Headed to Christchurch and looking for a great day trip to mix up your break? We love to explore and we know a thing or two about road trips – so we’ve made a list of our favourite day trips from Christchurch. From gorgeous Akaroa to the stunning views of Castle Hill, take a look below.


Oh là là – this quaint seaside town just over an hour from Christchurch was founded by the French in 1840.  Book a harbour nature cruise and watch the dolphins frolic, lunch over the water at Har Bar (the fish tacos are amazing) or stroll amongst the locally owned boutiques.  With plenty of free parking about, Akaroa is a must for a relaxing day trip.

Castle Hill

Take a walk around the incredible rock formations at Castle Hill, and then head to the nearby Craigieburn trails for your mountain biking fix. With our bike racks add on you take your own bike – available with your rental from our Christchurch branch.

Thrifty tip – All those amazing views making you hungry?  Check out the Sheffield Pie Shop on the return journey – it’s World Famous (in New Zealand).

Lyttleton Bays

Craving a beach day?  Take the tunnel to Lyttleton, grab a coffee at Civil or Harbour Co-op and head towards Corsair Bay Reserve.  Park here, there are tracks around hillside to numerous quiet beaches such as Magazine and Flea Bay.  Pack a picnic, you will want to stay a while.

Hanmer Springs

Just over an hour from Christchurch, Hanmer has activities for both adrenaline junkies and relaxation seekers.  Hanmer is most famous for its hot pools, but with mountain bike trails, nature walks, horse riding and more, there is something for everyone.  Start the day with brunch at the Salt and Pepper Café while you try to choose where you go first.

Arthur’s Pass (vis the TranzAlpine Train)

We did say day trips, but this experience is worth extending your travels a little longer.  Catch the TranzAlpine across the Southern Alps and experience one of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes from the comfort of the carriage.  With a Thrifty Branch on both sides of the mountain range (Greymouth and Christchurch) you can plan your journey onwards from whichever side you end on.

Keen to get on the road? Check out the best Canterbury has to offer and book a vehicle for your Christchurch day trip here.

Image by Hamish Storey