The Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Christchurch, New Zealand

If you happen to visit New Zealand and have some extended time in Christchurch, or just happen to be passing through, you have so many interesting options to visit the city’s neighborhoods and areas. Here are The Coolest Neighborhoods in Christchurch New Zealand.

Here I have rounded up the top 5 New Zealand neighborhood destinations in Christchurch you can pay a visit to.

The Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Christchurch, New Zealand

1. Cashmere


Situated in the southern end of the city center to the north of Port Hills, Cashmere is an all-time favorite among locals. It’s great to escape the crowd of downtown without avoiding straying out of the urban areas. You would also visit the suburb’s village-like flair and the heritage buildings that come along with it. This includes renowned crime writer Dame Ngaio Marsh’s former residence, which is now a museum. A range of chilled-out cafés and retail shops you would love to visit. This is one of the coolest Neighborhoods in Christchurch New Zealand.

The suburb’s location on the Port Hills offers it a commanding view over the rest of the mostly flat city. Cashmere’s proximity to the rest of the Port Hills has also made it a favorite for recreation, with the upper reaches of the suburb dominated by Victoria Park with its multiple bike and walking tracks and connections to further tracks running the length of the Port Hills.

2. Ferrymead


Situated to the southeast of Christchurch, Ferrymead is a major thoroughfare for reaching areas like Sumner and Pegasus Bay. In addition, several commercial entities shifted to Ferrymead after the 2011 earthquake making the neighborhood into a hot retail and hospitality hub. It is also native to the Ferrymead Heritage Park, which recreates Christchurch’s life in the Edwardian era.

Ferrymead owes its importance in history to the hills dividing Christchurch from the port of Lyttelton. Pioneers transported their goods over the steep Bridle Path from Lyttelton to Heathcote; where punts were used to cross the river into early Christchurch. Later traffic came by sea up the estuary. In 1863; the first railway in New Zealand was opened; running from Ferrymead into central Christchurch. This railway line was the inspiration for Ferrymead Heritage Park and the restored railway line.

3. Fendalton


This is one of Christchurch’s most affluent suburbs located to the west of central Christchurch near the University of Canterbury. In addition, it is close to the main route that starts from downtown into Christchurch International Airport. This is also one of the city’s oldest residential areas – the Mona Vale homestead. It is one of the noteworthy places that showcase the interesting neighborhood’s heritage.

Fendalton was the site for many early buildings in the settlement of Christchurch, including an early flour mill along what is now Fendalton Road. Daniel Inwood build this flour mill; who came to New Zealand aboard the Sir George Seymour in 1850, and used machinery which Inwood brought with him from England.

The suburb is also home to multiple significant historical buildings, especially as examples of various styles of homestead. Above all, these include St Barnabas Church, Daresbury; and Los Angeles – one of the first examples of a California bungalow in New Zealand.

4. Ilam


This is a free and leafy suburb that has the University of Canterbury. It has much more than just this. The place is 3.1 miles from the city center and is incredibly close to the major retail hub of Riccarton which is also close to the international airport. You would find many cafés, eateries, and a bookshop close to the university for students and visitors alike to relish. It is also home to the Ilam Homestead; an infamous heritage site that was used for Peter Jackson’s 1994 psychological drama Heavenly Creatures.

The Ilam homestead was in the 1950s inhabited by the rector of Canterbury College; Henry Rainsford Hulme. In 1954 the homestead gained notoriety as Hulme’s 16-year-old daughter Juliet was involved in the Parker–Hulme murder case. The homestead was used as a major location for Peter Jackson’s film about the murders; Heavenly Creatures. The homestead has been the University of Canterbury Staff Club since 1971.

5. Merivale


This place is a residential area to the north of the city center. It has many narrow streets in its vicinity displaying the historic cottages that brought the neighborhood to live in the 19th century. It is also popular for its local mall which boasts a chic establishment that boasts a great selection of boutique shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants.

 Like all suburbs in Christchurch, it has no defined boundaries and is a general area, but for the purposes of statistical analysis only, Statistics New Zealand[3] defines it as being Heaton Street to the north, Papanui Road to the east, Harper and Bealey Avenues to the south and Rossall Street to the west, although Real Estate advertising often will claim residences outside this area, especially St Albans to the east of Papanui Road, as being Merivale due to the perceived desirability of the area.

6. Sumner


Located at the seaside; it is nestled in a beautiful valley. You will find it all when you visit this place. This is one of the oldest cities in Christchurch, Sumner has always been a favorable place to live. You can enjoy a laidback coastal lifestyle in a vibrant suburb that’s as safe as it is amazing. Strolling to the beach in the summer months is what the Sumner locals tend to enjoy most, being a popular spot for surfers.

One of Christchurch’s oldest European settlements; Sumner was first surveyed in 1849. It was to become Christchurch’s second port; and was initially settled by European work crews building the road to Lyttleton, until the Lyttelton Tunnel was built in 1964; the main road between Christchurch and Lyttelton passed through Sumner. Sumner is a popular beach resort for Christchurch settlers; even more so when a tram link was built in 1888. Originally a separate borough, Sumner became part of Greater Christchurch in 1945, under the Christchurch City Council.

7. Riccarton


A neighboring city that can cater to most budgets is Riccarton. With a mix of townhouses, character homes, and units, Riccarton offers a central location and a great cosmopolitan lifestyle. You will find many café and bars, meaning it’s the perfect place for young and upcoming professionals. Riccarton area is a family place; with good schools and many parks and playgrounds just around the corner.


These are some of the most amazing and interesting neighborhoods in Christchurch in New Zealand that you must not miss out on visiting on your next trip to New Zealand.