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christchurch & canterbury
regional information | back to regions & attractions
city is located midway down the East Coast of the South Island, just north
of Banks Peninsula, and is the international gateway to the South Island.
is the South Island's largest city. The British urban planners who designed
Christchurch in the mid-1800s had a vision for a city of gardens, parks
and a cathedral for its devout, God-fearing citizens. Today the population
is more eclectic than the founding fathers and the city is now a vibrant,
cosmopolitan place with exciting festivals, theatre, modern art galleries,
great shopping and award-winning attractions.
urban planners who designed Christchurch in the mid-1800s had a vision
for a city of gardens, parks and a cathedral for its devout, God-fearing
citizens. Today the population is more eclectic than the founding fathers
and the city is now one of the thriving arts centres with theatres, galleries
and an extensive calendar of festivals.
suggested itineraries that include Christchurch,
please click here.
For a video preview of Christchurch, please click here.
- Visit International Antarctic Centre, located just across from Christchurch International Airport (free super shuttle bus there!). Don’t forget to ride the Hagglund!
- Take a ride on one of the restored historic Christchurch trams that circle the inner city, or book a combo with Christchurch Gondola for panoramic views of the city (take the gondola at night to dine at ‘Pinnacle’, the recently renovated restaurant)
- Find a
pavement café and do some people watching. Cathedral Square is
the meeting place for locals and visitors and home to a handful of eccentric
locals who use the square to air their offbeat views.
are hundreds of aquatic species to see and touch at the Aquarium of
Discovery in Cathedral Square. There's also a glow-worm cave and a fly
some of the many private gardens or take a guided city walk the city
is flat and compact).
a play at the Court Theatre in the Arts Centre.
- In a city
that just loves eating out there are some of the country's best restaurants
from pub gardens to fine dining.
- Have a
flutter at the casino.
are several nearby wineries to tempt the tastebuds.
- Take a
day trip to Hanmer Springs - a resort oasis in the mountains where you
can relax in natural hot pools (open 7 days).
- In Hanmer
you can also go bungy jumping, hiking, quad biking, horse trekking, jetboating and
day trip is to Akaroa, a pretty harbour town that was settled by the
French. It's a 90 minute drive with stops on the way to the French Farm
and Vineyard and Barry Bay's Cheese Factory.
- A cruise
from Akaroa will take you to dolphins, seals, penguins, birds and maybe
a whale or two.
- Kaikoura is a pleasant half-day drive
north (or two hours south from Blenheim). Once a popular whaling town
it is now dedicated to the preservation and study of whales. Tour operators
boast a 95% success rate in spotting whales. Join Whale Watch Kaikoura for a close encounter with orca, sperm, mincke, humpback and southern right whales.
- Also in Kaikoura..don’t miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime Dolphin Encounter tour (go swimming with the dolphins!), or see the vast bird life on an Albatross Encounter tour (link to webpage)
- Get in
a round of top class golf.
are a number of ski areas only an hour or so out of the city.
- Get up
early and up high for a sunrise balloon flight over the patchwork plains with Balloon Adventures Up Up and Away