Temperatures are generally mild in Christchurch, and rainfall isn’t common, making for good conditions throughout the year. But a sea breeze coming from the northeast makes summer, December through February, a wonderful time to visit, especially during the annual SummerTimes, a series of free concerts and cultural events at 400-plus-acre Hagley Park. You can also catch the two-week-long World Busker Festival—a convergence of street performers and circus acts from across the globe—each January. Then, in February, attend a ten-day Festival of Romance that culminates on Valentine’s Day.
Christchurch’s winter season (June through August) sees occasional frost and snow, with some wind and smog in the mix, though it typically remains above freezing. Dodge the occasional foul weather by planning around the biennial Christchurch Arts Festival, a showcase of musicians, dancers, and visual artists in venues throughout town.
Come spring and autumn, daytime temperatures average in the 60s, dropping by as much as 20 degrees in the evening. November’s Carnival Week brings several notable events—reinforcing Christchurch’s nickname of the City of Festivals—including the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Show and Guy Fawkes’ Night, a British-derived holiday that features a massive fireworks display.