The Best Christchurch Family Accommodation

The Best Christchurch Family Accommodation

The best family accommodation in Christchurch


Welcome to Christchurch, the Gateway to the South Island.  A beautiful city that has beaches within 20 minutes of the CBD and mountains in about an hour, it really is a city that has it all.

Christchurch is a big city by New Zealand standards and the best place to stay in Christchurch really depends on what you plan to do.  Accommodation in Christchurch for families ranges from budget options in holidays parks and motel, to luxury 5 star hotels.

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In this Christchurch family accommodation article we will cover

Backyard Travel Family overlook the Lyttelton Harbour from the Sign of the Bellbird, Christchurch, New Zealand
The Sign of the Bellbird on the Port Hills is an incredible Christchurch Viewpoint

Considerations before choosing your family accommodation in Christchurch New Zealand

  • Do you plan to hire a car or bring your own?  Or do you plan to use public transport and walk?  Parking in central Christchurch can be difficult or you have to pay so consider choosing central accommodation where you can walk, or a Christchurch family hotel with parking facilities.  There are ample bus networks around Christchurch and the Christchurch Tram is a great way to see the CBD.
  • Do you plan to eat out or cook at home?  For us, we like a mix, as with kids, they often need an early night from all the activities, and I find it a little exhausting eating at restaurants every night.  Choose accommodation in Christchurch with kitchen facilities if this is the case.
  • Are you on a budget? If you are on a budget and plan to do activities, then choose some cheap accommodation in Christchurch and save your pennies for the awesome activities in the Canterbury region. You could also consider staying a bit further from the city centre to help reduce your cost.  


Are you in Christchurch to relax?  When I am relaxing on holiday, I like long lazy mornings and spending more time in my accommodation.  If you are planning on relaxing or are staying for a little while, consider some luxury accommodation in Christchurch city with some space.  We have a great list of Christchurch luxury accommodation below.

Click here for the best playgrounds in Christchurch

About the neighbourhoods: The best places to stay in Christchurch: 


Christchurch Airport: for shorter stays and vehicle pickups

If you are arriving in Christchurch on an international flight, or moving on further north or south, then a Christchurch airport hotel is ideal. It’s also a good spot if you are picking up a rental car or campervan as most depots are based near the airport.

There are good facilities near Christchurch Airport such as Spitfire Square that includes a Countdown supermarket, as well as restaurants and takeaways such as Lone Star, McDonalds, Mexicali Fresh, Burger Fuel and the Coffee Club.  This is a great place to pick up supplies and grab a meal before you rest up for the night.

The International Antarctic Centre is close to the airport and if you love animals, then you can also check out Orana Park or Willowbank Wildlife Reserve which are on this side of town.

Other suburbs that are close to the airport:  Fendalton, Burnside, Avonhead, Ilam.

We recommend 

Kipton from Backyard Travel Family excites in the simulation of an Aircraft getting reading to take its freight to Antarctica

Christchurch CBD:  for the best access to tourist attractions 

If you are wanting to explore Christchurch CBD and all the best Christchurch tourist attractions, then hit into Christchurch City Centre.

The centre of the city is marked by the Christchurch Cathedral in Cathedral Square.  It was damaged in the 2010/11 earthquakes so is still with scaffolding.  This particular area still feels a bit like a construction site, but it’s a good central location.

In the Christchurch CBD you will be able to walk or take the Christchurch Tram around the city.  Kids will love the Margaret Mahy Playground, the biggest playground in Christchurch that’s close by and other tourists attractions such as Punting on the Avon and the Christchurch Museum.

The downside of the CBD is that you often have to pay for parking as streetside parking is metered.  Most hotels provide some sort of secure or valet parking.

I love being able to walk around the city and stroll by the river.  Some of my favourite family restaurants in Christchurch are cool spots to eat are at the Riverside Market and Little High Street Eatery that provide a range of cuisines so you know it will have something to suit everyone.

We recommend:

Art Centre, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand // Photo by ChristchurchNZ

Riccarton and Addington: Close to shops and supermarkets

The Riccarton and Addington Areas are full of motor lodge and Christchurch motel accommodation.  They are easy to access and close to main shopping areas if you need easy access to supermarkets, restaurants and supplies.

Parking is usually provided at these accommodations, so you won’t have so much of a hassle compared to CBD parking.  The Riccarton area, particularly Riccarton Road and Blenheim road are high traffic areas which does mean its busy at peak times.  We stay in this area sometimes and it’s just something to plan around.

If you are visiting Christchurch for an All Blacks rugby game, or a concert, then this location is close to Horncastle Arena and Orangetheory Stadium.  A lot of Christchurch Accommodation in this space will be walkable to your event.

