Most couples look to share an intimate time on their honeymoon. Christchurch offers several intimate destinations within a 30-minute drive radius. We have done the legwork to bring to you 9 very romantic yet naturally abundant locations—Head to any of these for a unique yet intimate time.

Imagine your partner and you walking through lush green forests or enjoying the sunset on an uninhabited island. Embark upon any of the below escapades for an exceptionally romantic honeymoon.

Please note that tour operators are not doing tours to most of these locations. We recommend visiting these sites if you are on a self-drive trip.

Romantic Locations Near Christchurch within a 30-minute drive radius

#1:- Taylors Mistake Beach

It will be an awful mistake if you miss out on the beautiful sunrise at Taylors Mistake Beach. The beach is just 30 minutes away from Christchurch, but don’t underestimate it because it’s an easy drive.

What the beach offers:

This fantastic sunny beach is one of the most sought-after beaches in the summer months. However, if you feel that the crowd can get in the way of your intimacy, you couldn’t be more mistaken. The beach offers exceptionally gentle and calm vibes, making it perfect for honeymooners.

The soft, white sand has a warm and balmy spa-like effect on your feet as you walk hand in hand with your partner.

Though the beach offers ample surfing waves, most of its charm lies in just relaxing, sunbathing, picnicking, and other such leisurely activities.

The top highlight:

As your day ends, get awed by the yellow and red hues of the glorious sunset. Grab each other’s hands as you witness this unparalleled natural wonder before you head back to Christchurch. You will indeed have had an intimate day in each other’s company after such an experience.

A surprise offering:

If you are a couple that likes to hike, the beach is the starting point of the Godley Head trail, our next top romantic destination near Christchurch.

#2:- Godley Head

While Taylors Mistake is a relaxing way to spend your honeymoon, Godley Head is more about outdoor fun. This three-hour walk from the beach is filled with panoramic views and historical charms.

What the trail offers:

As you start climbing uphill the Pilgrims Way Coastal Track behind the beach, you come across several beautiful attractions. Sea views, old cave dwellings, and cliff rocks surrounding the sea below.

Although you can drive straight to Godley Head, the hike is too charming to forgo. Even though Godley Hill is a WWII defense site, the views are perfect for honeymooners. The murals and graffiti along the trail enrich your experience with exciting trivia.

Ship from Lyttleton port passing via Godley Head
Ship from Lyttelton port passing via Godley Head

The top highlight:

You can see up to Christchurch and beyond. The coastline heading up to the Kaikoura Ranges offers a serene calmness most enjoyed in the company of your partner.

Extend the hike up to Breeze Bay to capture the stunning Lyttelton Harbour and the Banks Peninsula views.

A surprise offering:

Enjoy overnight camping and BBQ, in typical NZ style, if you don’t want to head back to Taylors Mistake the same day.

Several tracks near the Godley Head are very famous for Mountain biking adventures; however, it is not allowed at the Godley Head Loop Track.

#3:- Bottle Lake Forest Park

A 30-minute drive onto the Waitikiri Drive, towards the northeast of Christchurch, the Bottle Lake Forest Park awaits. This incredible expanse of pine plantation offers fabulous mountain-biking, horse-riding, and walking tracks.

What the forest offers:

bottle lake forest
Bottle Lake offers endless versatility when it comes to hiking and other outdoor activities. However, it is an easy flat track for all fitness levels. You don’t need to pump up the adrenaline to explore the trails. The 7km mountain biking loop is very pleasing to ride with your partner.

You can even go horse-riding at the dedicated tracks. Feel the breeze as the horse gallops while you hold your partner tightly from behind.

The forest is perfect for picnicking and spending the whole day. Also, as the trails are very close to the beach, you can even take a slight detour to take a hop dip together or enjoy the sunset.

The top highlight:

Now that you are married, you must’ve fantasized about your dream home. How about leaving a mark of your love in this beautiful forest?

Pin a miniature model of your dream home to a tree at the magical Fairy Village within the forest. Or just click pictures posing next to the one you find the prettiest from the existing ones. It is an enchanting experience.

However, follow the forest’s pinning guidelines not to harm the trees.

A surprise offering:

There is a unique tire playground within the forest with massive tires piled up. Relive your childhood here or simply capture a few memorable clicks.

#4:- Cashmere Hill Lookout

Sometimes the simplest places are the most romantic ones, and Cashmere Hill Lookout is a great example of that.

What the lookout offers:

New Zealand is the land of sunsets, and if you really want to capture this beautiful time of the day, you must capture it from Cashmere Hill Lookout.

This is also one of the great locations to watch the Christchurch City lights.

Christchurch City Lights Captured from Cashmere Hill Lookout

Why you mustn’t miss this lookout:

The hills surround the city while the lookout is strategically located, so you get the views of the entire city at one glance. Enjoy the breathtaking views; just a few minutes drive away from Christchurch.

There is ample parking space near the Victoria Park lookout, so you can sit at the edge of the world and admire the beautiful city for hours. It is one of the most romantic viewing points in Christchurch, especially recommended for honeymooners.

#5:- Glentui Loop Track & Waterfalls

The best part about going on a honeymoon in Christchurch is that you can wander alone in the wilderness with just each other for company. It makes you feel like Adam & Eve. Glentui Loop Track is one such serene adventure nestled in the Waimakariri District.

Glentui Waterfalls
Glentui Waterfalls

What the trail offers:

Starting from the picnic area, the track initially goes downhill. As you walk along, your senses are filled with the sweet honeydew smell from the lush forestation and the native birdsong.

