Welcome to OKCNZ Christchurch!

Christchurch is known as the ‘Garden City’ because of its huge park and beautiful gardens. In the summer head to the beach to swim or surf, while in the winter we are just a short drive from many ski fields. Visit Akaroa a gorgeous French town nearby, go whale watching in Kaikoura, relax in Hanmer’s famous hot pools, or take the Tranz Alpine - one of the world’s most scenic train journeys into the spectacular Southern Alps. These are all popular day trips from Christchurch.

Christchurch is the gateway to New Zealand’s South Island. The South Island is considered one of the top five destinations in the world! Discover breath-taking scenery, friendly people, and enough adventure activities to keep even the biggest adrenalin junkie happy. OKCNZ members travel to all corners of the island, visiting magnificent Milford Sound, bungy jumping in Queenstown, walking on the West Coast glaciers, kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park, and getting up close to wildlife such as penguins, dolphins, and sea lions.

OKCNZ Christchurch’s Support Centre

Our Support Centre is located in the heart of Christchurch City – Cathedral Square. Here you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city, use our free internet service for members, book travel, accommodation and school, or simply chat with our friendly staff about how to make the most of your New Zealand experience. Here you will meet other OKCNZ members who can share their stories with you, and let you in on some of the best kept secrets of the South Island. Staff are on hand to help you with friendly advice and support, and we have advisors from other nationalities available if needed.

In our Support Centre you’ll find information on schools, activities, farmstays, seasonal work, travel, life in New Zealand and much more. OKCNZ Christchurch’s experienced counselor is very popular with members who sometimes find adapting to their new life a little challenging! Our support centre has gained a reputation with members as a friendly place to visit and meet new friends. All enquiries are welcome!

We enjoy getting to know our clients well, as many call in every day to make use of our free internet for members. We have resources on all the popular English schools in Christchurch, as well as an in-depth travel log of an OKCNZ Working Holidaymaker. Our member’s notice board has items for sale, flats to rent, things to do and work available. We are looking forward to meeting you in Christchurch!

Example Short Visit Itinerary

If you can’t spare too much time in New Zealand but want to make the most out of your visit, we can help with your travel plans. Here is an example of how you might spend eight weeks in New Zealand:

Arrival Day: Be met by an OKCNZ representative and your host family at the airport.

Weeks 1 – 4: Attend English school full-time while staying with an OKCNZ Homestay Family. During the weekends take a day trip from Christchurch into the awesome Southern Alps on the scenic Tranz Alpine Express or travel by shuttle bus to the picturesque historic French village, Akaroa.

Week 5:  Spend a week on an internship or volunteer programme (this depends on your English ability). Examples include working at an elderly rest home, teaching assistant, or working at a child care facility. We recommend that you continue to stay with your host family during this time to keep improving your English skills.

Week 6: Take a tour of the South Island on a coach, stopping and staying at some of our most famous destinations such as Mount Cook, Queenstown and Milford Sound.

Weeks 7-8: Return to Christchurch then travel on to a farm of your choice through the organisation FHINZ where you can stay for free in return for working on the farm a few hours a day.

Note: Generally if you are attending English school when you arrive in New Zealand, it is advisable to make your travel plans after you arrive here. This way you will have a better idea of where you would like to visit and more information available to help plan your holiday.

The Beautiful South Island

Lake Pukaki

Located in the heart of the South Island’s McKenzie country, Lake Pukaki’s beautiful blue shades are in sharp contrast to the barren browns of the surrounding mountains. This photo was taken by OKCNZ Working Holiday member Jun Takashima while traveling around New Zealand.

Lake Pukaki is beautiful anytime of the year, and when you travel from Christchurch to Queenstown you can see wonderful views of New Zealand’s highest mountain Mt Cook from the lake’s edge.

Lake Pukaki is fed from glaciers, creating the wonderful blue colours. Water from Lake Pukaki is used to generate power for use throughout New Zealand.

What OKCNZ Christchurch Cients Say:

“Thank you very much for everything you’ve done for me. Thanks to your help I really enjoyed working at the restaurant. I’ll miss you very much and I hope to see you again” Kaori

“At my school we studied not only English, but also International understanding. I made lots of friends from all over the world” Yuka

“I met many other OKCNZ members in Christchurch and chatting with them gave me the opportunity to get lots of great information about all aspects of working and traveling in New Zealand” Jun

Useful Links:
If you're planning on taking a tour while in the South Island, OKCNZ recommends the following:

Kiwi Experience - Covering the entire country, this bus company offers fun on wheels for the young at heart.  Ideal for independent travellers such as backpackers and working holidaymakers, buy a pass and travel the country at your own pace, getting on and off the bus when and where you like. 

Feejee Experience - Many working holidaymakers and visitors to New Zealand book a short holiday to Fiji while they are in New Zealand.  Feejee Experience is designed for young independent travellers and offers several different passes to help you make the most of your time in this island paradise.

South Pacific Travellers - Offering different types of travel, including independent self-drive tours and escorted coach tours, this company offers something for everyone with a large variety of tours and activities.

Magic Travellers Network - A Magic Travel pass offers flexibility for the budget traveller, covering the length of the country.  Travellers with Magic can get on or off the bus wherever they choose, so you are able to plan your own holiday and travel from place to place in your own time.