We recommend:


Get away from it all: Where to stay near Christchurch


Sumner Beach: for a beach holiday

If you are looking for a beach holiday, Sumner Beach is a beautiful location and only 20 minutes from Christchurch CBD.  It’s got a lovely little boardwalk so you can walk from one end of the beach to the other and is a popular place to learn to surf.

Confident surfers can also pop over the hill, another 15 mins or so to Taylors Mistake which can get some great surf too.  It’s a bit more chill over there too.  Sumner is Christchurch’s most popular beach and can get busy on hot weekend days.

Lyttelton and the Bays: Getting away from it all, but still close

Lyttelton is just a 20 minute drive to the CBD and the jumping off point for all the beautiful bays and Banks Peninsula.  Besides our favourite Glamour Cake Bakery in Lyttelton, we love to pop over to Corsair Bay, Cass Bay beach and Diamond Harbour to enjoy a little getaway close to the city.

If you feel like getting away from Christchurch, make sure you head to Akaroa, about 90 minutes from Christchurch and the perfect little seaside jaunt on a French heritage town.  The dolphin watching here is a big fav too.  See our best things to do in Akaroa article, a great day trip from Christchurch


Areas to avoid in Christchurch

There are some areas in Christchurch that don’t have many restaurants and facilities, or are lower socio economic areas that you may wish to avoid.

When looking for accommodation I would steer clear of Linwood, Aranui, New Brighton and Sydenham

Luxury Hotels in Christchurch


The George Hotel: 5 star Luxury Accommodation in Christchurch


The George Hotel is one of Christchurch’s most exclusive hotels and they are well known for their excellent service and its timeless elegance

What we love:

  • Parents will love the huge king and california king beds
  • Fine dining with 50 Bistro, one of the best restaurants in Christchurch
  • Free WIFI
  • Right close to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Hagley Park, Christchurch Museum and walking distance to Christchurch attractions
  • Onsite gym
  • Bicycles and helmet provided free of charge
  • Just a really beautiful hotel with a lovely old school feel



  • Rooms only sleep 2 or 3, so you would have to book multiple rooms for larger families or book the exclusive residence which has 3 bedrooms
  • Only limited parking available, however you may be able to get parking further around Hagley Park

Click here to see the latest prices at the George Hotel in Christchurch

Large super king beds in the george hotel provide spacious luxury accommodations for family
Large sitting room in victorian heritage style at the George Hotel Christchurch

Hotel Montreal: Christchurch Boutique Hotel


Located right close to Christchurch’s famous Hagley Park and close to the city attractions, this boutique hotel offers some of the largest hotel rooms in Christchurch.

This Christchurch 5 star hotel has lovely grounds including a courtyard to play croquet and unwind with a cocktail.  A lovely elegance and great accommodation for families in Christchurch

What we love at Hotel Montreal

  • The 3 bedroom penthouse suite is a home away from home including a full kitchen, in room ipad and is a crazy 162m2
  • The family suite has a great king and two king single beds for families up to 4 people
  • Onsite fitness centre
  • Free bicycles, or you can hire ebikes
  • Bar and restaurant onsite for easy meals
  • Great location in the central city.


  • Having to leave


Click to see prices on Hotel Montreal: Great family accommodation Christchurch NZ

Hotel Montreal offers luxury family accommodation in Christchurch with roomy sitting area at the end of the bed and kitchen space and separted bedroom which is ideal for families
Beautiful room at Hotel Montreal Christchurch
Large tv area provides a great place to relax at the Hotel Montreal in Christchurch

Distinction Hotel Christchurch: Luxury Accommodation Christchurch

A beautiful Christchurch hotel right in the heart of the CBD in Cathedral Square, this is such a great place to stay with kids.  We visited our friends who stayed here and I was really impressed with the size of the rooms at the Distinction Hotel. This location is great for exploring the CBD and is walking distance to lots of great food options.  We loved the Riverside Market and Little High Street Eatery. What we love about this great Christchurch family accommodation:
  • Location right in Cathedral Square in the CBD.  The Christchurch Tram is great for sightseeing and is practically on the doorstep
  • Huge rooms with really comfortable beds. Family room available with separate bedrooms. A great Christchurch family hotel setup.
  • Free WIFI
  • Modern hotel
  • Onsite restaurant

The downsides
  • Parking is not free.  You can purchase valet parking onsite or use a public carpark
  • The Christchurch Cathedral is still in a “renovation” state so it looks like a construction site across the road.  This is from the Christchurch earthquake in 2011
  • No kitchen facilities
  • Rooms only sleep up to 4, so would require a second room for a larger family

Birds eye view of the tall multi storey Distinction Hotel Christchurch with the famous Christchurch tram passing underneath

Heritage Hotel Christchurch: Beautiful accommodation Christchurch CBD


The CBD has some of the best accommodation Christchurch has to offer and this hotel is one of my favourites.  I love Heritage Hotels.  With a bit of whimsical old school luxury, they offer so much more than the bulk standard modern box.  

