Inner-City Parks, Gardens And Playgrounds
If there is one thing Ōtautahi sure knows how to do, its blending nature’s playground into the vibrant city centre. Renowned for its beautiful gardens, Christchurch also has a selection of parks and playgrounds that are centrally located for when you need a little city escape.
A gem in the heart of the city, Hagley Park is a much-loved destination for locals and a popular spot for all who visit Ōtautahi. The large park spans 165 hectares, so there is plenty of space for all kinds of activities, including sports games, jogging tracks, bike lanes, picnic spots, and even some of the city’s largest concerts and festivals.
Located only a 15-minute walk from the CBD, Hagley Park is the perfect place to stretch the legs if you fancy a walk, or a lovely place to take lunch picnic style. Park up on the grass, soak up some sun and watch the world go by!
An inner-city sanctuary, The Botanic Gardens need to be on every nature-lovers list when exploring Christchurch. Just a 15-minute walk from the central city, the gardens offer a tranquil setting to walk, sit, watch and relax.
The impressive plants and flowers fill the area with colour, from blankets of daffodils to spectacular summer roses, you’ll love wandering through the many varieties. Grab a coffee from Ilex Cafe onsite, or simply take your own refreshments and park up for an hour or two amidst the blooms!
Kids need to burn some energy? Margaret Mahy Playground is the place to head. This award-winning playground is a state of the art, all-abilities treasure trove, with a wide range of equipment including a high tower, slides, in-ground trampolines, climbing nets and flying foxes. There is also a water play area to cool off on those warm summer days.
Located only a 10-minute walk from the central city, the playground is set along the beautiful Avon River. There are park tables to enjoy a picnic lunch or a few vendors on site to grab a refreshment.
Riccarton Bush And Ilam Homestead Gardens
For a special experience exploring New Zealand native plants, add Riccarton Bush to your list for gardens to explore. This area is about a 10-minute drive from the central city, so an uber or taxi will get you there in a flash. The ancient native forest reserve lays hidden with manicured gardens and historic buildings alongside the Avon River. Take an easy walk through the beautiful bush by heading towards Deans Cottage and following the stone path through the wooden gate. About 15 minutes return, the walk has plenty of seats located along the track where you can stop and listen to the beautiful birdsong.
What’s even better is that tucked away nearby you will find another of the city’s best kept secrets. Visit Ilam Homestead Gardens in spring or summer, and you’ll be dazzled with scores of azaleas and rhododendrons in this secluded natural haven.