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Christchurch Motorhome Rentals
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.
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Campervan Hire in Christchurch, New Zealand
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 pr ovide 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.
Christchurch Motorhome Blog
Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular cities - with history spanning two centuries and a kind, highly resilient local population - Christchurch is a must on your New Zealand campervan adventure. We are proud to partner with and recommend a few Kiwi companies doing wonderful things offering many not-to-miss activities that will make your kiwi adventure one you won’t ever forget. Christchurch has plenty to offer visitors from New Zealand and all over the world.
Kaikoura Fishing Tours
For the fish and game fans on your team, we highly recommend Kaikoura Fishing Tours & Charters. Owned and operated for a number of years by Anita and Tomo, Kaikoura Fishing Tours offers several charter options to explore the stunning Kaikoura area with their charter options starting at a 2 hour fishing excursion. Charter trips 3 hours, 4 hours in duration and day trips are also available on request.
Kaikoura Fishing Tours operates from a custom built 12 meter long charter vessel called ‘Tessa B’ - a stable vessel with an 18 person capacity (however, the team only operate trips with 12 people to ensure you’ve got plenty of space to fish!). The vessel also features a large restroom for visitor use.
On your charter you’ll have the opportunity to catch a wide variety of New Zealand fish including Tarakihi, Gurnard and Grouper as well as the fabled Crayfish - the New Zealand lobster. All levels of fishing ability are catered for and all the gear you’ll need is supplied by the Kaikoura Fishing Tours Team!
Once you’ve caught your fish, the team is happy to fillet and prepare your fish to eat for lunch at sea or, if you prefer, catch and release! Kaikoura Fishing Tours supports sustainable fisheries and will return under sized catch to the ocean.
Kaikoura Fishing Tours gives you a hands on experience hauling up crayfish pots, sorting and measuring the catch and the opportunity to take a couple of crays home with you (provided they are the right size of course!). The team are proud kiwis with plenty of experience out on the ocean - check out their website www.kaikoura-fishing-tours.co.nz and Facebook for more details and to book.
Christchurch Helicopters has been operating in Christchurch, New Zealand for a number of years and are located at their Heli Centre, Harewood Aviation Park at Christchurch International Airport. Christchurch Helicopters has grown substantially over the years and now maintain a highly diversified offering of Heli services in Christchurch.
Take your dream scenic flight with Christchurch Helicopters and on a Big Backyard Tour. Big Backyard Tours start at the City & Lyttelton Scenic landscape package and range through to Movie Sets, High Country Lakes and beyond to charter hunting trips and the dramatic World In A Day tour of the stunning beauty of the South Island. All flights are either in a Cabri G2, EC120 B or AS350 B2 (Squirrel) helicopter!
Christchurch Helicopters field a highly capable and experienced team of pilots performing commercial and agricultural helicopter operations in addition to taking passengers on helicopter tours of the Canterbury region. For the rugby fans in your group, Christchurch Helicopters also offers tours piloted by former All Blacks Captain Ritchie McCaw.
The team are also avid supporters of conservation in New Zealand and have partnered with the Department Of Conservation (DOC) assisting through fundraising and promotional efforts as well as transporting DOC workers into remote areas around Canterbury! The team are partners with the New Zealand National Parks & Conservation Foundation (NPCF).
Enquire with the team about your options to see Canterbury from above!
Barrys Bay Cheese
The Barrys Bay Cheese team have been in operation since 1895 and this year are celebrating their 125th anniversary of making stunning cheeses in the Banks Peninsula area. In the early days (we’re talking New Zealand in the 19th century) the Barrys Bay Cheese team were one of only nine family owned cheese makers in the area. Today Barrys Bay Cheese is the only family owned establishment producing traditional cheeses in the area, such as Havarti, Maasdam, Gouda, Cheddar and Peninsula Blue!
In the early 1950’s Barrys Bay Cheese built a brand new factory that the team uses today to create their stunning cheeses. The factory is located on the way out to Akaroa and is the perfect place to take a break from your travels to explore the culinary delights created by the team in the home of true artisan cheese makers. The Barrys Bay Cheese team are committed to time tested and trusted methods of cheese production - over 100 years of production has resulted in true expertise.
