The Performing Arts

The Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington (tel. 0800/333-100 in NZ, or 03/963-0870), is the home of the best professional theater company in New Zealand. Shows range from Shakespeare to contemporary American and British theater to the best New Zealand plays.

Just off New Regent Street, the Isaac Theatre Royal at 145 Gloucester Street, hosts live theatre, concerts, and musical performances. The iconic building has stood in this place since 1906 (and fortunately survived the 2011 earthquakes). Civic and performance venue Christchurch Town Hall at 86 Kilmore Street wasn’t as fortunate. Following the earthquakes, the heritage-listed brutalist building had to undergo a significant restoration process. It reopened in 2019 and now hosts intimate concerts and public speaking events. A number of small theatres also exist, most notably Little Andromeda, a 100-seat theatre that’s tucked away at 134 Oxford Terrace in the River Market complex. It’s the place for improv, comedy, and indie plays.

A  new sports arena with capacity for 41,000, Te Kaha, is expected to open in 2026.

The Club & Bar Scene

Those looking for a raucous night out will find it at one of the bars located in the River Market, with Fat Eddie’s being a local fave. It’s open Tuesday to Saturday until the wee hour mornings, with live music line-ups nearly every night.

For date night vibes, New Regent St. (pictured above) is the place to go. That’s where you’ll find The Last Word at 31 New Regent St. (tel. 03/928-2831), a cozy cocktail lounge. It’s charismatic and cute, and has an outstanding list of whiskies and a sprinkling of top-drawer wines.

Opened to great acclaim immediately post-quakes as a bar-in-a-bus with some tented shelter, Smash Palace at 172 High St. (tel. 03/366-5369), now has a permanent site, but the bus, et al., remain, along with house beer on tap, books to browse, burgers made from scratch, and motorbike night (Thurs).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.