For most international travelers, Christchurch is more of a transit hub than a destination unto itself. It’s the largest city on the super-scenic South Island, so many visitors will begin and/or end their trip here. The city is still famously recovering from the devastating earthquakes in 2011, so visitors are likely to see some damage and a lot of rebuilding for years to come.
Hotel and hostel prices in Christchurch are pretty reasonable by standards for this part of the world, so it’s not a bad place to linger for a couple days on your way in or out of the country. The city center is quite compact and most of the better deals are a bit away from the middle.
Christchurch has some wildlife parks and other natural attractions that are worth a look, and it can be used as a base to see some of the scenery that the South Island is famous for. Food and drinks can feel expensive so self-catering is suggested for those trying to keep costs down.