Christchurch is known as 'The Garden City' around New Zealand and the world. This is the largest of all the South Island cities having a population over of 400,000. Located at the confluence of the Heathcote and Avon rivers with the Port Hills in the background, Christchurch is the hub of the South Island. Travellers will notice the very English style layout of the city with its Central Square and parallel streets running east to west and north to south.
Christchurch has buskers and street stalls with the architecture of Christchurch's Cathedral being the centre of the city. Winding its way through the city is the Avon River, gently flowing as it makes its way to the sea near Sumner beach. The Dean brothers named the river, after their home in Scotland. The Avon River is a focal point for relaxation where you can enjoy an afternoon watching various wildlife, the occasional canoeist or the English Punts as they drift pass you.
Walking around the city is easy and you will find all sorts of interesting architecture. From neo gothic style to the most modern, the city prides itself in the diversity of the buildings and many an important building has been preserved to enjoy. Christchurch also has a fully restored Victorian electric tram. The loop that you take passes many of the sights and is well worth the time to travel at the speed of yesteryear.
Christchurch from the Port Hills
Christchurch is called ‘the Garden City because of the great number of parks and the mature trees that surround you. Visitors can take a tour around the city and see some of the historic buildings that are at every corner. Why not relax at the Art Centre or new Art gallery and enjoy the variety of stall and other activities in the area. To the west the city is flanked by Hagley Park, the most famous of all the many parks in Christchurch. With the Botanic gardens and all that it has to offer as the Avon River gently loops upstream to its source.
Christchurch offers a variety of restaurants, serving all palates with a variety of dishes. There are a great number of cafe bars that will provide sustenance to the thirstiest of travellers and some of the local wines are beginning to find favour worldwide. With first class service, excellent menus and the relaxed atmosphere that each establishment offers, the dining and cafe bars are popular attractions in the city.
Christchurch has two main beaches, Sumner that is located in the East, and New Brighton located in the North East. Both offer excellent areas to swim. Sumner is reached via the Esplanade, and was until the 1960's considered a satellite of Christchurch; having developed its own unique culture, cafe's and bars sumner is becoming more and more popular. New Brighton with its own mall complex and pier is also unique. New Brighton has high sand dunes miles of sandy beach.
Christchurch has the highest number of Golf courses per head of population in the world. Surrounding the city there are activities for everybody. Including the golf courses and driving ranges there are also, tennis courts, wild life parks, walking tracks, cycle tracks, wind surfing, boating and much more. During the winter in Christchurch you would head to the great ski fields within 1-2 hours drive. The sea and river fishing is abundant, but check to see what license you require and season regulations.
The warmest months are from November to April and use of a sunscreen is a must. The international airport is only twenty minutes from the central city and is serviced by shuttles, taxis and buses. Duty Free shopping is available in both the city and at the airport. For those who intend to see the South Island, Rental Cars, Camper Vans, Buses, Tour Operators and Flights can easily be arranged.
Enjoy Christchurch and while you are there visit the Antarctic centre to experience life on the great continent.
Average Summer temperature; 21.6c
Warmest months; December to March
Average Winter temperature; 11.8c
Average Hours of sunshine per year; 2100hrs
Average annual rainfall; 648mm
Popular Christchurch activities:
Ride the tram around town
Visit the museum, Art Gallery, Arts Centre and Cathedral Square
Visit the Antarctic centre
Wander Hagley park and visit the Botanical gardens and Mona Vale homestead
Watch some rugby at Jade Stadium
Ride a hot air balloon across the Canterbury plains
Visit the Air Force Museum
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