Back in February, we had a Christchurch trip. We were there for a wedding but I decided to make a mini holiday out of it as I haven’t really explored Christchurch at all. We had such an amazing time so I wanted to do a recap of it here. We stayed at 2 beautiful places and explored both the city and a seaside town.
Before this trip, I’ve only been to Christchurch / Ōtautahi once for a few days pre-earthquake so it was over 10 years ago. We also didn’t explore too much. So this time around, I wanted to see more of this cool city.
We started off in the city and checked in to the beautiful The Muse Hotel. It’s a fairly new hotel right in the city and it has a cute rooftop bar.
This hotel was so pretty. It’s not big but every room is designed by a NZ artist with different themes. It’s very artsy and pretty and so up my alley.
Our room was also nice. The bed was comfy and the details especially that blue chair was cool. It also comes with a Nespresso machine which was handy. My favourite part was the shower though. The rainfall shower was heavenly.
We spent our first afternoon/evening roaming the city. Since it’s so flat, it’s so walkable. Christchurch has changed a lot since I last came mostly due to the earthquake that devastated the city. There are still many empty lots and buildings that need to be demolished. However, there are also some really nice new buildings / developments. On the right is Riverside Market which looked cool. We went inside but we didn’t eat there.
After all that walking, we ended up at OGB Bar for drinks.
It was a nice sunny day (although a bit chilly) so we sat outside. There was live music. Inside OGB Bar is quite cool as it’s a speakeasy bar in a heritage building.
For dinnner, we decided on Francesca’s Italian Kitchen.
For our first dinner in Christchurch, we chose well. Francesca’s was great. We shared the polenta chips for entreé. For mains, I chose the homemade gnocchi, braised beef check, gremolata and pecorino which was delicious. Max got the lamb shoulder ragù. We then got the tiramisu to share which was a great idea. I also had the rosè and it was so nice and smooth.
The next morning, I went for a walk. I usually can’t sleep in so I get up, put walking shoes on and just explore while I let Max sleep in and I’d bring coffee.
Walking is truly the best way to explore. The cardboard Cathedral was still closed but I just oggled it from the outside. I then made two coffee stops: Underground Coffee and Unknown Chapter. I wanted to check out the local coffee roasters.
My favourite part of the city was definitely the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. We also stopped by at the cafe which overlooks the greenhouse (so many huge cool plants) and has pretty reasonably priced food.
My absolute favourite place in the gardens was the conservatories.
I want a conservatory like this with a couch or hammock in the middle so I can read and be surrounded by plants. If you’re in Christchurch city, I highly recommend the gardens. It’s massive so allocate some time because you can be there for hours.
After hours of walking, we went back to our hotel and finally checked out the cool rooftop bar Pink Lady. This bar is so asethetically pleasing and you get 360 degree view of the city and beyond.
It’s such a cool spot and cute cocktails too.
You can have drinks and food up here. We were still full from brunch at the botanic gardens so we only got chips and I got the pink mistress cocktail which had pink gin, creme de cacao, strawberry, lemon, vanilla and wonderfoam. It was a sweet cocktail.
We wanted to make the most of our short time in Christchurch and as we had a rental car, we ended up driving to New Brighton Pier in the afternoon.
It was quite windy at the pier but I was surprised at how long it was and it seems to be in such a random place. It’s 300m long and it was cool walking all the way to the end and feeling like I’m in the middle of the ocean / deep water.
Afterwards, we drove up to the Port Hills and we were greeted by spectacular views.
Christchurch has so many walking and mountain biking tracks! They’re also pretty close to the city. Driving 20-30 mins from the city centre will take you to this which is cool. We don’t really get this in Auckland.
When we got back to the city, we headed straight to Rollickin Gelato because this place has been recommended to me a few times and I had to go check it out.
For dinner, I felt like Asian food and during my morning exploration, I saw a Filipino restaurant close by so off we went to Sari Sari Filipino Kitchen.
If you’ve never had Filipino food, I don’t know what you’re doing. You’re missing out because the food I grew up eating is delicious and I’m glad Max loves it too.
They were doing $10 frozen margaritas so we had to get them. For dinner, we got adobo spring rolls, crispy pata (crispy pork belly) and inihaw na liempo (grilled pork). We also shared a dessert which is one of my favourites, buko pandan. We ordered way too much food which ended up being a great idea because we took them and brought the leftovers with us.
The next morning, I got up and went for another walk and checked out another coffee roasters, C4 Espresso which is in a beautiful building.
I got a coffee and a huge muffin that I took back to the hotel. The interiors of this place is quite cool and I’ve heard that if you order their burgers, it comes out through the pipes! I definitely want to go back here when I’m in Christchurch again.
Afterwards, we checked out and headed to Sumner Beach and had lunch at Sumner Beach Bar.
For the rest of our time in Christchurch, we stayed at Taylors Mistake. As I said at the start, we were here for a wedding which was in Scarborough. I ended up finding this gem of an Airbnb and it was my favourite part of our trip.
The views from this house was just stunning. I could stare at this view for hours and also watch the surfers down at the beach. It overlooks Taylors Mistake Beach and Awaroa / Godley Head.
If you want to escape from the city, I highly recommend this Airbnb. The hosts were quite accommodating and we were lucky that it was ready at midday so we had time to unpack and get ready for the wedding instead of the usual 2pm check-in.
The bedroom is downstairs and it was nice and cosy. The massive windows with that view was heavenly. We left the curtains open so that I could wake up and watch the sunrise from Awaroa. I wish I could wake up to that view every single day. Check out my ‘Christchurch Trip‘ highlights on my Instagram as I posted a video tour of this Airbnb. I felt so at home there that I didn’t want to leave!
As for the wedding, I ended up wearing the Ruby star dress I got secondhand from Designer Wardrobe.
As for the wedding itself, I didn’t take any photos but it was lovely. It was such a nice chill wedding and the views from the ceremony was lovely. The reception was also heaps of fun. We had a great time. These are the only photos I have from the wedding:
For our last full day in Christchurch, we ended up going for a walk to Awaroa / Godley Head. Our Airbnb has steps down to Taylors Mistake beach which was great.
We didn’t do the full walk as we were tired but it was lovely to get out there and take in the view. It’s such a great spot.
For our last night, we relaxed back in the house, we put the fire on as I was cold and we ate the Filipino food leftovers which was perfect. It was a great end to our Christchurch trip.
Overall, this was an awesome trip especially since we’ve barely had any holidays due to the pandemic. It was the first time I got on a plane since the pandemic hit NZ and we’ve had a few lockdowns. I’m glad I made a mini holiday out of it and we were able to explore as much of Christchurch while we were down there. I definitely want to go back and explore some more!