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Accommodation options for students arriving in Christchurch

There has been a shortage of accommodation in Christchurch for the past few years. It is therefore vital that you book some form of accommodation (perhaps temporary) before you arrive in Christchurch.

The main University of Otago, Christchurch campus building (School of Medicine and Health Sciences) is located at located at 2 Riccarton Avenue, Christchurch, adjacent to Christchurch Hospital.
Note: There is a Riccarton Avenue and a Riccarton Road, so do not get confused between the two.

Short-term options

Hotel Give (YMCA)

This is a good place to stay initially while looking for a flat/more permanent accommodation.

It is close to the Christchurch campus building.
View Google map journey

BreakFree on Cashel

BreakFree on Cashel is a 20-munite walk from the Christchurch campus building.
View Google map journey

Urbanz Accommodation

273 Manchester Street is a 20-minute walk from the Christchurch campus building.
View Google map journey


Or look for a motel on Riccarton Road, Christchurch

Longer-term Options

Long term rental accommodation in New Zealand is called flatting. Flats are an independent way of living where you join a group of people in a house and share costs. Some flats are furnished; others are not. Flat rent often doesn’t include electricity, telephone and internet (utilities), so you will need to pay for these each month additional to your rent payment. You will need to pay a deposit or bond before you move in, to cover any damage you may cause. This is typically 2-4 weeks’ worth of rent.

Most flats are advertised through TradeMe: Trade Me - Rooms in Christchurch.

TradeMe is also where you can find second hand furniture if you need to furnish your new room.

For more information on flatting in New Zealand:

Tenancy information

Are you renting for the first time, or about to sign a new tenancy agreement? Find out your rights and responsibilities as a tenant by visiting

A wide range of information is available from the website, including:

  • the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants
  • how much bond and rent you should pay in advance
  • market rent information
  • how to handle disputes


If you need advice about accommodation, please email

Other support is offered by OUSA (Otago University Student Association)