Christchurch, New Zealand
The Garden City
Christchurch’s well‐established expansive parks and public gardens were recognized in 1996 when Christchurch was acknowledged as the "outstanding garden city " from among 620 international entries.
The centrally‐located 161 hectare Hagley Park, the Botanic Gardens, the leafy inner‐city avenues, Victoria Square and spectacular gardens such as Mona Vale on the banks of the River Avon reflect the title of the Garden CIty.
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island and a ferry runs nightly between Wellington and Christchurch carrying cars and people back and forth. This is the major entry point to the South Island and some international flights come into Christchurch. Most flights come from Australia rather than from the US mainland. People fly into Christchurch to make a connection into Fiordland and Queenstown.
The highlights of Christchurch are visiting the Cathedral and taking a wander in the gardens along the River Avon and the Botanic gardens. You might consider doing a tour here that will take you to a sheep farm or something else of special interest.
The English city is how many people see Christchurch. The town square was dominated by the Christchurch Cathedral, very English, however the Cathedral was badly damaged in 2011. You can see the progress of the renovations here.
At the the River Avon, punts are going up and down the river which is a scene reminiscent of many English movies.
Another interesting addition to Christchurch, is the Antarctica Centre. Here you can experience the "cold room" (parkas are supplied) and also take a trip on the vehicles they use to get around the Antarctic at the research stations.
The Banks Peninsula
This is an area that is often visited. It is a very scenic area of valleys, harbors and bays. Well worth a visit.
Is a beautiful small town that still has many hallmarks of the French who started a colony here in the mid 1800’s. Only 85 Kilometers away from Christchurch the tiny village with colonial architecture, craft shops and delightful restaurants is a lovely place to visit. Tours run to Akaroa or you can also rent a car it is an easy drive.