Garden, parks, wildlife reserves and nature centres of Christchurch, New Zealand

Garden, parks, wildlife reserves and nature centres of Christchurch, New Zealand

A travel tip if you like to rest a bit in Christchurch... sourrounded by trees...

- Botanic Gardens, 30 hectares of exotic and indigenous plants and trees wrapped in a loop of the picturesque Avon River and linking to the 160-hectare Hagley Park. These put the "Garden" in the "Garden City".
Rolleston Avenue, car park entrance Armagh Street, Tel: +64 3 941 7590. Gates open daily 7AM-5:30PM winter, 7AM-9PM summer, check exact posted times on gates or website. Information center open daily 10:15AM-4PM summer, 11AM-3PM winter.
www.ccc.govt.nz/parks/BotanicGardens

- Ferrymead Heritage Park, a recreated Edwardian township and museum with horse and carriage (daily), tram (weekends and school/public holidays) and train (first and third Sunday) rides. Due to the voluntary nature of the historical societies managing Ferrymead, not all attractions may be running at all times. Special events are often held and the park has been used to film the TV One reality show 'Colonial House'. Admission price is based on whether trams/trains are operating or not, and include unlimited rides if available. $10 adult, $5 child with trams/trains, $6 adult, $3 child without.
Ferrymead Park Drive (Ferry Road east from city, or take the 30 Sumner bus from the Bus Exchange and to the Heathcote River Bridge, then first right down Bridle Path Road), +64 3 384 1970. Daily 10AM-4:30PM.
www.ferrymead.org.nz

- International Antarctic Centre, a world-class Antarctic experience with simulated polar weather, Hagglund All-Terrain Vehicle ride, penguins, extensive exhibits about Antarctic science missions, cafe and gift shop. $48 adult, $36 child.
Christchurch Airport, +64 3 353 7798 (toll free 0508 736 4846 within NZ). Daily 9AM-8PM summer, 9AM-5:30PM winter.
www.iceberg.co.nz

- Orana Wildlife Park, New Zealand's largest wildlife sanctuary and conservation project featuring endangered animals from around the world. The park's design minimises fences and cages in favor of natural boundaries and habitats. $14 adult ($12 for 2:30PM), $6 child. Lion Encounter (limited 20 tickets per day, participants must be above 1.4 metres in height).
McLeans Island Road (10 minutes' drive west of airport), +64 3 359 7109. Daily 10AM-5PM, last entrance 4:30PM.
www.oranawildlifepark.co.nz

- Science Alive, an interactive science education center with gift shop. Themed exhibitions are on display and change three times a year. $10 adult, $7 child 5-16yrs, $4 child 2-4yrs.
394 Moorhouse Road (former Railway Station building, shares lobby with Hoyts 8 cinema), +64 3 365 5199. Daily 10AM-5PM.
www.sciencealive.co.nz

- Southern Encounter Aquarium & Kiwi House (formerly Aquarium of Discovery), Walk-through aquarium showcasing native fish and sea creatures. There is an interactive rock-pool for kids and viewing of nocturnal brown kiwis. $11 adult, $5 child.
Cathedral Square (adjoins the i-Site visitors' center), +64 3 359 0581. Daily 9AM-4:30PM.
www.southernencounter.co.nz

- Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, a smaller park than Orana, with a focus on New Zealand species including kiwi in a natural environment.
60 Hussey Road (off Gardiners Road), +64 3 359 6226. Daily 10AM-10PM, kiwi viewing from 11AM. $16 adult, $8 child.
www.willowbank.co.nz

- Riccarton Bush. The last remaining forest remnant on the Canterbury plains is in Christchurch city. If your time is limited in NZ, this is a great way to experience an example of the country's native forests. The circular track passes under tall kahikatea trees, and there is a diversity of small trees, shrubs, climbers and ferns. Christchurch's oldest house, Dean's Cottage (built 1843) is adjacent. Five minutes drive from central city and easily accessible by bus.

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