Car rental in Christchurch
Renting a car for your trip to Christchurch makes life a lot easier. Avoid the hassle of the taxi rank and head straight to your hotel from the airport, explore the gardens and historic buildings at your leisure and take day trips out into wider Canterbury on your own schedule.
Where to hire a car in Christchurch
To start your holiday off stress-free, there are 7 companies offering rental cars at Christchurch Airport: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Ezi, Hertz and Thrifty. You’ll find representatives of these companies in the arrivals hall near the baggage carousels.
Although you can find car hire offices in the CBD, there are more options just outside the airport: to the east around the intersection of Wairakei Road and Roydvale Avenue or to the north on Orchard Road.
What to expect when driving in Christchurch
News website Stuff.co.nz found that, along with Auckland and Wellington, Christchurch has some of the busiest roads in New Zealand. The heaviest traffic was found on the routes between the CBD and Kaiapoi in the north and Rolleston to the west.
Because Christchurch is so flat, some drivers find it hard to navigate without any towering landmarks to use as anchor points. Adding a GPS device to your car rental deal could greatly reduce stress on your holiday.
Popular road trips from Christchurch
Christchurch to Kaikoura
A 3-hour drive north of Christchurch is the tourist-friendly town of Kaikoura. The journey takes you past rolling hills and picturesque vineyards before you arrive in the seaside town. Kaikoura is popular because of its marine life – visitors have the chance to spot dolphins, go on whale-watching cruises and swim with seals. If you prefer to stay on land, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to enjoy by the water.
Christchurch to Queenstown
This cross-island trip is best broken up as it takes 6 hours at a minimum, but a lot longer with regular photo stops along the way. One of the main highlights is Lake Tekapo, roughly halfway between the 2 cities, which is beautiful by day and stunning by night as a lack of light pollution makes the stars truly sparkle. Other stopping off points include a myriad of small towns such as Geraldine and Wanaka.
Christchurch to Greymouth
Like the drive to Queenstown, the journey to Greymouth takes you from one coast to the other, covering 250km in a touch over 3 hours. This drive is known as Arthur’s Pass and is a must for all drivers in New Zealand. The road winds through valleys and over rivers, giving passengers breath-taking views and once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.
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Please note: all information is correct as of December 2018.