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Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch New Zealand is the main city and international gateway for overseas travelers in the South Island of New Zealand. Known as the "Garden City", Christchurch has a very English heritage. The first settlers in Christchurch arrived in 4 ships from England in 1850. Many of the historic buildings, sites and parks were created in their name.

Christchurch Earthquake 2011

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Christchurch at 4:35am local time on 4th September 2010, and another 6.3 earthquake hit at 12:51 pm on 22nd February 2011. There was severe damage to both the central business district of Christchurch, as well as the nearby town of Lyttelton. Though access to the central business district was initially not allowed, there has been extensive re-building since then. Now there are many activities and attractions operating in the surrounding area. As a result there is still lots to do.

Christchurch Central City

Cathedral Square is the main focus in central Christchurch was designed by renowned English architect Sir George Gilbert Scott in gothic revival style. Building commenced in 1864, however was not completed for another 40 years. Unfortunately Christchurch Cathedral was almost completely destroyed in the earthquake. In May 2020 a complete rebuild of Christchurch Cathedral was begun, and doors to the new Cathedral are expected to be re-opened by the end of 2027.

The central city shopping and businesses are all located around Cathedral Square, which is also the focus for the Christchurch Tramway. The Christchurch Tramway runs on a circular route commencing at Cathedral Square around the centre of Christchurch. These historic trams stop at many of the places of interest in central Christchurch including art galleries, museums, historic buildings and parks; allowing you to get on and off at will. Though initially closed after the eartquakes, al are now open and running. In the case of the Christchurch Tram that re-opened in November 2013 on a short city loop, and then in November 2014 the full heritage loop was re-started. 

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Another major feature of Christchurch is the Avon River, which meanders around the city, and Hagley Park, the main park in Christchurch. Located in the Park, and included in a loop of the Avon River are the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Work commenced on Christchurch Botanic Gardens in 1863, in celebration of the marriage of Princess Alexandra of Denmark to Prince Albert Edward, elder son of Queen Victoria. Well worth a visit are the Rose Garden, New Zealand Garden and Herb Garden. If you come to Christchurch in spring, the whole Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park are alive with blossom.

Most of the main accommodation in Christchurch is located either in or near to Cathedral Square or Hagley Park; or is just a short walk away. Being quite a small city, most of the main central city places of interest can be easily visited by a short walk, or by taking the Christchurch Tram.

Whilst in Christchurch you could try the very English experience of "Punting on the Avon". Here you are taken in a punt by someone wearing a very English straw boater on the Avon River, as it meanders through Hagley Park. A little out of town is the Christchurch Gondola. You can take a ride up to the top for great views of the city and surrounding region.

Christchurch Weather

 Weather Spring  Summer  Autumn  Winter 
   Sep-Nov Dec-Feb  Mar-May  Jun-Aug 
 Av Max/Min Temp (C)  17/7 22/12  18/8  12/3 
 Av Monthly Rainy Days 7  7  7  7