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Christchurch is New Zealand's second-largest city and the gateway to its South Island. Also known as the Garden City, it's bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean, it is situated on the edge of the Canterbury Plains which stretching to the Southern Alps.
While touring Christchurch , you will realize that the city, along with its people, is full of hope, optimism, and joy. As recently as 2011 and 2012, the city was devastated by earthquakes. However, the fighting spirit along with an optimistic attitude of the people prevailed and the city bounced back. Some of the ruins can still be found. Plan ahead with our easy Christchurch seven-day itinerary to get the memorable attractions on the way of your visit to Christchurch.
Christchurch's Most Visited Attractions
International Antarctic Centre
One of New Zealand’s award-winning attractions, it has been designed in such a way that one can enjoy the fun of Antarctica without actually going there! You’ll get to experience snow and ice, survive an Antarctic storm, learn about life in modern-day Antarctica and hang out with penguins! A major attraction over here is the exciting Hagglund ride, and they also have a simulated 4D cruise!
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
A wildlife park which is home to New Zealand’s Big 5- Kiwi, Kea, Tuatara, bush parrot Kaka and the Takahe. Apart from these, other animals that can be found at the reserve are Fallow Deer, Wallabies, Capuchins, Otters, Lemurs, Peacocks, Goats, Miniature Horses, and a lot more.
Air Force Museum of New Zealand
The Air Force Museum of New Zealand has on display premier military aviation collections- aircraft, engines and assorted parts, medals, weapons, pin-ups, parachute-silk wedding dresses and a lot more. Marvel at the collection of 28 classic aircraft, fly a simulator and experience life in the Air Force.
Orana Wildlife Park
Situated near Christchurch Airport, it's spread across 80 hectares (198 acres). Animal encounters are a specialty of this park. Feed giraffes and lemurs, meet a rhino, say hi to a kiwi, and travel through the lion reserve! The Orana Wildlife Park is also known for its involvement in zoo-based breeding programmes. So the entry fees that you pay are utilized for a good cause.
Located within an architecturally magnificent building, the museum was founded in 1870 with a collection of moa bones and bird skins, but today comprises more than 2.1 million items encompassing Antarctic expeditions, Canterbury settlement, ethnology and natural history.
A very scenic train ride between Christchurch and Greymouth, traversing farmlands, deep gorges, the Waimakariri River and finally through the Southern Alps. The ride is perhaps one of the most scenic train trips anywhere in the world.
Spread across 400 acres, the park has been a city landmark since the 1850s, a major sporting and cultural focal point as well with netball courts, a golf course and soccer and rugby pitches. It also has a jogging/ running track. Situated within, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens are the city’s most popular, most visited and most loved attraction, attracting some 1.1 million visitors annually.
Christchurch’s main square serves as a hangout for the people of the city. In the evening, it comes especially alive and is bustling with street performers. Check out the ruins of the Christchurch Cathedral, destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 2011. Another attraction is the Chalice. It is a large piece of modern sculpture in the form of an inverted cone and attracts a lot of photographers. There is also a huge board of chess at the square.
Situated between the city of Christchurch and Lyttelton, these are a trekker’s paradise, full of running and cycling tracks and walkways and hiking trails. Some of the trails include Bridle Path, Rapaki Track, Bowenvale- Sugarloaf Circuit and Huntsbury Track.
If gambling is on your mind, head over to New Zealand’s first casino, opened in 1994. Hosting 36 table games, 500 slot machines, four bars, three restaurants, live bands on weekends, and poker championships, the Christchurch Casino is the place to be while your night out in town.
CLIMATE AND BEST TIMES TO GO
Christchurch has a temperate climate. Summer lasts from December through February and winter lasts from June through August. Summers are mild and pleasant while winters tend to be dry and harsh. The best time to visit is between the months of October to April.
By Air: Christchurch International Airport is New Zealand's second largest airport. It services seven airlines connecting the city with domestic centers and ten international airports: Bangkok, Brisbane, Dubai, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Nadi, Perth, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo.
By Train: KiwiRail, Coastal Pacific, and TranzAlpine connect Christchurch to neighbouring regions.
By Ferry: Ferries connect Christchurch to cities such as Wellington and Picton.
By Road: State Highway 1 connects Christchurch to neighboring towns and cities.
By Tram: The Christchurch Tramway runs in a small loop in the inner part of the city.
By Bus: Busses although up and running are less frequent with few stops.
By Car: Many tourists find it convenient to rent a car and traverse the city on their own.
By Taxi: Taxis are available for hire in Christchurch. Although, they tend to be a bit expensive.
By Bicycle: Exploring the city on a bicycle is the best way to do it! The city has dedicated lanes for bicycle riders.
You can best explore the city with Christchurch itineraries and take the perfect glimpse of the city and get the memorable trip planned.