Presentation of the destination
New Zealand's third largest city, Christchurch, continues to attracts visitors, in spite of recent devastating earthquakes that significantly damaged parts of the city. Due to the significant earthquake activity in 2010 and 2011, one part of the city, called the Red Zone, is cordoned off. Up-to-date information on closings in the city is available through the Christchurch tourism board. But most of the city is open for business and more than happy to welcome visitors from near and far.The city's population is more than 350,000, making it the largest city on New Zealand's South Island. It is located in the New Zealand Standard Time Zone and observes Daylight Savings Time. The country uses the New Zealand Dollar (NZ$). Summers in Christchurch are mild. The city is often cooled by winds from the sea. In winter, the temperature often falls below freezing at night. The city receives moderate rainfall.
Points of interests / things to see
The Air Force Museum of New Zealand, first opened in 1987, seeks to preserve and show the history of New Zealand's air force, from before World War I to present day. The museum's collection includes a variety of objects from the country's aviation history. Exhibits showcase aircraft components, engines, textiles, art, and other memorabilia.Visitors can also see dozens of preserved and restored aircraft dating back a hundred years. One of the aircraft, an Auster Mk 7c, is most famous for accompanying the famous Hillary/Fuchs Trans-Atlantic Expedition. Many visitors to the museum enjoy the Mosquito Flight Simulator, in which they can go on a simulated World War II mission to bomb German battleships. Visitors may take an optional "behind the scenes" tour through the museum's hangars see where workers are busy restoring three aircraft: a p-40 Curtiss Kittyhawk, an Airspeed Oxford, and a Vicker's Vildebeest. Admission to the museum is free. It is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Christmas Day. The Air Force Museum of New Zealand is located at 45 Harvard Avenue. Free parking is available in front of the museum. Several buses also pass by the site.For more information on the museum, visit www.airforcemuseum.co.nz, call +64 3 343 9532, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The building that houses the Canterbury Museum is one of the most interesting parts of a visit to the site. This Gothic Revival structure opened in 1870 and features high arched windows and intricate designs.Inside the museum is a diverse collection of artifacts from around the world. The focus of the museum is on local history, from prehistoric times to modern day. The museum also has a gallery dedicated to telling about the discovery and exploration of Antarctica.The museum collection begins with the natural history of the region and then moves into highlighting the life and artwork of the Maori people. Displays tell about early settlers and the steady growth of the region into what it is today.In addition to its galleries, the museum has a lovely garden, a café, and a gift shop. It is located on Rolleston Avenue, opposite the Arts Centre on Worcester Boulevard. The museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. April through September, and 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. October through March. Free hour-long guided tours are available Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. The museum is closed Christmas Day.Admission to the Canterbury Museum is free. Entry to the kids' Discovery Center is NZ$2. For more information on the museum, call +64 3 366 5000, visit www.canterburymuseum.com, or e-mail email@example.com.
If you've ever dreamed of visiting Antarctica, the International Antarctic Centre may be the next best thing. Founded in 1990, this attraction offers a one-of-a-kind look at the exploration of the world's coldest continent. The Antarctic Gallery tells about the climate, wildlife, and living environment in the region. You'll want to bundle up for the Snow and Ice Experience, an indoor polar room that is cooled to a temperature of -5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit). Slide down a slippery slope of ice, hide in an ice cave, or chill in front of the wind machine. Coats and overshoes are provided. Open-toed shoes are not recommended.Other adventures in the museum include the Hagglund Ride, which simulates a trip on the all-terrain Antarctic vehicle, a 4D movie theater, and a penguin encounter. The center's 26 Little Blue Penguins are fed twice daily, at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.The International Antarctic Centre is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Xtreme Pass tickets, which allow visitors to access all parts of the attraction, are NZ$59 for adults, NZ$29 for children (ages 5-15), and free for children under 5. Students and seniors pay NZ$45. Reduced prices are available for visitors who only want access to parts of the center.The International Antarctic Centre is located at 38 Orchard Road. For more information on the center, visit www.iceburg.co.nz or call +64 03 357 0519.
