Christchurch is New Zealand’s second-largest city and the gateway to the South Island. It is surrounded by hills and the Pacific Ocean, and is located on the edge of the Canterbury Plains that extends to the Southern Alps.
Christchurch was rocked by a massive earthquake in February 22, 2011 and because of this, tourism in Christchurch has dropped significantly. The city has been trying to rebuild its former glory with recovery plans being facilitated today.
The Central City and some eastern suburbs are the areas that suffered most earthquake damage, but the city as a whole continues to function and are still very much thriving with colour, atmosphere and world-class charms.
Christchurch is internationally known for being the “Garden City” because of its expansive parks and spectacular gardens and is also home to a number of excellent cafes, bars and restaurants.
The city has a mild climate. The stunning New Brighton and Sumner beaches are very popular locations to cool off and relax over the summer. During the winter, locals head to the hills to enjoy some of the great ski fields like Mt Hutt which is one of New Zealand’s most popular ski areas.
Banks Peninsula, one of the famous attractions here in Christchurch is packed with beauty. See breath taking views over the peninsula’s bays and beaches, valleys and campgrounds. The southern bays have some of the best surf areas, as well as swimming beaches, walking tracks and the Little River Rail Trail. Boating, trekking, a stopover to the wineries and the French settlers’ harborside village of Akaroa are key peninsula charms.
Several famous destinations such as Kaikoura, Akaroa, Lyttelton Harbour and South Canterbury are less than two hours’ drive from Christchurch. Other highlights include visits to the beautiful Botanical Garden, Antarctic Centre, Canterbury Museum and the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. There are tons of activities to do like skiing at world-class alpine resorts, playing golf, bungy jumping, mountain biking, wind surfing, hot-air ballooning, whale watching and visiting internationally-acclaimed wineries and gardens.
To sum it all up, Christchurch is a fitting base for people who want to combine outdoor activities with time spent exploring New Zealand’s beauty, heritage and culture. Christchurch is still worth visiting. It is still a great place to see, embrace and play!