Top things to do

Top Choice National Park in Arthur's Pass

Arthur's Pass National Park

Straddling the Southern Alps, known to Māori as Ka Tiritiri o Te Moana (Steep Peak of Glistening White), this vast alpine wilderness became the South Island's first national park in 1929. Of its 1144 sq km, two-thir…
Top Choice Gardens in Christchurch

Botanic Gardens

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 wh…
Top Choice Shopping Centre in Christchurch

Tannery

In a city mourning the loss of its heritage, this post-earthquake conversion of a 19th-century tannery couldn't be more welcome. The Victorian buildings have been beautifully restored, and are crammed with all manne…
Top Choice Gallery in Timaru

Aigantighe Art Gallery

One of the South Island’s largest public galleries, this 1908 mansion houses a notable collection of NZ and European art across various eras, alongside temporary exhibitions staged by the gallery's ardent supporters…
Top Choice Gardens in Akaroa

Giant’s House

An ongoing labour of love by local artist Josie Martin, this whimsical garden is really one giant artwork, a combination of sculpture and mosaics that cascades down a hillside above Akaroa. Echoes of Gaudí and Miró …
Top Choice Museum in Christchurch

Quake City

A must-visit for anyone interested in understanding the impact of the Canterbury earthquakes, this compact museum tells stories through photography, video footage and various artefacts, including the remnants of Chr…
Top Choice Pub in Christchurch

Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn

For fans of great beer, Pomeroy's is perfect for supping a drop or two alongside a plate of proper pork crackling. Among this British-style pub's many endearing features are regular live music, a snug, sunny courtya…
Top Choice Bar in Christchurch

Smash Palace

Epitomising the spirit of transience, tenacity and resourcefulness that Christchurch is now known for, this deliberately downcycled and ramshackle beer garden is an intoxicating mix of grease-monkey garage, trailer-…
Top Choice Modern NZ in Timaru

Oxford

This sophisticated corner restaurant honours its 1925 building with stylish monochrome decor and a feature wall commemorating the day Timaru went bust. The menu offers high-class comfort food, starring local produce…
Top Choice Gallery in Christchurch

Christchurch Art Gallery

Damaged in the earthquakes, Christchurch's fantastic art gallery has reopened brighter and bolder, presenting a stimulating mix of local and international exhibitions. Collection items range from the traditional to …