Ferrymead Heritage Park is an open-air museum that attempts to recreate life from a century ago. This restored early-20th-century village is complete with houses, a school, a church, a jail, a railroad station, a post office, a general store, and an old movie theater.The idea for the park originated in the 1960s, when a group of locals decided to preserve the future in this living museum. Each part of the park is accessible to visitors, who may explore the town freely. A tea room serves beverages and food on the weekends and holidays, when the town is busiest. This little town frequently holds events and celebrations, which draw many visitors.Because different groups operate each of the stores and exhibits, many have different operating hours. Some of the exhibits may have limited accessibility due to the recent earthquakes in the area.Adult admission to the park begins at $17 but increases on days that the park's steam engine is running and on days of major events. Admission for students and seniors begins at $15. Admission for school children begins at $6. Children under five get in free.Ferrymead Heritage Park is located at 50 Ferrymead Park Drive. For more information on the park, visit www.ferrymead.org.nz, call +64 03 384 1970, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the Orana Wildlife Park, visitors come face-to-face with giraffe, tigers, rhinos, lions, and more. This open range zoo is the only one in New Zealand. In addition to the many exotic animals at the park, visitors can meet native New Zealand species, such as kiwis, tuatara, and kea. Visitors can pet some of the park's tamest animals in the Farmyard area.With the lion encounter ride, visitors can get up close and personal with the King of the Jungle in a specially made vehicle. Animal feedings and guided tours are available daily. The park's picnic area and playground is a perfect place for a midday break. If you don't want to pack a lunch, the park's café serves hot and cold dishes.The Orana Wildlife Park is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed Christmas Day. Admission is NZ$25 for adults, NZ$21 for students and seniors, NZ$8 for children ages 5 to 14, and free for children under 5.The park is located on McLeans Island Road, about 9 kilometers from the turnoff for State Highway 1. A park shuttle bus can provide door-to-door service. For more information on the shuttle bus and fees, call +64 0800 10 10 21 or e-mail email@example.com.For more information on the Orana Wildlife Park, visit www.oranawildlifepark.co.nz, call +64 03 359 7109, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The quaint seaside town of Akaroa is an 84-kilometer (52-mile) drive from Christchurch. Situated on a quiet harbor, this town is the country's only French settlement. The waters beyond the town are filled with marine life, including the endangered Hector's dolphin, which visitors can often see on boat tours through the waters. Many buildings from the town's early days in the 19th century still sit along its quiet streets.Less than 600 people live in Akaroa, but in summer months, the population often surges past 10,000. The easiest way to get to the town from Christchurch is to drive along Tai Tapu Road/State Highway 75, which connects the two.
Arthur's Pass National Park sits in the center of New Zealand's South Island. The park's landscape is made up of dense forests, tree-covered mountains, and fast-moving rivers. Trails of various lengths and difficulty levels abound. A small village by the park's train station has restaurants and other amenities.Highway 73 connects Christchurch and Arthur's Pass. The drive is beautiful, but the twists and steep drop-offs may be nerve-wracking for some drivers. Visitors can also get to the park on the daily West Coast Shuttle or on the Tranzalpine Train. The train ride to Arthur's Pass is a beautiful experience in itself. Entrance to the park is free.
The hot springs at Hanmer Springs Resort attract visitors who are seek fun and relaxation. The town's twelve natural thermal pools offer a range of experiences. Three sulphur pools soothe tired joints, while the private indoor thermal pools offer an intimate experience.The resort also has a recreation area with a heated swimming pool, a lazy river, and water slides. The spa offers massages, body wraps, and facials.The Hanmer Springs thermal pools are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. They are closed Christmas Day. For more information and different fee packages, visit www.hanmersprings.co.nz. The resort is located along Highway 7 north of Christchurch. The distance between the two places is 135 kilometers (84 miles) and takes a little under two hours to travel by car.
Visitors looking for a more natural New Zealand can travel along the West Coast. The drive provides sweeping views of the ocean and glimpses at unspoiled countryside. The road is dotted with small, friendly towns. This stretch was once bustling with activity in the days of the West Coast Gold Rush, but today the area's quiet towns are few and far between.From Christchurch, visitors can travel north along State Highway 7, which travels through Hanmer Springs and on to Greymouth, where it meets State Highway 6, which travels along the western coast. State Highway 73 also provides a route from Christchurch to the west coast. The beautiful Trans-Alpine Express takes travelers daily from Christchurch to Greymouth.
Vacation rentals in Christchurch (Canterbury)
How to get there ?
The Christchurch International Airport handles most of the South Island's international flights, which come from Australia, the South Pacific, Asia, and the United Arab Emirates. Daily flights also connect the airport to other parts of New Zealand, including Auckland and Wellington. Buses and taxis bring air travelers into the city.Trains, shuttle buses, and public buses also connect Christchurch with other cities on the South Island. Newmans Coachlines and InterCity Coachlines provide frequent daily bus connections all around the island. Smaller budget lines also operate on the island. The Tranzalpine train connects Christchurch and Greymouth, on the island's west coast. Once in the city, many visitors choose to rent cars. Visitors can rent cars at the airport or in locations throughout the city. Keep in mind that in cars drive on the left side of the road in New Zealand. Street parking in the city costs NZ$2.60 per hour and can be paid with coins, credit card, or text message.Getting around by bicycle is also a good option as the city is mostly flat and has recently added bicycle lanes on many of its arterials. The city metro system operates buses and ferries. For routes and fare information, visit www.metroinfo.co.nz.
Hotels in Christchurch (Canterbury)