Christchurch is renowned as the city of gardens and many people make their way there for the simple pleasure of strolling through the many beautiful gardens and parks. So where is the best place to stay if you want to discover the city’s natural delights on foot? The Christchurch suburb of Riccarton is a great option. Sitting just to the west of central Christchurch, there are a number of stunning nature walks within easy strolling distance of Riccarton accommodation.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
With numerous ornamental gardens and plenty of open space, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens is a stunning place for a wander. The helpful map allows you to design your own route to ensure you take in the seasonal highlights, such as the Central Rose Garden in summer and the magnolias and blossoms in spring. Don’t miss the fragrant garden, particularly for the vision impaired. In summer, a paddling pool is open for the kids to enjoy a splash. Spend as long as you like exploring; the paved, accessible paths make it easy for everyone to enjoy.
North and South Hagley Parks
Surrounding the Botanic Gardens are North and South Hagley Parks. Together, they form a 165 hectare expanse of green space in the heart of Christchurch. Criss-crossed with a network of walking tracks, the Hagley Parks are home to more than 3000 mature trees, the oldest of which were planted by early settlers.
Enjoy a picnic by one of the two lakes in summer, admire the gorgeous golden colours along Deans Avenue in autumn, or the bluebell meadows and Harper Avenue blossoms in spring. The 7km walk exploring both North and South Hagley Parks takes around two hours, but you could easily spend a whole day.
The shady, accessible Riccarton Bush trail winds through the last remaining stand of Kahikatea trees in Christchurch. These massive, 600-year-old trees tower over the path, which is surrounded by an abundance of native New Zealand flora to spot. Leaving from and returning to Riccarton Bush House, this 2km walk takes about 40 minutes.
For visitors wanting to explore Christchurch on foot, Comfort Inn Riccarton is the place to stay. Conveniently located on Riccarton Road, a mere 20 minute walk from Riccarton Bush and a further 20 minutes from Christchurch Botanic Gardens, this Riccarton accommodation option is perfect for those who want to be within walking distance of everything.
The modern, self-contained apartments are stylishly appointed and have all the modern comforts, including free Wi-Fi and Sky TV. Choose from studio, one to three bedroom apartments, or splurge on a spa suite. The fully appointed kitchenettes have a microwave, bar fridge and even a Nescafe machine, and shopping centres are within strolling distance. If you don’t feel like self-catering, there are plenty of restaurants nearby for eat-in or take-away, and for breakfast you can have a continental or full breakfast delivered right to your room.