We stayed here when our first born was only little and just loved how much space there was and its fabulous location right in Christchurch CBD

What we love about

  • Old school grand decor in the Old Government Building
  • 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites with lots of single bed options if you have multiple kids. 
  • The suites have a huge amount of space which makes this a great place to stay with kids.
  • Full kitchens including oven, full sized fridge and dishwashers
  • Lap pool, hot tub, gym and sauna
  • Washing machine
  • Great CBD location


The downsides

  • Like the Christchurch Distinction Hotel above, the view out the front is of scaffolding of the Christchurch Cathedral
  • You have to pay for parking, but it is undercover, secure and valet.


The Heritage collection are some of my favourite family hotels, Christchurch has one of the best.

Click here to check out photos of the rooms and prices at the Christchurch Heritage Hotel

Upstairs at the Heritage Hotel Christchurch is a lovely loft with bedroom area. You can look down in to the living room area over the balcony
Beige kitchen with full sized dishwasher and fridge makes this great family friendly accommodation in Christchurch

Christchurch Motels


Deans Bush Motel: Central Accommodation Christchurch New Zealand


Right in the action but close to the beautiful Deans Bush gardens where you can relax and the kids can run around.  It’s right across the road from Westfield Riccarton, a large shopping centre with a supermarket, cinema and restaurants.

If you’re a foodie, then be here on a Saturday morning so you can walk to the Christchurch Farmers Market.  Fresh produce and tons of beautiful delicacies for brunch.

What we love about this Christchurch Motel: Deans Bush Riccarton

  • Budget friendly
  • One and two bedroom apartments for families
  • Free parking
  • Great location near the shopping mall and gardens
  • Free WIFI
  • Kitchenette with fridge and stove cooker
  • Some have a spa bath, great if you need to bath a baby


The downsides

  • Riccarton Road can be a busy at peak hours
  • Need to buy another room for families more than 4 people
  • No air conditioning
  • Tidy and simple.  If you’re looking for modern luxury, this isn’t the right option for you


See prices of this lovely Christchurch lodging: Deans Bush Motel

Punting on the Avon is such a fun thing to do in Christchurch with kids

239 on Lincoln Motel, Christchurch

Lovely modern Christchurch motel on a good arterial route, means you’ll be close to the action and still get a carpark. Rooms are equipped with a kitchenette for light meals and breakfast at home, always great for saving a few dollars

What we love about 230 on Lincoln

  • Excellent location, the best place to stay for Horncastle Arena and Orangetheory Stadium, only 1km from the Christchurch train station.
  • Lovely modern and new
  • Family rooms have a separate bedroom for the kids
  • On a busy road, but the rooms have soundproofing
  • Some rooms have a kitchen with an oven, so make an early request if this is important to you
  • Free WIFI

The downsides

  • This intersection where the motel is located can get busy at peak times or on event days.


***If you’re interested in more Christchurch family motels, scroll down for a couple more under cheap accommodation in Christchurch with kids

Clean modern kitchen space at the 239 on Lincoln motel in the family apartment
Large kitchen space at the 239 on Lincoln Motel in Christchurch
Large wooden table and couches in the spacious family suite at 239 on Lincoln motel in Christchurch
Large spaces make this a great family friendly motel

Accommodation: Christchurch Airport recommendations


Christchurch Airport Hotels


Novotel Christchurch Airport: Closest Christchurch family accommodation to the Airport


This is the best accommodation Christchurch Airport has to offer.  Right on site at Christchurch Airport, this is the perfect spot if you have an early or late flight.  With kids, you don’t need the hassle of arriving really late (or leaving early) and having to negotiate pick ups and long transfers.

What we love about the Novotel Christchurch Airport Hotel

  • New modern hotel
  • Kids will love watching the planes take off out of the window
  • On site restaurant
  • The closest hotel to Christchurch Airport
  • Gym
  • WIFI
  • A short walk to the supermarket and further restaurants at Spitfire Square

The downsides

  • No rooms with separate bedrooms for kids.  They offer 3 single bed rooms or two queen bed rooms.  For more people you would have to purchase an additional room
  • Parking additional cost


Airport Motels in Christchurch New Zealand


The Airport Gateway Motor Lodge: Great family accommodation, Christchurch New Zealand


Close to the airport, with a free shuttle, the Airport Gateway Motor Lodge is ideal for one or two night stay.  This family accommodation in Christchurch is more on the basic side, but has everything you need for a comfortable short stay.


