Christchurch is the South Island’s largest city with a population of 318,500. It is renowned for its beautiful botanic gardens, glorious Art Centre, the Riverside Markets and lively hot spots on Oxford terrace, it is a city of exploration. The central city is a combination of cutting-edge architecture alongside some of the oldest buildings in New Zealand. Christchurch is the basecamp for South Island exploration, with the Banks Peninsula within reach, as well as the stunning Southern Alps and famed Canterbury Plains.
Despite being hit by two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 respectively, the city has found creative ways to cope with tragedy, sustaining its place as one of the country’s best travel destinations. After the devastating earthquake in 2011, Christchurch was rebuilt and is constantly evolving, giving locals and visitors something new to explore. Expect street art and innovative projects, a bustling hospitality scene and established green spaces.
The Avon River brings a natural landscape to the urban environment with a length of 14 kilometres, the river flows right through Christchurch and out into the Pacific Ocean via the Avon Heathcote Estuary. Admire the beautiful Christchurch Botanic Gardens or the changing face of the city centre with a punt ride along the Avon River.
The Christchurch Botanic Gardens have been a famous central-city attraction since 1863, when an English oak tree was planted in celebration of the celebration of Prince Albert’s marriage with Princes Alexandra of Denmark. It boasts an array of flowering gardens, native trees, New Zealand blooms, and multiple plant conservatories. Hagley Park is adjacent to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and has been at the heart of Christchurch since the 1850s when it was set aside for recreation and enjoyment of Christchurch residents. It is the largest open space in the city and covers 164.6 hectares of parkland – making it slightly larger than London’s Hyde.
There is a vibrancy to inner-city Christchurch, stimulated by the innovation, redevelopment and resourcefulness of post-quake recovery. It is filled with cutting-edge options for dining and drinking, as well as an impressive arts district with a refreshed offering to draw people back to the city. Riverside Markets is a seven-day indoor farmers’ market will compete with some of the best markets in the world. Riverside Markets does something that all good food markets do which brings local, independent growers and small businesses under one roof in a busy, lively environment.
Expect warm and dry weather enough for you to take a bike ride through the city or enjoy a hike without being rained on during the summer months then head to the city’s many galleries on a rainy autumn afternoon or a cold winter’s day.
Christchurch offers a wealth of wonderful sights and experiences. What better way to explore them than on a Wendy Wu tour?
We all enjoy a good fact or two - here are a few useful ones about Christchurch:
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