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Accommodation, coffee and fun in Christchurch

November 1, 2011

Since the quake in September 2010, many travellers are wondering what’s happening in the garden city so here are some ideas for accommodation, coffee and fun in the city of my birth!

The Chateau on the Park

Set opposite Hagley Park it’s only a 20-minute stroll through it to the museum or city centre – or heading west, to Christchurch’s largest indoor mall. If you fancy burning some calories jump in the heated swimming, have a round golf over the road at the Hagley Golf Course or grab a bike from the office.  Of course there’s a bar and restaurant too!

YMCA

Budget accommodation at its best: the perfect central city site next to the Arts Centre and Botanic Gardens. Whether you want a bunk bed in a dormitory or a deluxe room with an en-suite or even an apartment, all are of a high standard. Solo travellers, sports or tour group, the Y is where you can all hang-out and enjoy this exceptional place.

An unusual day in Christchurch: snow!

The Classic Villa

Five stars and eco-friendly this beautiful villa has lived many lives! From the home of an early minister of religion through to an old-folks home, its current reincarnation is superb. Top class, yet very friendly, laid-back and comfortable with the host serving you a sumptuous Mediterranean breakfast. Step outside and you are in the centre of Christchurch’s cultural precinct.

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

Just the place for a picnic with the kids! The real bonus is seeing nocturnal kiwi – one of the world’s strange creatures – and here they’re not behind glass! Just a wire fence separates you from our national icon. Native birds and introduced animals live side by side, often walking free and some can be touched or fed. Great fun for families and nature-lovers.

Botanic Gardens

Stop off for a coffee - in the Kiosk!

Who would have thought these gardens started with an oak in 1863 and was surrounded by swamp. Locals and visitors mix just like the plants – natives and exotics from all over the world – enjoying this peaceful place in the middle of the city. During the 2010 quake it was a place of refuge too. It’s ideal for bird watching, punting, relaxing or just a coffee.

Addington Coffee Co-op

Love funky places and coffee? Check out this old mechanics workshop where a coffee roasting machine spreads the aroma of roasting coffee as you eat muffins, cupcakes or meals, while drinking coffee (or tea and hot chocolate).  Free wireless internet is a great incentive to do some work, or blog, Facebook and email friends while hanging in the cafe.

JDV

When we want to eat contemporary New Zealand cuisine with an Italian twist this chic, upmarket place is where many locals go. With a changing menu for the seasons it’s always interesting to see what’s new.  More ‘fine dining’ in the evening in the evening and casual during the day – brunch is what we locals love. We also love the local wines.

Drexels

A favourite place for decadent breakfasts! Drexels introduced Christchurch to eating out for breakfast over 25-years ago. Some of us always order the same dish, while others still dither over ‘sweet or savoury?’ Their building and area were quake victims but Drexels has moved and re-opened much to our relief. You need to book for special days.

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