The team are no strangers to awards (with far too many for us to list here!) - a notable mention is winning the Category Champion for Best Flavoured Cheese with their Peppered Havarti at the 2019 NZ Champions of Cheese Awards.. Cheeses are made in the factory between October and May each year whilst the local cows are all milking. The factory features a large viewing window between the shop and the cheese making spaces providing visitors with a glimpse of the magic that takes place inside.
Visit the Barrys Bay Cheese website for more information and give the team a follow on Instagram and Facebook to see their latest updates. To arrange group factory visits you can email the team at email@example.com.
Coast Up Close Wildlife Tours
Soak in the spectacular views of Banks Peninsula and Akaroa with Coast Up Close Wildlife Tours! On your Coast Up Close Wildlife Tour you’ll see some of NZ’s most amazing wildlife in their natural habitats. Be sure to bring your camera for the best wildlife viewing and photo opportunities!
The team will take you on a wildlife tour that explores the spectacular volcanic coastline and abundant wildlife of Banks Peninsula and Akaroa. Wildlife tour numbers are kept limited, offering you a small and intimate tour that will take you where others can’t, with amazing views of New Zealand’s wildlife. Some of the wildlife you’ll get to see include the Hector’s dolphins, New Zealand fur seals, little blue penguins and an array of seabirds.
The friendly and knowledgeable crew love meeting and talking with guests and Scruffy, the friendly boat dog, joins in on afternoon trips! Tony, a real Kiwi, has been exploring the waters around the Peninsula since the 1960s. He’ll entertain you with his the stories of his
adventures and share his enthusiasm for this wonderful environment and stunning wildlife.
The characterful and comfortable boat - Wairiri, is a 41-foot Kauri Launch built in 1964. Tours specialise in small groups and enough space to move around the boat for the best wildlife viewing and photo opportunities! On the tour you’ll see gigantic cliffs, go inside sea
caves and get close to all the incredible wildlife.
Experience Akaroa and Banks Peninsula on this intimate boat tour where you’ll see stunning wildlife and extraordinary views of the coastline!
Child $40.00 (1-15 yrs inclusive)
Main Wharf, Beach Road, Akaroa 7582
Coast Up Close Wildlife Tours are located at the ocean end of the Main Wharf, walk past the blue buildings and past the Fish & Chip trailer.
For peace of mind and security, if your Close Up Close experience is cancelled by the operator (in the event of adverse weather or anything else out of your control) you will be entitled to a full refund.
Coast Up Close recommend that you allow approximately 2.5 hours for the whole experience and are offer places on the tour for children under 1 yrs old are free of charge! Check out their website for more information.
Canterbury is one of the most picturesque locations in New Zealand to skydive and to learn the art of the jump. Skydiving Kiwis is situated in Ashburton a few minutes outside of Christchurch. Set in the heart of Canterbury's majestic scenery, your New Zealand adventure skydiving experience awaits you. Feel the exhilaration of total freefall whilst taking in breathtaking views of New Zealand!
Skydiving Kiwis are proud to offer one of the most welcoming 'Kiwi' adventure activities in Canterbury, and pride themselves on providing guests with an experience they will never forget. Skydiving is a truly exhilarating activity and you’ll likely want to capture the whole event - Skydiving Kiwis offer photo and video packages so you can share your adventure with your family and friends.
Skydiving Kiwis are proud to be fully certified by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority as an Aviation Adventure Operator. The certification strengthens and reinforces Skydiving Kiwis commitment to the safety and continuation of the New Zealand skydiving industry. With over 20 years of skydive industry experience, you can jump assured that your skydiving adventure will be as safe as it is exciting.
With Skydiving Kiwis your tandem skydive package includes a thorough briefing with qualified instructors who will provide you with an in-depth end to end description of the jump and procedures. On exiting the aircraft you’ll reach a terminal velocity (nearly 200 kilometers per hour) for almost one full minute! Once the parachute deploys, you will glide for around 5 minutes over Canterbury’s stunning vistas before landing safely back within the boundaries of the dropzone to reflect on completing your bucket list life experience!
Skydiving Kiwis offer a range of skydiving experiences for all budgets and adrenaline appetites. Give the team a call on 0800 359 549 or book your tandem skydive on their website.
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