This South Island spot is fast gaining a reputation as New Zealand’s coolest city – discover why from one of Christchurch’s best Airbnbs.
Having risen out of the rubble of two devastating earthquakes, Christchurch is reinventing itself as a cultural hub with new restaurants, shops and markets. A trip to the city also promises beachside suburbs and abundant countryside, ticking the boxes for both a peaceful getaway and a culture-packed urban break.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Built in the 1890s, this traditional clapboard bungalow is a historical Lyttelton property. Though you won’t have the place to yourself – with your sociable hosts and their four cats on-site – you’ll have privacy in a garden-facing room with a comfortable double bed. And if you fancy a lie-in on the weekend, after exploring the nearby harbour and city centre during your stay, enjoy a cooked breakfast from your hosts for an additional fee.
This Kaituna Valley cottage, on the banks of a stream, sleeps two people, with vintage decor that offers a fascinating insight into the culture of 1980s New Zealand. This property is pared-back but fit with all the facilities you need, including a kitchenette with a Smeg-inspired fridge. And although you may only be 45 minutes from Christchurch airport, you’ll feel completely removed from city life, hearing only the trickling of the stream and gentle tweeting of the birds. Be sure to bring a handful of good books to best enjoy it.
These former stables have been meticulously renovated by motorcycle legend John Britten into a bright, airy space. An indoor pool sits at the centre of the building underneath a vaulted glass ceiling filled with tropical foliage and silver ferns, giving the effect of an overgrown stately home. Meanwhile, your room is decidedly more modern, sleeping two in a plush king-size bed with a mezzanine-style living space, which boasts a fireplace for those cooler Canterbury evenings. Outside, things are no less magical, with a spacious dining table and a jacuzzi amongst the greenery. Plus, if there are more than two of you, consider booking one of the other rooms on the property.
Sitting just off the main road which stretches from the airport to the city centre, this home boasts a prime location. Sleeping seven guests in two bedrooms – with a queen and single bed in each room, alongside a single bed in the lounge – there is enough room for a large group if you’re comfortable sharing rooms, and the outside space is ideal for evening drinks with friends. Hidden away at the back of the house, you’ll also be able to enjoy its courtyard seating area, which comes with a jacuzzi for a warming dip whatever the weather.
A total sanctuary in the Christchurch countryside, this little one-bedroom cabin will take you off-grid for a few days. Here, you’ll be able to wake up to native birdsong, tuck into homemade granola or farm-fresh eggs from the resident chickens, and watch the sun rise over the nearby hills. You’ll also be able to keep yourselves suitably entertained with board games and puzzles in the cabin, and make full use of the picnic blanket for sunset drinks in the paddocks.
For those new to Kiwi slang, a “bach” is a small, laid-back beachside home – and this Airbnb epitomises the concept to a tee. Cosy, but with everything two people need for a comfortable stay, this house has a spacious living area, a fully stocked kitchen and a freestanding bath. Just steps from the beach, you can hear the waves crashing from the garden, while you’ll be just five minutes from local shops and restaurants.
Sitting on a hill overlooking Lyttelton Harbour, with a sky-blue exterior and sunflower-yellow window frames, this cottage wouldn’t look out of place in a Wes Anderson film. Looking out over the harbour, the garden is a meditative spot to sit with a glass of wine, while things are no less joyous indoors, thanks to fresh flowers throughout and a seashell-pink bathroom with a freestanding claw-foot bath. While you’ll be sharing the home and bathroom with your host, she’ll leave you to it and will be on hand to offer tips so you can live like a local.
This modern studio space is attached to a family home in Waimairi Beach, just behind the sand dunes beside the ocean. Sleeping two people, its open-plan room is airy and bright with floor-to-ceiling windows, while from bed you can actually step out onto the sand dunes. Take your morning wash outdoors in the private courtyard shower, which flows just as warm as the indoor facilities, and do your morning lengths in its indoor pool.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.