Botanic Gardens

Top choice in Christchurch

Botanic Gardens and Canterbury Museum in Hagley Park.

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

Strolling through these 30 blissful riverside hectares of arboreal and floral splendour is a consummate Christchurch experience. Gorgeous at any time of the year, the gardens are particularly impressive in spring when the rhododendrons, azaleas and daffodil woodland are in riotous bloom. There are thematic gardens to explore, lawns to sprawl on, and a playground adjacent to the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, which also contains a lovely cafe and gift shop.

Guided walks ($10, 1½ hours) depart at 1.30pm (October to May) from the gate near Canterbury Museum, or hop aboard the Caterpillar electric shuttle.