Here’s what we like about it:

  • 2 and 3 bedroom apartments available, great for spreading kids out into separate bedrooms
  • Free unlimited wifi and chromecast
  • Free parking and airport shuttle that runs 24/7
  • Full kitchen including microwave, oven and stove
  • A short drive to the International Antarctic Centre, Orana Park (Christchurch Zoo) and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
  • Onsite restaurant with 24 hour room service, great for early and late flights


The downsides

  • Decor is a little dated, however the business wing has upgraded rooms that look lovely
  • Far from the CBD if you wish to do some sightseeing

Click here to check out prices and availability at this well located Christchurch motel

Outside view of the Airport Gateway Motor Lodge Christchurch shows off a fresh white exterior and plenty of parking spaces available
Christchurch Airport Gateway Motor Lodge: Well located motel for families
Premium suite at the Airport Gateway Motel Christchurch shows updated furnishes in blue grey neutral colours with a kitchenette at the end of the room

Cheap Accommodation in Christchurch NZ


Tower Junction Motor Lodge: Great value and cheap accommodation Christchurch


Tower Junction is a great spot, just out of the Christchurch CBD, but only a 5 minute drive away.  What you will find here is less issues with parking and busy streets, but also great access to shops and the Southern Motorway, making it fast to access everywhere.

It’s also close to the Christchurch train station, ideal if you are doing the Transalpine train trip from Christchurch – Greymouth

We have personally stayed here and it was just an easy access spot.  Very clean, simple and modern and just the base we needed for exploring.

What we love:

  • Plenty of options for families including a one bedroom apartment sleeping up to 4, or a 2 bedroom family apartment sleeping up to 6.
  • Free shuttle to the railway station
  • Kitchenette in rooms and onsite bbq available
  • Free WIFI
  • Free parking
  • Great location close to Riccarton Mall, Horncastle Arena (shows, indoor sports such as netball) and Orangetheory Stadium (rugby games etc)


The downsides:

  • Can be a busy area of town so expect traffic at peak times on your way home (4.30-6pm)

Northwood Motor Lodge


Formerly the Chardonnay Motor Lodge, this 4 star motel has studios, family rooms and one bedroom apartments that would suit the family well.

It is right near the Groynes recreation reserve that has a number of playgrounds, an orienteering course, great shaded picnic spots and lovely walks.

What we love about Northwood Motor Lodge: Christchurch Family Accommodation

  • One bedroom family apartment sleeps 2 singles in the bedroom and one queen in the living space.
  • Also available is a 3 bedroom standalone townhouse sleeping up to 8
  • Large lush grounds with playground
  • Kitchenettes in all rooms
  • Close to the airport, without being the busyness of an airport motel
  • Free airport shuttles
  • BBQs
  • Free WIFI
  • Air conditioning
  • Free parking

The downsides:

  • No restaurants within walking distance
  • A small amount of road noise
Small kitchen area with decent sized fridge and bed in the living area is part of the family friendly Northwood motor lodge accommodation in christchurch
Northwood Motor Lodge
Small playground with trampoline are the family friendly facilities at Northwood Motor Lodge in Christchurch
Great accommodation in Christchurch for kids

North South Holiday Park Christchurch

This is great budget friendly accommodation in Christchurch, not too far from the airport, so if you are picking up a campervan, this is a great spot.

For the cheapest option at North South Holiday Park, rent a quadruple room with shared bathroom, consisting of 4 bunk beds or choose motel or apartment style rooms with the biggest room sleeping up to 6.

What we love:

  • Rooms that can sleep large families including a family suite sleeping up to 11
  • Great onsite facilities including a heated outdoor pool, playground, jumping pillow, board games and more
  • It’s pet friendly accommodation in Christchurch, you just to need to contact them to make this request
  • Free WIFI
  • Free Parking
  • Access to kitchen
  • Budget friendly


  • This is a holiday park, so accommodation is simple but has everything you need


Other budget family accommodation Christchurch, NZ

You could also consider Tasman Holiday Park in Christchurch, which was formerly the Christchurch Top 10 Holiday Park.  Holiday Parks will be some of the cheapest accommodation in Christchurch, so great if you are on a budget.

lovely modern white bedroom with blue accent provides great family friendly accommodation in christchurch for families
North South Holiday Park
Large jumping pillow and playground at North South Holiday Park make it great family accommodation in Christchurch
Awesome playground at North South Holiday Park


Founder of Backyard Travel Family

Jen is a super organiser when it comes to travel. Having travelled extensively in Europe and Africa, has lived in London and the USA and holidayed in many parts of Asia, she is not a newbie to the travel space

Jen has three young children, 9 and under and travels around New Zealand with them.

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