When is the cheapest time to fly to Christchurch?
If you're looking to soak up some winter sun, the New Zealand summer, from December to February, is incredibly popular, which pushes airfares higher. Spring and autumn are ideal for picking up some cheap flights to Christchurch because there are fewer crowds, off-peak rates and lower airfares. Plus, it’ll be cool at night, but lovely and warm during the day.
When is the best time to book flights to Christchurch?
Booking well in advance is the best way to snag savings on your flights to Christchurch. If you can, consider booking your flights with a midweek departure, since this can be much cheaper than fly on Friday or the weekend. However, being flexible with your dates is also key to saving money. Try comparing prices across a few months to find the best flight deals for your budget.
Which UK airports offer flights to Christchurch?
No matter which UK airport you go from, there are no direct flights from the UK to Christchurch – New Zealand is simply too far away. But there are several flight options with one or more stopovers.
You can fly to Christchurch from several major UK airports, including Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh. But flights to Christchurch from London Heathrow or London Gatwick will give you much more flexibility on dates for your return flights, and often work out cheaper. Most flights to Christchurch will generally include one stop in the Middle East – usually in Dubai or Doha – and potentially another stop in Singapore, Hong Kong, Brisbane or Melbourne.
Which airlines offer flights from the UK to Christchurch?
Several airlines fly from the UK to New Zealand, including popular carriers like British Airways, Emirates, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways and Cathay Pacific. If you're keen to find cheap flights to Christchurch, try to fly with a different airline for different legs of your journey, as this can bring the cost down. Or, search for last-minute flights to bag a good deal.
How long is the flight from the UK to Christchurch?
How long your flight is depends on how many layovers you have, and how long your waiting time is between each flight. Singapore Airlines offer the quickest route, with the journey taking just under 24 hours in total. Most flights with two stopovers take between 27 and 30 hours to reach Christchurch. It might sound like a lot, but you are flying nearly 12,000 miles.
Flying to Christchurch International Airport (CHC)
Christchurch International Airport (CHC) was New Zealand’s first international airport and is now the island’s second-largest and busiest airport after Auckland. It's just 12 kilometres from the centre of Christchurch, so you'll be at your accommodation in no time.
On arrival and getting around the airport
Christchurch International Airport (CHC) is a single terminal airport spread over two levels. It deals with both domestic and international air traffic. Check-in and arrivals for Christchurch flights are on the ground floor, whereas departures are on the first floor. The airport has 33 departure gates and a total of 58 check-in desks. The International Arrivals Hall has information points, a charging station, ATMs and, if needed, showering facilities. The entire airport also benefits from free, unlimited Wi-Fi, so that you can stay connected throughout your trip.
Getting to the city from Christchurch International Airport (CHC)
From the International Arrivals Hall exit through door 7 to find the taxi rank and shuttle bus services. Shuttle buses offer a door-to-door service, going into Christchurch and surrounding locales, and are cheaper than a taxi. Journey time is roughly 15-20 minutes into the city centre, depending on how many stops the shuttle has to make. A taxi will usually cost between $45 and $65 dollars (approximately), just make sure to check the price with your driver before setting off. Exit through door 9 to find the regular city buses after the arrival of your Christchurch flights. Number 29 and the Purple Line run into the city centre and journeys last about half an hour.
Why visit Christchurch?
A perennial favourite with backpackers and holidaymakers alike, Christchurch knows how to delight and captivate everyone who visits. Affectionately known as the Garden City, Christchurch is astoundingly green, so take a walk through the Botanic Gardens or hike in the surrounding hills. The Bridle Path walk offers incredible views of the city and only takes three hours for a round trip. Or, why not catch the ferry out to Quail Island? Formally the location of a leper colony, it is now a popular destination for bush walking.
If you want to catch some rays, there are some excellent golden, sandy beaches – ideal for relaxing. Embrace the sea and hit the waves by learning to surf. This is a surfer's paradise and there are plenty of schools ready to teach you how to catch the waves. If that’s not your thing, take the 300-metre walk along New Brighton Pier and gaze out at the crashing waves. Alternatively, for a real adventure, hire a car or campervan and go on a road trip across New Zealand, starting in Christchurch.
Don't forget before you fly
New Zealand has strict visa regulations so you must make sure that, if needed, you apply for the correct visa before travelling. British citizens can travel to New Zealand without a visa as part of the Visa Waiver Scheme, which is convenient for last-minute flights. Upon arrival you'll just need to fill in a form allowing you to stay in the country for up to six months as a tourist. New Zealand uses the NZ Dollar, which is readily available from most travel money vendors and online currency providers.