The forest is so peaceful that you can clearly hear the sounds of the Glentui River flowing afar at the track’s other end. Breathe in the freshest air around Christchurch as you walk through the trail together.

The trail ends at the small wooden bridge across the river. From here, walk the little path leading to the river with snowy white water flowing through it—a terrific spot for some memorable honeymoon pictures.

The top highlight:

While you are in Glentui, you can’t miss out on the picturesque Glentui Waterfalls. Located amid the Mount Thomas conservation Area, the waterfalls offer unspoiled natural beauty that is becoming a rarity these days. Enjoy a scenic day out with your partner, capture lots of beautiful memories, and spend some quality time together.

#6:- Otamahua or Quail Island

If a honeymoon means cruising to an uninhabited island, your wish will come true with a visit to Quail Island. Hop on to the ferry from the Lyttelton Wharf or paddle a canoe if you are up for it, but just reach the island anyhow; enjoy the sunshine, the waters, the beaches, the wildlife, and whatnot!

What the island offers:

To convince honeymooners, just a mention of an island escape is enough; however, Quail Island, or Otamahua, as the Maoris call it, offers a lot to validate your visit.

Spend a romantic night at the Quail Island Hut and swing on the rope swing hanging from the tree branch. Walk through the island’s scenic walkways, pass by the shipwrecks and find out how sled dogs were trained for Antarctica expeditions back in the days.

Capture some of the rare native birds through your camera. Although you wouldn’t find the original Quails that got extinct in the 1870s, you can still find some Californian Quails.

The top highlight:

Laze about in a hammock near the beach till it is nighttime because this is when you are in for the treat. The view of the Lyttelton Harbor across the waters is mesmerizing. So many lights in the otherwise infinite expanse of darkness are breathtaking.

The Island has a long history worth exploring, so make sure you spare some time for that too.

#7:- Gibraltar Rock @ Omahu Bush Reserve

Canterbury Plain View from the top

Just a stone’s throw away from Christchurch, Gibraltar Rock in the Omahu Bush Reserve is a stunner spot for honeymooners. This jaw-dropping rock formation is reachable through an easy walk, making it even more lucrative for a long stroll with your love.

What the reserve offers:

Bush Reserve is an enchanting amalgamation of geological features, rich birdlife, and native flora. With a lush cover of ferns, flowers, and fungi as we go.

The most attractive place for honeymooners is the fuchsia forest, with pink blossoms everywhere you look.

The top highlight:

When you reach Gibraltar Rock, climb to the top and shout out your love to the world, or simply take some top-of-the-world pictures.

Apart from heading to the rock, you will find an array of tracks available here; many love the steep Kirk Track.

You can either take Kirk or the Nelsons tracks to reach the hidden gem of the entire trail – Anne’s Falls.

A surprise offering:

Anne’s Falls are a delight if you are lucky enough to behold them in full flow. You can reach them by successively following the Kirks & Rhodes tracks.

Once you reach the bridge over the river, witness the first cascade. Cross the stream to reach the base of magnificently sparkling Anne’s Fall.

#8:- Sherlin Alpaca Stud

Another fantastic 30-minute drive destination, Sherlin Alpaca Stud, is an exciting place to explore this rare lifeform. You don’t even need any prior booking for a simple farm tour.

What the farm offers:

Find yourself surrounded by the gentle and friendly Alpacas at Sherlin Alpaca. With 300 Alpacas and a 55-acre farm, this is a very unique self-drive destination near Christchurch.

You can hand-feed the baby alpacas or simply walk around the farm with them. The best time to play with these cute furry animals is from November to March.

The top highlight:

These gorgeous creatures are so friendly that people love taking pictures with them. The Alpacas love being clicked, too, so they stand quietly as you capture to your heart’s content.

You can learn about the two alpaca breeds reared on the farm – Huacaya and Suri. Most people love to snuggle to the Huacaya because of its teddy bear fur.

A souvenir to remember:

Buy a sung, cozy knitted alpaca fiber jumper for your newlywed from the farm shop itself. The shop produces the products using the sustainably obtained Alpaca fiber without hurting the animals, making it a truly special souvenir to take back home.

#9:- Lyttelton Port

While Christchurch is a charming place to spend your honeymoon, Lyttelton offers a change of scenery because of its eroded volcanic geography. Lyttelton is also the home to fantastic eateries and boutique shops – a perfect place to show your love for your partner.

Along with the fabulous town offerings, Lyttelton also offers ample outdoor adventures. So, it is a paradise for honeymooners because of its sheer diversity.

What the port offers:

You can start your day by hitting the picturesque Corsair Bay beach. Swim, tan, bask or just picnic under the umbrella. If you plan to carry a picnic, you should source the freshest ingredients from the farmers market at the London Street –  a perk of being a port settlement.

Otherwise, simply head to one of the amazing cafes to sample some delectable offerings. You might as well check out some contemporary art at Oxford Street Art. And while you are looking at the artwork, sip some wine too, if it is a Friday.

A gateway to many adventures:

As we already told you, Lyttelton harbor is where you catch the ferry for Quail Island; you should also know that that’s not it. You can even head to Port Hills or Diamond Bay from here.

Concluding the best self-drive honeymoon destinations around Christchurch

Christchurch is full of adventures just as your life will be, so enjoy Christchurch’s natural abundance in honeymoon style. Stroll the hiking tracks, sunbathe at the adventure islands and sample delicious food at the port eateries. Simply put, sprinkle some adventurous spark to your otherwise intimate and romantic honeymoon.