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HOME AT FIRST's

New Zealand

CHRISTCHURCH & CANTERBURY

 

CHRISTCHURCH, the city of gardens, is the cultural center of
THE REGION OF Canterbury, bread basket of the south island.

ABOVE: BALLOON OVER CANTERBURY PHOTO DAVID WALL NZ TOURISM

Experience Christchurch
and the Canterbury Region.

          Christchurch made headlines around the world when a series of earthquakes badly damaged the Christchurch area during 2010-11, culminating with the February 22, 2011, Big One that leveled much of the city center. The people of Christchurch have had to endure a lot of anguish in recent years, but, for most, their resolve remains unshaken. The city has re-emerged from the rubble and mud with a gleaming, new face its residents are eager to show visitors.
          The South Island's largest city speaks with an English accent. Christchurch is the jumping off point for the great agricultural plains of Canterbury, Southern Alps resorts, and even for Antarctic expeditions. Go
whale watching, take a great train journey through the Alps, and explore a former French colony at Akaroa.

 

Attractions in Christchurch:
This most English of all New Zealand cities and largest city of the South Island offers touring, shopping, fine restaurants, museums, a great city parks with botanic garden, and golf courses.

CATHEDRAL SQUARE: Downtown Christchurch  centers around Cathedral Square, ground zero of the devastating earthquakes of 2010-11. New attractions like the innovative, quake-resistant Cardboard Cathedral, combine with the city center's traditional punting (boating) on the pretty River Avon, nostalgic  tram (trolley car) rides, shopping, and excellent

Christchurch: English enough for a Spitfire in the garden. Photo  Home At First.
Christchurch: English enough
for a Spitfire in the garden

Photo HOME AT FIRST

restaurants all in easy walking distance.

 

 

MUSEUMS: especially the International Antarctic Centre with its

Christchurch Cathedral is the city's center point for downtown activities. Photo  Home At First.
Christchurch
Cathedral before
the devastating
February 2011 earthquake.
Photo HOME AT FIRST

Snow & Ice Experience and Penguin Encounter.

WIDE OPEN SPACES: strolling through the Botanic Gardens of  Hagley Park, taking the Christchurch gondola up Mt. Cavendish, and golf at Christchurch Golf Club.

Attractions outside Christchurch:
  Easy day-trips from Christchurch include:

THE KAIKOURA COAST: the dramatic coast line north of    Christchurch leads to opportunities to see seal colonies and go whale watching.

AKAROA: this lively seaside town maintains its heritage as a  former French colony on the pretty Banks Peninsula 90 minutes drive from Christchurch. Swim with dolphins in Akaroa harbor and browse the galleries and shops of

 

numerous artists and artisans.

RIDING THE TRANZALPINE: New Zealand's most famous  train takes one of the world's great scenic journeys daily. The TranzAlpine offers half-day and full-day trips to and through the Southern Alps and to Greymouth in Westland.

The TranzAlpine train departs Christchurch
daily for the Southern Alps and the West Coast.
NZ Tourism Photo used with permission

 

 

Christchurch Inn -- elegant lodging just 5 minutes from central Christchurch. Photo  Home At First.

Lodgings: Home At First offers top-quality bed and breakfast lodgings like the Christchurch Inn in quiet residential communities near the center of Christchurch.

Christchurch Inn elegant lodging just 5 minutes
from central Christchurch. Spared by the 2010-11
earthquakes, this beautiful, traditional inn remains
in full operation, although parts of nearby central
Christchurch are still closed to visitors.
Photo HOME AT FIRST

 

Getting to/from Christchurch:
          Most
Home At First guests arrive in Christchurch by rental car, driving 3 hours northeast from Lake Tekapo for Christchurch, driving 5 hours north from Dunedin, driving 6 hours northeast from Queenstown, or driving 7 hours southeast from Nelson. Many Home At First guests make Christchurch their last stop in New Zealand, and depart from Christchurch by air for Auckland and home. Some visitors make Christchurch their first stop on New Zealand's South Island, driving

Seal colony along the Kaikoura Coast north of Christchurch -- on the coastal route between Nelson and Christchurch. Photo  Home At First.
Seal colony along the Kaikoura Coast north
of Christchurch on the coastal route
between Nelson and Christchurch.
Photo HOME AT FIRST

from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo (3 hours),
Dunedin (5 hours), Queenstown (6 hours), Westland (6 hours via Greymouth), or
Nelson (7 hours).

 

Junior cricketers at Hagley Park, Christchurch. Photo  Home At First.

Getting around Christchurch: While it's possible to use public transport (buses and taxis) for travel throughout the city, a rental car is essential for touring the region outside of the city. Christchurch traffic is the heaviest on the South Island of New Zealand.

Junior cricketers at
Hagley Park, Christchurch.

Photo HOME AT FIRST

 

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