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Winter activities

Winter wonders: nine things guaranteed to get you out and loving Christchurch this winter

The temperatures have begun their downward descent and winter is on the seasonal horizon. But that’s no reason to hunker down at home.

Winter activities

Without the evolutionary need to hibernate like our animal ancestry, there’s still plenty to do and see to make the most of the chilly season. Here are our top picks!

Rise and shine

The sun rises a bit later in winter, giving you plenty of time to get up in the morning and make your way down to the beach. Just before the sun rises, the temperature drops and the sand freezes over, creating beautiful patterns. Definitely an Insta-worthy sight!

Café culture

The natural next step to ‘rise and shine’ is, of course, coffee! There’s a strong café culture in the city, so we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a favourite, but Black & White Coffee Cartel, Room 205, Villa 23 and 43 Degrees Café are just some of ours.

Star light star bright

When it comes to silver linings, the fact that winter is one of the best times of the year to observe the stars is just that, with frosty mornings creating stunning clear nights. The view from the Godley Head Reserve or the Sugarloaf is a beautiful spot to enjoy the night sky.

Let there be light

Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights is a mid-winter light extravaganza, which transforms the harbour into a magical space with lights, art, music and festivities on 29 June. The famous Street Party on London Street has a spectacular parade, buskers, performers, music, an outdoor street market with winter warmers, quality art and craft and an epic fireworks display.

Show-stopping spots

Christchurch is somewhat of an attention seeker when it comes to the social scene, in the very best of ways, of course. We are lucky to have theatrical options right here in the city. Top spots like the Isaac Theatre Royal and The Court Theatre will keep you warm this winter. Or try one of the many boutique cinemas in the city to enjoy the latest films.

‘Next-level’ fun

The highest point on Banks Peninsula, Mt Herbert often has a sprinkling of snow on top, while the view over Lyttelton Harbour and the Port Hills, with the Southern Alps standing proudly behind, is next-level fun, in the figurative and literal sense of the expression.

The ’coolest’ attraction

When it comes to getting your winter fix, there’s nothing cooler than the International Antarctic Centre. There’s nowhere else you get to survive an Antarctic Storm, bounce along on a Hagglund and hang out with Little Blue Penguins.

On thin ice

One of the coolest of winter sports, ice skating can be a whole lot of fun. Alpine Ice has been operating in Christchurch since 1985 and offers casual skating sessions, as well as holiday programmes.

Blooming beautiful

A neo-classical conservatory in the heart of the Botanic Gardens, Cunningham House is always full of colour – even in the winter.