The Garden City
Located on the east coast of the South Island, Christchurch – just like the rest of New Zealand – is a city of contrasts.
It is a place where its residents continue to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle amidst a natural environment world-renowned for its beauty. A growing cosmopolitan ambience also adds a touch of excitement without overt flashiness. Everywhere there is an understated elegance that speaks of times gone by and promises a future where anything is possible.
The Garden City
Internationally famed ‘The Garden City’, Christchurch’s well-established expansive parks and public gardens owe much to the planning and foresight of the city’s founding fathers. The centrally-located 161 hectare Hagley Park, the Botanic Gardens, the four leafy inner-city avenues, Victoria Square and spectacular gardens such as Mona Vale on the banks of the River Avon bear testimony to this legacy. It is a vision which is embraced and perpetuated today by proud residents right throughout the city.
There is something different to see and do within one or two hours’ drive of Christchurch, in any direction. To the east lie the open ocean and Banks Peninsula, featuring sheltered bays, sandy beaches, bush clad valleys, rocky coastline and high, wild places. Boating, tramping, a visit to the wineries and the French settlers’ harbourside village of Akaroa are key peninsula attractions.
To the west, past fertile plains and braided rivers, are forested foothills and lakes. Beyond them lie the tallest mountains in Australasia, the Southern Alps, strung out parallel to the coastline. Mountain passes with delightful alpine villages break the almost impenetrable divide and deliver the traveller to the west coast. There is a choice of western routes and plenty of ski areas on the way.
A journey north reveals green rolling hills, forests and long, empty beaches, with the whale-watching centre of Kaikoura about 2 hours drive away, whilst an excursion to the south passes through farmland and crosses two more of Canterbury’s pristine rivers, ideal for fishing in, whitewater rafting or kayaking down. Mt Hutt, the premier commercial ski area close to the city, lies to the south west. A day off-piste here gives opportunity for jet boating, fishing, horse riding or a round of golf.
Statistics and Demographics
Latitude: 43° 31 Mins, 48 Secs South
Longitude: 172° 37 Mins, 13 Secs East.
East Coast, South Island, New Zealand
Area: Christchurch City: 45,240 Hectares
Mean Daily Maximum: Jan 22.5 °C, July 11.3 °C
Mean Temperature: 12.1°C
Mean Daily Minimum: Jan 12.2°C, July 1.9°C
Mean Annual Maximum: 32°C
Mean Annual Minimum: -4°C
Mean average bright sunshine: 2,100 hours per annum
Average rain days: 1mm or more; 85 per annum
Average annual rainfall: 648 mm
Average days of screen frost (minimum air temperature less than 0°C) 36 days per annum
Average number of days with gusts reaching 63 km/h or more: 54 per annum
Average Relative Humidity: January: 3am 83%; 3pm 57%; July: 3am 88%; 3pm 70%
Christchurch and Canterbury are famous for natural beauty and a wealth of things to do. Christchurch has a lively entertainment scene, strong cultural heritage, gorgeous parks and gardens, lots of sports facilities and good shopping.
Among the ‘must sees’ are the weekend Arts Centre market, Christchurch Cathedral, Botanic Gardens and International Antarctic Centre. The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu exhibits New Zealand and international art and Canterbury Museum has fine cultural and natural collections as well as creative and imaginative displays.
Orana Park is New Zealand’s largest wildlife reserve and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve has among its displays New Zealand’s largest daytime kiwi viewing area. Air Force World captures the adventure and history of flight in New Zealand and Christchurch Casino offers 24-hour gaming entertainment. Visitors can be introduced to Maori culture at Nga Hau E Wha Marae.
Attractions and Activities
Hangliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, ski-ing, snowboarding, jetboating, white water rafting, skydiving, mountain climbing, paragliding, riding in a Hagglund, heli-biking, 4 wheel driving…
Walking, tramping, hiking, golfing, fishing, sightseeing, flightseeing, whalewatching, swimming with dolphins, cruising, diving, horse-trekking, motorcycling, kayaking, canoeing…
Punting down the river, star-gazing, hot-air ballooning, wildlife cruising, wining, dining, eco-touring, soaking in the thermal pools, soaking up Maori culture – Excitement – relaxation – sunshine and snow – world class sporting and cultural events – wining, dining and accommodation – unique attractions and activities – and all within two hours of Christchurch International airport.