The gateway to New Zealand’s South Island, as well as Antarctica, Christchurch has always had a charm of its own. And it’s building on its reputation thanks to a forward-thinking regeneration programme that has made the city a must-see destination.
Energetic soul and historical heart – serious restoration has made Christchurch an exciting city break location.
Things to do
Since the earthquakes of 2011, Christchurch has concentrated on creating a new pedestrianised and intimate feel in the city centre. You’ll find art galleries, beautiful green parks and well-designed, low-rise buildings.
This seems a quintessentially English town, but look a little deeper and you’ll find plenty of Maori culture too. This was the site of a seasonal dwelling of a Maori chief, and Maori greeting houses still exist here.
Christchurch is known as the Garden Town thanks to the numerous parks and green, open spaces here. But other nature looms large, as this was the embarkation point for Antarctic explorers in the early 1900s. Don’t miss the International Antarctic Centre with fascinating artefacts from those days.
If you’re planning a trip around the South Island, it makes sense to start and finish here – hire a campervan and drop it off on your return leg.
Top tip from SLH