Welcome to our home town of Ōtautahi | Christchurch.We are so pleased that you chose to visit. We are of Māori, Samoan, English and European heritage and are excited to be part of sharing the new narrative of our evolving city. Despite the events of the past decade our city remains as a destination on the world travelers map. With local knowledge and passion for our hometown our bespoke tours on foot combine natural beauty, exquisite dining experiences, unique trails and includes our own Māori and multi-cultural story telling.
All our tours start by meeting at one of our city’s less known spots. Once we have completed our intros, taught you about a traditional Māori greeting, we will wander our city lane ways, green spaces and heritage sights discovering hidden taonga | treasures that may never reach the guidebooks.
With so much to see, our hosted tours on foot can change to accommodate what the group is keen for on the day.
When we were travelling around the UK in the late 1990’s we never went far without our trusty A to Z. It was before mobile phones, google and travel apps… (Yes that really was a time!) We got lost every weekend and discovered cool hidden gems of London and the surrounding areas. We continued to follow this way of travelling in many cities around the world.
Following the earthquakes in Christchurch NZ we heard that the perception was our hometime was boring and had no soul. That got us thinking and we set out to prove that it is not!
We might not be where we thought we were as a city but we can celebrate how far we have come. Each week something new opens and another part of our evolving city emerges. And every week we still set out like we did in London, with our trusted Z-A, limited technology (except for photos) to show off our city, and to prove there is loads to do if you know where to look 👀
October 2017 – We want to change impressions!
We so passionate about changing the narrative of Christchurch. We also love seeing people use more sustainable options for our environment. We combined these passions and our idea for a guided walking treasure hunt was born.
Thanks to the Christchurch City Council our first official walking tour Hidden Taonga – Discovering Ōtautahi set off in October 2017. Taonga means treasure in Māori and during our research and development for this walking tour, many hidden taonga were discovered and explored.
It has morphed into well received walking tours, and a series of treasure hunts weaving around our inner city, learning and exploring our rich Māori and European heritage.
We continue to develop our korero (storytelling) as we continue to bring the Christchurch CBD stories to life and preserve more of our rich Māori and European heritage .
It is important to us to pay respect to our tipuna|ancestors who settled in and around Ōtautahi. We weave in stories passed down to us that explain some of the history of our ancestors. We have been excited to learn and now share some of the land trails to mahinga kai, river routes to trade markets and other places of significance.
We celebrate our heritage with fond memories of Canterbury’s rich heritage and how the richness of both cultures, resources and nature has given shape to the city we live in today.
Our local tour guides provides a unique combination of facts, fun, story telling and good old fashioned kiwi hospitality.
While we are in our own discovery stage we continue to run our tours on demand.
If you are interested we invite you to join us as we weave through laneways, hidden squares, gardens, and past sculptures, historic buildings and landmarks; exploring and learning as we go.
As our city changes so do our tours as each is slightly different as the city evolves and emerges.
Our guests have been as young as one and as mature as 87!
Whether you are an international guest, a curious domestic visitor or a local keen to be a tourist in your hometown we can tailor a tour to your needs.
Please contact us to discuss your availability and we will do our best to meet your needs!
We look forward to meeting you.
Mā te wā (see you soon)
Riwai and Cate Grace
Co- founders and Wayfinder
Hidden Gems NZ
For more information please contact
03 967 1652