Tim Bateman's Christchurch
I have been a professional rugby player for the last 15 years with the Crusaders, Hurricanes and Maori All Blacks. I’m currently playing for a team in Japan and I do my off-season training at home in Christchurch.
My wife Laura and I own a flotation therapy business and a wellness studio. Our wellness journey started because Laura has multiple sclerosis. When she had a stem cell transplant in Singapore, they recommended she use flotation therapy to help her recovery. I went along with her and then started using floating for things like physical recovery and mental rest. When we came back to Christchurch, we opened two wellness businesses. But wellness for me is not about doing yoga and drinking juice. It’s actually not. It’s about what makes you feel good. So this is my feel-good guide to Christchurch.
Float away at Cloud 9
1/65 Mandeville Street, Riccarton, Christchurch
I float each week at Cloud 9 to reset and recharge - it’s my happy place! I lock the door and the world can stay away for a bit. Some people think that floating is for zen hippies, but it’s actually a great complement to modern living for people juggling busy lives. Taking some time out to reflect can be part of what makes them successful. When you’ve got zero stimulation and you are prepared to follow your thoughts, there can be some really cool stuff that comes out. I usually take some time afterwards to make notes.
Soak in the views at New Brighton's hot pools
195 Marine Parade, New Brighton, Christchurch
Watching waves roll in and looking out over an endless horizon while kicking back in a sauna is pretty hard to beat, and that’s exactly what you get to do at the newly-opened He Puna Taimoana: New Brighton hot pools. This council facility is a must-do in Christchurch… especially during the colder months. Three saltwater pools are heated to different temperatures so you can find the perfect one for you, then kick back in the sauna with a big glass window overlooking New Brighton beach.
Solve the riddles at Escape Artists
Unit 2/25 Churchill Street, Christchurch Central
My kids and I love a good challenge. Escape Artists is something a bit different and a great way to spend an hour of your time. We love solving the puzzles, riddles and cryptic clues together! My favourite is the Jungle Room escape (we nailed it in 32 minutes).
Walk the city’s best beach
Taylors Mistake, Christchurch
This amazingly beautiful beach is so close to the city, but that extra 10 minute drive over the hill seems to keep the crowds away. I’d say Taylor’s Mistake is the best beach in Christchurch hands down. I grew up on the West Coast and enjoy the energy of heavy surf waves. Taylor’s is framed by a cluster of quintessential Kiwi baches and has stunning walks in both directions.
Endless fun at Christchurch Adventure Park
225 Worsleys Road, Cracroft, Christchurch
Hard out riding the tracks is basically on my bucket list, since I can’t risk injury while playing professional rugby. But I have a passion for trying new things and I could see myself getting hooked on mountain biking. The park has so many amazing trails. When I look at it, I see endless fun. You can ride the lift and take the zipline down even if you’re not into - or able to - bike.
Ice bath at O-Studio
14/26 Welles Street, Christchurch Central
I’m biased because this is my new baby, but O-Studio is genuinely my favourite spot to be at the moment! I use the ice bath and sauna weekly, and I get a massage weekly too. I do yoga and meditation regularly here as well. We’ve had people fly in from Auckland for the day - do everything we offer, eat their meals at the Welder downstairs and then fly home the same day. What an escape!
Speciality coffee from The Origin Café
95 Westminster Street, St Albans, Christchurch
This place was pretty much my office for three years when I was with the Crusaders, because it was just down the road from where we trained. I love the simple, Scandinavan set-up, the kind staff and the vegan food - try the dumplings and papas noodle soup. I’m taking a break from coffee at the moment, but when I’m back, my first coffee will be a Specialty coffee from Origin.
Feed the soul at The Welder
20-26 Welles Street, Christchurch Central
There are so many great coffee joints and eateries at The Welder and the setting is super chilled. For a healthy option, you can go for the Barefoot Café. My go-to is Awaken - a sparkling juice that they serve on tap. But for me, wellness is what makes you feel good. And for some people that’s having a beer and feeding their social soul. The Welder’s Bar Yoku is perfect for that!
Tea leaf salad at Rangoon Ruby
819 Colombo Street, Christchurch Central
I reckon this Burmese delight is my favourite restaurant in the whole world. If there’s an occasion to go out, we’ll always choose Rangoon Ruby, or its sister restaurant, The Bohdi Tree, which I started going to 15 years ago! Beverly and her husband are such nice people and their food is awesome. My order: tea leaf salad, shredded papaya salad, marinated fish, garlic and chilli prawns, deep fried tofu chips and an incredible mushroom salad and okra salad!
Lux Lounge at Entx Cinema
617 Colombo Street, Christchurch Central
We don’t watch much television at home, but I do enjoy a good movie experience. The first time I went to ENTX’s Lux Lounge in the central city I was shocked at how nice it was. I think it might be the best theatre experience I’ve been to anywhere in the world, with the candy alley and the super comfy chairs and plush cinema. It’s the pampered version of going to the movies.