Christchurch, or Chch, as it is affectionately abbreviated by Kiwis, is the largest city in the South Island, and third overall in the country. It’s the South Island’s major flight hub and a start/end point for the stunning Tranz Alpine Railway.
- C1 Expresso – a central city cafe with an industrial touch
- Christchurch Art Gallery with its distinctive glass walls
- The Botanic Gardens. Yes, for those anglophiles out there, this is a distinctly English city
Rocked by two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2012, the city centre is in an exciting period of regeneration. Roadworks abound but it is worth persevering to explore. Evidence of the Kiwi can-do attitude is everywhere – in the quirky spirit of the Re:START container mall, in the street art decorating the many facades and in the projects put together by groups like Gap Filler. The Cardboard/Transitional Cathedral, designed by Shigeru Ban is also testament to the rising spirit of Christchurch.
Long known as the Garden City, Christchurch is considered the most English of New Zealand communities and there is still ample evidence of this legacy. You can punt down the River Avon, take a leisurely cycle tour or wander through the Botanic gardens before checking out the museums. There are so many beautiful vistas, beaches and suburbs in the greater Christchurch area to explore. A trip up the Gondola provides vast views of this brave and burgeoning city.
Day trips to the port towns of Lyttelton and French-influenced Akaroa with its vineyards, walks over the Port Hills (check for updates on access following a recent fire) or a trip to the New Brighton Pier – Christchurch’s outdoor options provide ocean and mountain views and a strong cafe culture to start and finish the day well fuelled.
Or consider a trip to the Antarctic Centre – once titled the ‘strangest museum ever’ by a visitor – and enjoy a virtual journey into the southernmost continent next door to Christchurch airport.
Christchurch events will be listed here soon…