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Christchurch – The Garden City of New Zealand
Introduction to Christchurch
Christchurch is a very popular tourist destination anytime of the year and in recent studies it earned a spot in the “Top Ten Tourist Destinations in the World”. Christchurch is located on the eastern part of the coast in the South Island of New Zealand and is known as their second largest city, next to Auckland, and has a population of 341,469 based on the 2013 census last March.
The city is labelled as “The Garden City” because of all the beautiful gardens that can be found in it. It is also called as “A city that is more English than England” because of its slow paced culture and love for its history, even though it is renounced that way Christchurch is trying its best to shake off their old lifestyle to grab on to the groove of most fast paced cities.
Christchurch is a great place to visit; it has more restaurants, cafes, bars, and boutiques than any other city in New Zealand and you can indulge through them at daytime, and the night lights of their night clubs will brighten up your night life if you’re the night time type of person. If you’re up to it, you can visit “The Strip” in Oxford Terrace and go bar hopping all night long.
Of course, if you’re the daytime-wanna-see-and-learn-stuffs kind of person who wants to relax from a busy life, you can visit their wonderful gardens or be mesmerized by the intricate designs and stories of their historical buildings such as the famous Anglican Cathedral in the very heart of the city. You can also go sightseeing on foot and just wander around in Hagley Park.
In the surrounding area there are several ski-fields, nearby hills which are perfect for tramping, sunny bays and beaches, and just 90 minutes north is Hanmer Springs Thermal Area, paradise for thrill seekers and relaxers alike.
The Aircraft Museum restores aircrafts from all over the country and showcases them to both local and foreign visitor of all ages. The large collection of aircrafts is located on the old Royal New Zealand Airforce base at Wigram. The museum offers a movie that will show you things that you need to know about flying with these machines in the atmosphere and employs experts and professionals to answer your queries.
The Arts Centre consists of different collections of art galleries that will show the natural talent and interpretation of each and every contributor, craft shops that sells craft materials and handmade gifts. There are also cafes, restaurants and bars that will satisfy your hungry stomachs and for your entertainment, there are also cinemas and theatres where you can watch different shows. Art fairs and food fairs are held during weekends where collectors, adventurers, contributors and enthusiasts are brought together by their passion.
The Observatory in the old University is also an amazing sight and a spectacular building and the place of learning of one of the known scientist Ernest Rutherford, the Father of Nuclear Physics.
Another museum you should visit is the Canterbury Museum that features the rich culture and natural history. Some of the exhibits displayed are the history of Maori, the ethnic inhabitants of New Zealand, along with birds and Antarctic creatures that are present in New Zealand. The museum also has their Discovery Centre and a marvelous recreation of the old streets of Christchurch including walk-in shops together with temporary attractions.
International Antarctic Centre
The International Antarctic Centre is by the International Airport; at the U.S. Antarctic Base is a must-see attraction that recreates the Antarctic environment near Christchurch and studies Robert Scott's South Pole mission in specifically. Kids will have fun playing around with snow that is inside a large room complete with sleds and caves that can be explored.
A 15 minute drive from the center of the city will bring you to an adventurous experience where you can ride gondolas and have a picturesque view of Christchurch. This gondola will carry passengers to the Gondola Summit where there are attractions and rides that will surely be a moment to treasure. One of its unique rides is the Time tunnel which shows the history of Canterbury and Banks Peninsula in a fun and educational ride. There are also cafes and gift shops where you can bring the memories with you through their souvenirs.
If you plan to travel by public transportation, catch the free shuttle that will drop you at the Gondola terminal from the Cathedral Square.
Orana Wildlife Park
Orana Wildlife Park is New Zealand’s Largest Wildlife Reserve that is known globally by its facilities and skilled workers that made it possible for the park to breed rare and endangered animals from New Zealand and Africa. The park offers opportunities to interact with the animals by letting you feed animals like the Rothschild Giraffe and take pictures of cheetah in action and roaring lions. They also have the rare white rhinoceros and white zebra that belong to the sections of African Plains. The famous kiwi from New Zealand can be found in their nocturnal house.
Southern Encounter: Aquarium of Discovery
A new and impressive attraction that explores marine life in New Zealand and shows all types of sea creatures from their natural environment, Aquarium of Discovery is an educational place where children can have fun and learn at the same time. This wonderful place is located at the center of the city that gives access to those who want to have an aquatic adventure. They have various exhibits from great giant sharks to slimy eels. Here touch tank is a way for kids to know more about their favorite fish and other marine life forms.
A Good Read
- Christchurch travel guide - Wikitravel
Open source travel guide to Christchurch, featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. Free and reliable advice written by Wikitravellers from around the globe.