy) on Horomaka (Banks Peninsula). At that time, the swampy flatlands of the present day site of Christchurch city were abundant with food sources such as ducks, weka, eels and small fish.
Tautahi and his people made frequent forays from Koukourarata around the Peninsula and then up the Ōtākaro (Avon River) to gather kai (meaning food in English. They camped on the river banks as they caught eels and snared birds in the harakeke. Tautahi died during one of these visits and is buried in the urupā on the site of what was St Luke’s Church vicarage on the corner of Kilmore and Manchester Streets (demolished following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes).
The area now defined as Christchurch city was named as Tautahi’s special territory. The full name is Te Whenua o Te Potiki-Tautahi, this was later shortened to Ō Te Potiki Tautahi and then shortened further to Ōtautahi.
Christchurch - Lake Tekapo: 227 km / 141 mi
Christchurch - Dunedin: 361 km / 224 mi
Christchurch - Franz Josef: 379 km / 236 mi
Christchurch - Greymouth: 241 km / 150 mi
Christchurch - Omarama: 314 km / 195 mi
Christchurch - Queenstown: 483 km / 300 mi
Events and attractions:
Christchurch is a stunning city in New Zealand’s South Island, whose residents have built a high level of resilience and fortitude. The powerful optimism of the local population has led to incredible cultural development in the city and from struggle has emerged something even more special than before. Christchurch is brimming with exceptional activities. We are proud to share a few of our favourites below.
#1 The Arts Centre
The Arts Centre of Christchurch once attracted tourists and locals to investigate the Canterbury College and the artisan vendors housed within. This beautiful neo-gothic building and campus was the centre of arts and culture in Christchurch, and featured markets, street performers and artists. The buildings were damaged severely during the earthquakes in 2011. Toward the end of 2019, the multimillion dollar Arts Centre restoration project was completed. Future projects can be contributed to by way of donation.
#2 The beaches
Only a short drive southeast from the CBD, is the coastal suburb of Sumner. Sumner Beach is the perfect place to swim (during the summer time) and to stroll next to the sea-side. Sumner Beach is also the location of Shag Rock, a famous landmark that marks the entrance to the Avon Heathcote estuary. Te Onepoto (in Māori), otherwise known as Taylor’s Mistake, named after the master of a vessel that crashed into this bay in the mid 19th century because of a navigational error is also well worth a visit.
#3 Riccarton Market
Riccarton is located to the west of the inner city and is the location of the Riccarton Market. Each Sunday at the Riccarton Racecourse over 250 stall operators sell their wares making the Riccarton Market the largest in the NZ. The Riccarton Market is a great place to collect everything from fresh food and vegetables, plants and trees, furniture, clothing, art and second-hand goods. There are also plenty of children’s attractions like a painting stall and train rides. Do check the opening hours!
#5 Christchurch Cathedral
The famous and visually stunning Christchurch Cathedral was all but destroyed by the 2011 earthquake. The cathedral is a gothic revival style building that was built over a 40 year period at the end of the 1800s and is located at the centre of the city in Cathedral Square. The cathedral has been one of the most iconic and key structures in the city for most of Christchurch’s post-colonial history. The damage to the Cathedral had a profound effect on the locals. The Cardboard Cathedral was opened in August 2013 as a transitional place of worship for the community during the reconstruction of the Christchurch Cathedral, and it is well worth a visit.
#6 The Botanic Gardens
The Christchurch Botanic Gardens are a true highlight. Situated west of the CBD, the gardens display spectacular plants unique to New Zealand. Specialised staff, employing the traditional Kaitiaki, which is the Māori word meaning ‘guardian’, work to ensure the preservation of this treasured location and maintain its respect.
#7 Christchurch Museum
Canterbury Museum houses a number of displays that highlight New Zealand’s rich history. The Museum contains a plethora of items, from contemporary art to ancient artefacts. The museum is a hub for local engagement and great place to learn about our beautiful country. Our highlights include the incredible Maori artworks and artefacts collected and preserved from the Age of Discovery in Antarctica.
#8 The 185 Empty White Chairs
Pete Majendie, local artist, built this installation as a memorial for the lives lost in the earthquake that nearly flattened Christchurch in early 2011. Each of the 185 chairs serves as a seat for each victim of the quake. In addition, each chair is totally original, recognising each person who died as a unique individual. The 185 Empty White Chairs was originally established on the site of the Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, which was destroyed during the earthquakes. The work has been relocated to the site of the former St Paul’s Trinity Pacific Presbyterian Church, which was also destroyed during the earthquake. It is a sobering sight.
#9 Ferrymead Park
Situated in Ferrymead, a suburb southeast of the CBD, next to the Avon Heathcote Estuary, is Ferrymead Park. Ferrymead is an Edwardian style township that contains houses, municipal buildings including a school, a jail, a post office and a church, and businesses including a train station, a tobacconist and a lawyer’s office. Ferrymead was set up in the 1960s by a group of local history enthusiasts to provide a site that displays the culture and legacy of the area and gives an idea of what a township in Canterbury would have looked like at the turn of the 20th century. This park also offers an array of heritage museums and exhibitions that are open for viewing, and display collections of artefacts from the era.
#10 Isaac Theatre Royal
The Isaac Theatre Royal is at the centre of the CBD, a 19th century theatre, originally called the Canterbury Music Hall. Since opening in the late 1800s, the theatre has been home to a huge number of local talents, and to this day remains as one of the most beautiful theatres in the country, with much of the original architecture and interior design intact. Restoration works carried out in the 1990s strengthened the theatre, saving this building from the earthquakes.
#11 The Avon River
The Avon River is a crown jewel for Christchurch locals and Cantabrians in general. The Avon runs through Christchurch’s CBD, and is a prominent feature of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. The river is 14 kilometres long and runs from an estuary on the coast of the South Island, a few kilometres east of the city, and intersects through the city before coming to an end a few kilometres west of the CBD. We recommend the Antigua Boat Sheds to hire a boat and get to know the stunning Avon.
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