When to Go

November’s New Zealand Cup and Show Week is a wacky time, when locals kick their heels up at Riccarton Park and Addington Raceway for horse racing and the country’s largest agricultural and pastoral show where "country comes to town." If you’ve organized your accommodation well in advance it can be good fun but very busy. Wine and beer festivals follow over summer and the Garden City Summer Times festival runs from New Year's until late February, while mid-January brings the World Buskers Festival; the Electric Avenue Music Festival is in February. In winter the Christchurch Arts Festival and IceFest, a celebration of all the city's links to Antarctica, are held biennially.

Summer days can be amazingly changeable, while winter's weather is more settled but considerably colder. For skiing and snowboarding, this is the time to come. From June through October you can be assured of snow at Mt. Hutt. Snow on the ground in Christchurch is a rarity.

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