Traditionally known as the Garden City, Christchurch is the gateway to New Zealand’s South Island, bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean it is situated on the edge of the Canterbury Plains that stretch to the Southern Alps. It is a vibrant city in transition, coping creatively and effectively after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, with innovative new attractions, as well as some old favourites.
The city centre is graced by the stunning Botanic Gardens, over 150 years old and boasting an enviable collection of exotic and native plants and Hagley Park is the largest urban space in Christchurch which in spring is a riot of cherry blossom and daffodils, whilst in autumn mature introduced trees produce a mass of striking colours.
The Avon River flows gently through the city centre, and punting on the river is an iconic Christchurch activity not to be missed. Admire the Botanic Gardens or the changing face of the city centre as you are expertly guided gently along the Avon River on an authentic Edwardian punt.
Visit the Re Start container mall, the transitional Cardboard Cathedral, some of the many pop up restaurants and bars, art galleries, boutique shops and open-air markets all which add add to Christchurch’s creative vibe.
Catch a ride aboard the Historic Tram offering a unique experience combining history and sightseeing or take a bicycle tour to learn about Christchurch’s history. Other popular activities include the International Antarctic Centre, Orana Wildlife Park, walking, mountain biking or driving through the Port Hills for stunning views of the city and coast.
You can ski, bungy jump, hike, mountain bike, raft, surf, swim, golf, see whales, dolphins and seals, visit wineries and gardens, shop, be entertained and awed, and so much more, all within 2 hours of Christchurch.