Living in Christchurch

Living in Christchurch New Zealand


Christchurch is New Zealand’s second-largest city and the gateway to the South Island. Bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean, it is situated on the edge of the Canterbury Plains that stretch to the Southern Alps.

Within two hours of an international airport, you can ski at a world-class alpine resort, play golf, hot-air balloon, wind surf, whale watch, bungy jump, raft, mountain bike and visit internationally-acclaimed wineries and gardens.

As the city centre rebuild takes shape there is still plenty to see and do, with Christchurch as a whole still arguably being one of the most beautiful cites in which to live and work.

For detailed information on Christchurch, please see

For additional information on living in Christchurch, please see the NZ Immigration site:



Currently in Christchurch you can find a tidy 3 bedroom home in suburbs relatively near the CBD for around NZ$375,000+ (*based on January 2016 figures). See for a comparison of current interest rates offered by major lending institutions in NZ)


The cheapest form of renting is to share a flat (apartment) with other people. As can be expected, the prices vary greatly depending on the size of the house, the number of occupants and location. In general, you would pay NZ*$300 – $500 for inner city and about NZ*$285 – $350 for anything in the city fringes or outer suburbs (per person per week, excluding expenses). If you have a family or wish to rent an entire house or apartment within 15 – 20 minutes drive from the Christchurch CBD, you’ll be looking at approximately NZ*$450-$600 and up for 3br+, and around NZ*$200 – $375 + for 1 -2bedrooms. (*based on January 2016 figures).

NZ Tenancy Services website offers detailed information if you are wanting to rent in NZ.  Getting Ready To Rent and Market Rent via Suburb are a great starting point.

Popular websites to source properties for sale or to rent are: Real Estate NZ or Trade Me Property

For up-to-date information regarding property trends and values go to: QV Trends or QV Value by Suburb


Like any large NZ city, Christchurch offers accommodation to suit a wide range of tastes, styles and budgets. Your options include five star luxury hotels, intimate bed & breakfasts, up market lodges, boutique hotels, stylish serviced apartments, motels, home and backpackers.

Hotel/Hostel                                                Location                   Daily Charge

Christchurch IBIS                                       CBD                           $189 – $225

West Fitzroy Serviced Apartments          CBD                           $150 – $200

YMCA Christchurch                                    CBD                           $30 – $50 single or sharing

For more information about where to stay in Christchurch visit


Driver licences from a certain selection of countries are valid in New Zealand for either 12 months or until their expiry date (depends on which comes first). For licences from countries not covered, an international driving permit is required. However, after 12 months either option must be replaced by a New Zealand driving licence. For further details, go to the NZ Transport Agency site

Public transport is a common way of getting around the city. Buses are very frequent and reach many areas of Christchurch and surrounding suburbs. For up-to-date information on traffic and timetables go to: and

Entertainment and Shopping

Christchurch has a great mix of art, culture and sport available, we have listed a few different options, for a comprehensive list of what Christchurch has to offer go to:


The main shopping streets in central Christchurch are Colombo, Cashel Street (also known as the Re: START Mall) , Hereford, Gloucester and Armagh Streets.

Situated between Armagh & Gloucester Streets is New Regent Street, a cobbled street with an exciting mix of boutique shops.   There is also excellent shopping in the malls, which are situated in the suburbs. The most upmarket is at Merivale, the largest are at Riccarton and Northlands.

Restaurants & Cafes

After you punt down the Avon River or stroll through Hagley Park, why not relax in one of the many restaurants or cafes in Christchurch.

Eateries includes fine dining, casual & family dining, breakfasts, local cuisine and a wide range of international food.  Dining experiences can include anything from an evening at the iconic Dux de lux to experiencing some of Christchurch’s local cuisine.


Christchurch offers an extensive range of recreational and sporting experiences at a variety of locations throughout the city to encourage people to participate in, and enjoy physical recreation and sport.

There are sports facilities with training grounds and indoor/outdoor pools, as well as numerous parks and walkways for those so inclined.    For those who like to test their adventurous spirit try a white water rafting adventure, or, during the winter months, you can travel just over an hour out to many of Canterbury’s winter playgrounds – Mt Hutt, Mt Lyford and Mt Cheeseman to name a few.


Christchurch is a sports lover’s paradise. From the beach to the mountains, there is something for everyone. There is never a shortage of sporting events to support. AMI Stadium is home of the famous Crusaders Super Rugby team and the venue for matches played by our national rugby team, the All Blacks. In the summer head to Hagley Park to support the Canterbury Aces. Christchurch also has a professional ice-hockey team, top class netball team and so much more.

For those wanting to participate then you have a great choice, from championship golf courses, parks and reserves and great mountain biking and scenic road trails to enjoy – to name a few!

Further Information

The following websites may also provide valuable information to you.

Cost of Living Calculator:

Immigration NZ Skills Shortage List:

Inland Revenue Department: