Avonhead, Christchurch: A Must-See for Lush Parks, Retail Shops & Food Galore

Avonhead Christchurch

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Picture this: Lush parks, a chill, peaceful vibe, and all the fun stuff you’d want in a city – that’s what awaits you in Avonhead, Christchurch! This enclave, steeped in a warm, welcoming ambience and painted with vibrant green spaces, is a perfect blend of the urban and the serene.

Tucked in the western side of the city, this cosy little suburb is especially near and dear to us at Lovoir. It is home to our Day Spa’s first branch, giving us nothing but good memories and a ton of fun facts and tourist tips we’d love to share with you!

So buckle up and enjoy, cause we’re taking you to Avonhead – here’s everything you need to know about our tranquil suburban home! 


Sandwiched between Riccarton and Hornby, Avonhead is a peaceful suburb situated in the west of Christchurch. The beautiful Avon River trails along its eastern edge, a clear indicator of the origin behind its name. As the story goes, it was all thanks to William Bayley Bray, an engineer who built a homestead in the area in 1851. It was located at the head of the river, thus naturally inspiring him to call it “Avonhead”.

Avon River Christchurch

Apart from easy access to the river, Avonhead residents are blessed with jaw-dropping views of the Southern Alps crowning the horizon. 

If that wasn’t perfect enough, the suburb also boasts an impressive collection of lush greenery. Burnside Park and Avonhead Park are like the lungs of the area, although they are just two of the many parks and reserves in the area.

All these verdant landscapes offer a sweet escape from city life and form an important part of the local environment. Hence, making Avonhead a picture-perfect postcard of Kiwi splendour.


Avonhead is home to a diverse mix of ethnicities, age groups, families and young professionals. Together, they make up a warm, friendly community that continues to attract both tourists and locals to this once-overlooked suburban town. 

Avonhead’s appeal and popularity is further confirmed by the growing population over the years. As seen in the census data, there has been a steady growth in residents moving into town. And as of the most recent 2022 report, Avonhead had an estimated population of 9,600 people.

Avonhead Community

Other interesting characteristics of the Avonhead community include:

  • An well-balanced mix of males and females, similar to the overall demographics of Christchurch city.

  • A suburb of diverse ethnicities, which include 67% New Zealand Europeans/Pākehās, 28.3% Asians, 5.2% Maori people, 2.6% Pacific people, and 3.3% from other ethnicities.

  • Respect for different religions as the population consists of 40.5% Christians, 1.5% Buddhists, 1.3% Hindus, 1.3% Muslims, 1.5% less known religions, and the remaining 48.4% not associating with any specific religion.

  • A mature yet youthful community, wherein the average age of residents is 37.4 years old, an age group where career and family are top priorities. The North and West parts of the neighbourhood have an even higher median age of around 45 years old, reflecting older households that value a place suitable for settling down.

  • A significant presence of families and young professionals, which can be attributed to the city’s attractive balance of calm suburban living with accessible urban amenities.

  • A community of skilled and empowered residents, given that 47.4% of those in a work-appropriate age are employed, 15.4% are part-time employees, and only 3.5% are unemployed.


Let’s talk culture! 

So, what’s the scene like in Avonhead? It’s all about community and lifestyle over here. Just think: Outdoor activities, sports, food trips, shopping – there’s always something happening in this part of the city. 

For one, there’s the Avonhead Shopping Centre. It serves as a cultural hub of sorts, with a mishmash of shops, cafes, and services that cater to a wide range of needs and interests.

Avonhead Shopping Centre

Then there’s the food – whatever it is you’re craving for, Avonhead has got you covered. The local cuisine is as diverse as its residents, boasting a variety of restaurants and cafes offering everything from traditional Kiwi fare to exotic international dishes.

It doesn’t stop there! Perhaps one of the most distinct features of Avonhead is its abundance of parks. This naturally encourages an active, outdoorsy lifestyle among the community. These lush spaces serve as daily hotspots for leisure, sports, wellness, and gatherings among family and friends. 

Overall, the mix of natural landscapes, commercial establishments and a homey ambiance in Avonhead are a big influence on its laid back yet fun culture. It’s a place where neighbours aren’t strangers and community events are woven into the fabric of everyday life.


For those with kiddos, Avonhead is an excellent choice for education as it offers high-quality options for students of all ages. 

Avonhead School

Here, you’ll find Avonhead School and Merrin School, two highly-regarded primary institutions. Both schools have an excellent reputation, boasting small class sizes, dedicated teachers, and comprehensive educational programmes.

For secondary education, Riccarton High School and Burnside High School are considered to be some of the most esteemed high schools in Christchurch. While not exactly located within Avonhead, they are closeby and serve a significant number of the suburb’s residents. Notably, Burnside High School is one of the largest schools in New Zealand and is well-known for its robust academic and extracurricular programs.


Avonhead might not be top-of-mind on a tourist’s must-see list, but it’s got a charm of its own that is definitely worth visiting! 

It is an ideal spot for those seeking a slower-paced, more immersive local experience. Don’t be fooled by its chill vibe though, there is still lots to do and see in the neighbourhood. 

Burnside Park is the heart of it all, located in both Burnside and Avonhead suburbs. Here, you’ll get to catch rugby or cricket games and surround yourself with the youthful energy of the locals.

Burnside Park Avonhead

Other parks easily accessible in the area are Avonhead Park, Crosbie Park, Ferrier Park, and Hyde Park. Continue the nature trip by visiting the smaller reserves as well — like Brigadoon Reserve, Bullock Reserve, Cricklewood Reserve, Staveley Reserve, Stewarts Bush, Strathean Reserve, and Westgrove Park. 

The Avonhead Shopping Centre is another spot you shouldn’t miss – a one-stop-shop for all things retail. And when you get peckish, there’s a smorgasbord of eateries waiting to be explored, whether casual or gourmet.

In a nutshell, Avonhead isn’t just any old suburb of Christchurch. It’s a place where you can kick back and relax, but still have a blast. So, whether you’re a local or just passing through, a pit stop in Avonhead is a must!