Christchurch = Best place to live in New Zealand (A love letter)

Street Art in Christchurch, New Zealand - Leah Loves Culture

Dear Christchurch,

We have known each other for a while now. Six (and a bit) years to be precise.

We had our ups and downs. We even broke up for a while. But I knew there was something special about you the first time we met.

So I made a list with all things I love about you:

Your colours

You are a place with such distinct colours, Christchurch. I don’t think I’ve seen the same colours anywhere else.

The pale green of your hills, the deep turquoise of your sea, the dirty grey of your sandy beaches comes to mind.

Artists have made your heart beautiful – with pictures on your buildings and cars hanging off walls.

Your “beach please” attitude

Some people say “Christchurch’s beaches aren’t as beautiful as those of Nelson or Tauranga”.

You say “beach please”.

Your beaches don’t have the golden or white sand you find in the Northern parts of New Zealand. Your beaches have dunes and are never ending, so people can walk on them for ever and ever (before they realise they have to walk the same distance back to their car).

Your neighbour, the Banks Peninsula, has beautiful bays and rocky cliffs that create a wild sort of beauty.

Your hills

You are framed by hills and mountains that go all snowy at the top in winter and spring. That’s when you are most beautiful I think.

Note for my sporty friends: Christchurch’s hills are perfect for hiking, climbing, mountain biking and walking. They provide the best views over the city, the Canterbury plains and the Southern Alps.

The art within you

You are so arty, Christchurch. I mentioned before that the heart of your city is painted with street art.

Art is everywhere when you walk through Christchurch – out on the streets and in museums and galleries.

Centres of art I love in particular are:

Your perseverance

You’ve been through some pretty tough times, Christchurch. On 22 February 2011, a lot of what you were was destroyed in an Earthquake. You lost 185 people that day.

Then you lost another 51 people in a terrorist attack in 2019.

You are still recovering but you are on your way forward. Your people are strong, empathetic and loving and have stuck together to build you back up.

Your buzz

Since the earthquakes, a lot has changed. Your buzz is back.

The Oxford Terrace with its bars, restaurants, pubs and shops is filled with people. There is always something going on in Christchurch.

Live music, dancing, a street food snack or fancy dinner – you have something for everyone.

The food

And this is where I get to one of my favourite things about you, Christchurch: your food.

There are new shops and restaurants popping up all the time and I still haven’t been to all the place I want to go to!

Here are a few of my favourite restaurants in Christchurch:

  • Bohemian Bakery for artisan bread and pastry that reminds me of home (Germany)
  • Riverside Market for the best street food
  • Ramen Ria for a warming bowl of Ramen on a cold winter night
  • Sal’s Pizza for a late-night snack on a night out
  • Evil Genius for simple, spicy yumminess
  • Super (Lyttelton) for something a bit different
  • Fishermen’s Warf (Lyttelton) for harbour views and the freshest fish in town
  • Cassel’s Brewery for Sunday sessions and wood-fired pizza

Keeping me close to beautiful places

Okay, besides food, the thing I love the most about you is how you keep me so close to the most beautiful places in the world.

You are located centrally in the South Island of New Zealand, which makes you the perfect base for adventurous road trips.

Some of my favourite destinations for weekend getaways from Christchurch are:

  • Akaroa (1 hour from Christchurch): A beautiful little town by the sea. It was settled by French people, which still gives it that special European vibe.
  • Lyttelton (15 minutes from Christchurch): The harbour town of Christchurch is only around 15 minutes from the city centre. She has artisan shops and pubs, beautiful views and hidden bays.
  • Banks Peninsula (depending on where you go, around 1-2 hours): Both Akaroa and Lyttelton are on the volcanic Banks Peninsula. There are loads of hidden gems around this area, like Port Levy, Le Bons Bay, Pigeon Bay, Quail Island.
  • Kaikoura (2 hours from Christchurch): Further up the East Coast lies Kaikoura – a charming little town where seals and whales are never far.
  • Arthur’s Pass (2 hours from Christchurch): I love this place for a weekend getaway to the magical rainforests of the West Coast.
  • Waipara wine country (45 minutes from Christchurch): For a day trip or a weekend, the Waipara region is perfect for wine fans. You can book tours around vineyards and enjoy a glass or two with a view of the hills.

You aren’t perfect and there is a lot to be done. But for me, you are one of my favourite places in the world.

You will be with me forever.

In love and dedication,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.