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Welcome to My Destination: Christchurch

The Canterbury region is one of contrasting natural beauty and vibrant city life. Two national parks, the Canterbury plains, eye-catching turquoise lakes, beautiful sandy beaches, pretty coastal villages, whale watching, and the 'garden city' of Christchurch are all waiting to be discovered.

Canterbury is the largest region in New Zealand with over 45,000sqkm. It's the second most populated region (after Auckland) in the country with approximately 560,000 residents. Christchurch is the focal point of the region with beautiful open green spaces and the stunning River Avon.

Christchurch - Garden City & Punting

The largest city of the South Island, Christchurch is also New Zealand's oldest, having been granted its Royal Charter in 1856. Known as the ‘Garden City’, for its high percentage of green areas, Christchurch has the feel of an old, English city, thanks to the ambitions of settlers who wanted to recreate the similarly-named area of Oxford.

Highlights include punting along the River Avon, visiting the botanical gardens, taking a stroll around Hagley Park, shopping in the new Re:START mall and visiting the beaches of Sumner and New Brighton. On 22nd February 2011, an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter Scale, struck central Christchurch, killing an estimated 200 people and injuring thousands more. Despite the earthquakes, Christchurch remains a resilient city of expansive parks, botanical gardens and gorgeous beaches. 

Banks Peninsula

A 90 minute drive east brings you to the Banks Peninsula and the jewel in the crown, Akaroa. This French influenced town is full of charm with its pretty harbour setting and quaint streets, french colonial buildings and numerous cafes. There's also plenty of opportunities to leave the harbour and explore the region by boat.

Arthur's Pass National Park

Established in 1929, Arthur's Pass National Park is situated between Canterbury and the West Coast. Dominated by the spectacular Southern Alps, the park is a haven for trampers and mountain climbers. The village of Arthur's Pass itself, provides a handy base for those who want to take their time exploring this wild landscape.

Kaikoura

180km north of Christchurch, Kaikoura is a pretty coastal town famous for its whaling station and abundant marine life. With mountains that very nearly reach to the ocean, the town is a popular place to catch some sea air, with a number of boating excursions available. 

Hanmer Springs

65kms southwest from Kaikoura, the town of Hanmer Springs is, as its name suggests, built around a natural hot spring that now includes an extended hot pools complex. Come here if you want to really unwind - and get really wet!

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park

New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook sits in the national park of the same name and is part of the Te Wahipounamu world heritage area. All but one of New Zealand's 3000m high peaks lie in the park, making it an obvious attraction for mountaineers and experienced hikers. Near the park you’ll also find Lake Tekapo, with its stunning turquoise waters and dramatic highland landscape and Lake Pukaki.

Activities

Check our 'Things To Do' section to see details of the activites on offer in Christchurch and the Canterbury region.

Christchurch Travel Guide

Top 10 Epic Views In Canterbury, New Zealand

Top 10 Epic Views In Canterbury, New Zealand

A Foodie Visit To Re:Start Mall

A Foodie Visit To Re:Start Mall

New Zealand Campervan Tips

New Zealand Campervan Tips

Stargazing and Giant Telescopes in Lake Tekapo

Stargazing and Giant Telescopes in Lake Tekapo

A guide to the Christchurch Tram

A guide to the Christchurch Tram

A Ride On The Christchurch Gondola

A Ride On The Christchurch Gondola

Top 5 Things To Do In Christchurch

Top 5 Things To Do In Christchurch

On Board The TranzAlpine Railway

On Board The TranzAlpine Railway

Hiking In Arthur's Pass

Hiking In Arthur's Pass

Inspiring Views Around Christchurch

Inspiring Views Around Christchurch

The Wild Side of Akaroa

The Wild Side of Akaroa

Driving from New Zealand's East to West Coast

Driving from New Zealand's East to West Coast

Whale Watching in Kaikoura

Whale Watching in Kaikoura

The Charm of Kaikoura

The Charm of Kaikoura

Spoil your taste buds in Christchurch

Spoil your taste buds in Christchurch

View more Articles for Christchurch

Events in August 2016

Christchurch

Couples planning a wedding soon will find plenty of inspiration at the With This Ring Bridal Show. Organised by With This Ring magazine, the show will includ...


Christchurch

Not many people can make the menopause funny, but the creators of Menopause the Musical can. Telling the stories of four women in the same department store t...

View all events in August 2016

Events in September 2016

Christchurch

Music legend Engelbert Humperdinck returns to New Zealand with his nine-piece band...


Christchurch

Enjoy the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons performed by professional singers from the US...

View all events in September 2016

Events in October 2016

Christchurch

Four great New Zealand singer-songwriters come together for this special tour...


Christchurch

Find out more about mental well-being , inner peace and looking after the soul at this festival...

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Help From a Local Expert

My Destination

My Destination is focused on offering unrivalled levels of local information. This is what we pride ourselves on, and it's our promise to our users.

Each destination is run by a team on the ground who have their fingers on the pulse and write from a first-hand experience, whether they are trying out places to eat, visiting sites of interest, undertaking activities, exploring hidden 'secrets', and speaking to the locals who are 'in-the-know'.

Mike

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