Christchurch

Christchurch, or the 'Garden City', is the second largest city in New Zealand. With a thriving business centre and some of the best air and sea links for international trade, Christchurch is fast becoming a thriving factor in the New Zealand economy. Residents and visitors love the city's vibrant atmosphere and its not hard to see why; with its happening nightlife, award-winning restaurants and stylish cafés, fashion precincts and amazing architecture, its hard not to fall in love with this beautiful town. Christchurch is not only a fantastic place to visit, but from here you can easily access the heart of the South Island.

Christchurch is traditionally the most English of all New Zealand cities ad has been slower to embrace the increasingly multicultural nature of urban New Zealand society. Despite its traditional nature, the city has character and poise and is fast becoming a urban cool and chic capital. The city's history is reflected in the restored laneways and squares, and of course the beautiful Anglican Cathedral in the city square.

Population: 414,000

Airport: Christchurch International Airport [CHC]

Attractions:

There are so many beautiful places to see and things to do in Christchurch here are just a few of them:

The enclave of Gothic Revival buildings has been transformed into the excellent Arts Centre, where visitors can come to enjoy the beautiful arts and craft outlets as well as theatres, restaurants and cafés. Free guided tours of the complex are available daily from 9.30-5.

The city's Botanic Gardens comprise of 30 riverside hectares planted and home to over 10,00 species of indigenous and introduced plants. Contained in the gardens are conservatories and thematic gardens to explore, lawns to lounge on and a café at the Botanic Gardens visitors centre to stop and have a refreshment or a beautiful lunch. There's even a playground for the kids!

Cathedral Square is located in the heart of the city and is the best place the start exploring Christchurch. The Cathedral, symbolising the Church of England and built in Gothic Revival style, dominates Cathedral Square, and if you climb the cathedral spire you can get a fantastic view of the entire city!

Transport around city: The Christchurch Tram is a popular way to see the sites of inner city Christchurch. You also have other choices such as hiring a car or walking.

Recommended Restaurants: Maddison's Restaurant (Christchurch Central), Patterson's(CBD), Dux de Lux (CBD), The Brickworks (Cashmere).

Recommended Bars: Chambers Bar (CBD), Speights Ale House (CBD), All Bar One (CBD), The Boulevard (CBD).

Recommended Hotels: Millennium Hotel, Heritage Christchurch, Crowne Plaza.

Climate: Christchurch has a temperate climate with hot summers & cold frosty winters. The beautiful New Brighton and Sumner beaches are a very popular way to cool off and relax over the summer, and during the winter months many locals head to the surrounding mountains to enjoy the stunning ski fields! Summer runs from December through to February and Winter from June to August.

Culture: Christchurch is a predominantly European city with strong British heritage. The city has a lot of old English styled architecture which can be seen in the many churches and cathedrals in the city region. The city is often compared to Oxford in England.

Best time of year to travel: January- March