The Top Neighbourhoods in ChristChurch for Families

The Top Neighbourhoods in ChristChurch for Families 

Moving with your family to Christchurch and wondering where to live? Today, we’ll go over the best options.

The top neighbourhoods to live in Christchurch for families are Merivale, Sumner, and Riccarton. Families move to these neighbourhoods in Christchurch because of the variety of recreational options available, laid-back lifestyle, and enhanced curriculum taught in the schools in these areas. 

Let’s take a closer look at each one to help you decide which one suits your family most.


Main reason to move hereClose to the city centre, beautiful parks, and great schools
Property prices / rent$
Range of amenities★★★★☆
Public transportation system★★★☆☆

Merivale, a residential neighbourhood to the north of Christchurch city centre, is a place bursting with personality. 

Merivale homeowners can enjoy a variety of amenities, including a beautiful neighbourhood park system and a large shopping complex with upscale restaurants and bars. 

This area is perfect for those who want to experience city life yet do so without sacrificing safety and cleanliness. It’s also a great place to raise a family because of the excellent primary and elementary schools. 

The median rent for a two-bedroom home in the neighbourhood is 487 NZD per month, and the median value of a home there is 1.4 million NZD.

Notable Schools in Merivale

Elmwood Normal School 

Address: 29 Aikmans Road, Merivale, Christchurch 8014, New Zealand

Children in grades 0 through 6 can enrol in Elmwood Normal School’s six-year programme before moving on to intermediate schools. 

Elmwood Normal School community is diverse, supportive and enriching. Their academic plans prominently incorporate parental participation. They are committed to helping students ask focused questions, make deliberate observations, and collaborate.

Rangi Ruru Girls’ School

Address: 59 Hewitts Road, Merivale, Christchurch 8014, New Zealand

Rangi Ruru Girls’ School is a private Presbyterian Church secondary school for girls and includes room and board. Every year an average of 700 students in years 7 to 13 are enrolled here.


Main reason to move hereRelaxed lifestyle, beautiful beaches, and recreational activities
Property prices / rent$$$
Range of amenities★★★★☆
Public transportation system★★★★☆

Sumner, one of Christchurch’s earliest European settlements, is the place to call home if you love the ocean, the feeling of salt in your hair, sand between your toes, and a clear blue horizon. 

Sumner is the perfect spot for you if you’re looking for a relaxed way of life in a picturesque seaside town that comes to life during the summer. 

The beach isn’t the only attraction in Sumner, by the way. Every day may be a new and exciting experience when you take advantage of the area’s abundant hiking trails, wildlife preserves, and recreational activities, including horseback riding and surfing. 

Essentially, it’s ideal for retirees or young families that want to relax in a natural setting. 

Property here isn’t as cheap as in Merivale, but it’s still attractive. The median value of a home in this area is 1,000,000 NZD and rent for three-bedroom houses in Sumner with coastline views starts at 700 NZD a week. 

Notable Schools in Sumner 

Ko Taku Reo – Deaf Education 

Address: 38 Truro Street, Sumner, Christchurch 8081, New Zealand

Ko Taku Reo is a school specialising in deaf education. New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) and English are utilised on a communication continuum between the deaf and hearing personnel in all settings, from the office to the classroom.

Pebbles Montessori 

Address: 4 Campbell Street, Sumner, Christchurch 8081, New Zealand

Pebbles Montessori is a local preschool in Sumner that many working parents use for their young toddlers to get a head start on New Zealand’s curriculum before starting elementary school. 

Our Lady Star of the Sea School 

Address: 45 Colenso Street, Sumner, Christchurch 8081, New Zealand

Our Lady Star of the Sea School is a Catholic school for kids from kindergarten to year 8. Here, a small class size and emphasis on the family unit are highly valued, although the Catholic focus does mean it’s best for those of this faith. 


Main reason to move hereExcellent schools, The University of Canturbury, and reasonable housing
Property prices / rent$$
Range of amenities★★★★☆
Public transportation system★★★☆☆

Riccarton attracts families because of the high-quality schools available to children. Additionally, The University of Canterbury is in this neighbourhood. 

Furthermore, Riccarton is a great place to live for people of various income levels because it has both large and small homes, cheap apartments, and stylish townhouses. 

It has affordable house prices, with a median home price of about 700,000 NZD. Houses with at least three bedrooms to rent in Riccarton cost between 495 NZD per week and 850 NZD or more.

Notable Schools in Riccarton

St Teresa’s School 

Address: 10 Puriri Street, Riccarton, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand

St Teresa’s School is a state-integrated, full primary Catholic School. Through a play-based learning curriculum, students have what they need to become contributing members of society. 

They also can develop their intellectual, spiritual, physical, social, emotional, and cultural selves.

Wharenui School 

Address: 32 Matipo Street, Riccarton, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand

Wharenui School, located in the heart of Riccarton in Christchurch, is a multicultural institution. 

Wharenui School provides a warm, supportive, and stimulating learning environment in which each student is challenged to reach his or her full potential and prepare for lifetime success in education. 

They accept students from Kindergarten through eighth grade, making them a full-fledged primary school.

The University of Canterbury 

Address: 20 Kirkwood Avenue, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand

The University of Canterbury’s Civil Engineering programme is highly regarded, being ranked ninth in the world. Students who choose to study here become a part of one of New Zealand’s most international institutions, with a student body of over 17,000 from 100+ countries and faculty.