Christchurch, also called the City of Gardens is located in the southern island of New Zealand and is the largest city of the island. It lies to the north of Banks Peninsula. The city was named by the Canterbury Association. The river Avon flows through the centre of the city.
The city was hit by an unfortunate natural disaster, an earthquake in the February of 2011 which severely damaged Christchurch and killed 185 people. The quake caused significant damage to the buildings and infrastructure across the central and eastern parts of the city. However earnest attempts from the administration have led to a huge recovery in terms of both infrastructure and morale.
It has been two years to the quake now and though parts of the city are still fresh from those wounds however tourism is re-emerging in the city and though sparsely but people are coming to see this beautiful city. Progress is being made regularly to restore Christchurch.
The residents admit that though parts of the city have been damaged, Christchurch is still a great place to live in. Within two hours of the international airport you can ski, play golf, bungee jump, rafting and go mountain biking. Here are some of the things to do while in Christchurch.
An adventure and playing field in the heart of the forest is a treat for kids. Adrenalin Forest is a tree to tree pathway with high wires, flying foxes and bridges. The place puts your wits and reflexes to a test.
The place consists of five aerial pathways consisting of 80 challenges of increasing height and difficulty which are as high as 17 metres. Your age doesn’t matter as the challenges have been built to suit various age groups and safety measures have been made a priority and if fatigue hits you, you can stop at any time.
The place is a great picnic spot and picnic tables are available in the premises.
Willowbank Wildlife Reserves
It is the best place for witnessing the wild of New Zealand. Willowbank offers you the Kiwi guarantee as it has the New Zealand’s largest Kiwi viewing area. The place is not just a showcase of wild animals but instead offers you the chance to become friends and feed the farm animals. The place offers you an excellent opportunity to learn of the biodiversity of New Zealand.
In the evening you can enjoy Ko Tane, a Maori cultural experience where you will be greeted traditionally called the ‘powhiri.’ There is a cultural show and you can explore the village.
The complex also houses a restaurant and gift shop. The restaurant offers beautiful views of the park and along with the ambience of the place it makes for a unique dining experience.
A maze made out of maize is a part of the attraction of Tothill’s mazes. It also houses Christchurch’s only wooden maze and has a Kiwiana Hunt and a lawn labyrinth. This is one of the most fun picnic spots in the whole of Christchurch.
Air Force Museum of New Zealand
The Air Force Museum houses the world’s premier aviation collections. One can see a whole spectrum of aircrafts, engines and displays of medals, pin-ups and wartime stories. The museum is just a 15 minute drive from the airport, at 45 Harvard Ave.
At the Air Force museum one can appreciate the collection of 28 classic aircrafts, derive inspiration from the stories of the greatest soldiers and even fly a simulator.
SoMo is Christchurch’s most dynamic neighbourhood, the area south of Moorhouse Ave which is called SoMo for short. The most prominent feature of this neighbourhood is Addington Coffee Co-op. and Simo’s Deli which serves North African food. The neighbourhood gained popularity after the quake. Addington is the new city’s hub for live entertainment. Court Theatre, iconic to Christchurch is relocated to a warehouse and Dux Live has opened as a music venue. You can try a combination of beers and feat your cultural senses to local and international acts. Shops from the closed Central Business district like Burgers and Beers and Honeypot Café have relocated to SoMo.
Attend Christchurch Rowing Regatta
The Christchurch Regatta is held every year. It consists of one-on-one racing throughout the day which climaxes in a series of finals on the next day. 70 races are held in a day on a 1200 m course where competitors have to turn around two buoys before they race back to the clubhouse.
Punting on the beautiful Avon River is an iconic attraction of the city of Christchurch. Each Punting tour lasts for thirty minutes with an informative commentary. To add to the experience you will be given a hot water bottle and a blanket as a token of hospitality.
While you are on your visit to Christchurch a Christchurch Gondola ride is must. The Christchurch Gondola gently takes you up to the top of Port Hills which is 500 m above the seal level. You get a perfect 360 degree view. To your west lies the cityscape of Christchurch, the Canterbury Plains and the high peaks of Southern Alps. To the south is the Banks Peninsula and Pegasus Bay in the north.
Though the earthquake made its mark on the city, the city has taken it as an opportunity for resurrection.