#GrabaRandom explores Christchurch

What to do in Christchurch?

Haven't been to New Zealand's second-largest city recently? My oh my are you in for a surprise.

Ō-Tautahi Christchurch is the vibrant and revitalised heart of Te Waipounamu, the amazing South Island. As if the mountains, beaches and lakes weren't enough, there's now a brand-new city to explore.

This place has bounced back in spades, with revived urban spaces and the expansive greenery the city has always been known for. There's a lake AND a river in the CBD and hot pools by the beach– who knew?

Central city hotels are abundant and of high quality, as are Ō-Tautahi's vibrant retail offerings. Check out Ballantynes for a guaranteed shopping fix, and Riverside Market for a seven-day farmers market, balcony bars overlooking the Ōtākaro Avon River, and even a cooking school. Cocktails and fine dining on The Terrace, whiskies and gins down New Regent St. Sign me up!

Want to escape the city? Count your lucky stars because this place is surrounded by day-tripable destinations. Pop over to Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula for an unbelievable drive and cute village vibes, or inland to Hanmer Springs and North Canterbury Wine Region for views, vintages, and a soak in the thermal pools.

Also within reach are the likes of Kaikōura, Aoraki Mt Cook (the highest mountain in NZ) and Lake Tekapo (the bluest lake in…the world??). Arthurs Pass is an alpine playground, as is Mid-Canterbury which boasts Mt Hutt – consistently voted the country's best ski field.

Forget what you knew about Ō-Tautahi Christchurch – this is not the city your parents remember. This is the newest city in the country, one of the most liveable places in the world, and a city itching to be explored.

Image courtesy of ChristchurchNZ