Known as a great summer city with its beaches, harbours and rivers, Christchurch – the largest city in New Zealand’s South Island – is also a popular winter destination. Less than two hours’ drive from the beach will see you in the snow-capped Southern Alps, with their stunning scenery and world class ski fields.
With a population well over 300,000, Christchurch is a vibrant modern city with a lively entertainment scene.
Whether you are staying a while in Christchurch, or just passing through, there’s plenty of great accommodation options. Quality Hotel Elms is easy walking distance from Northlands and Papanui Shopping Centres, where you will find cinemas, bars, restaurants, and even indoor swimming pools for the kids – with gym facilities for Mum and Dad! And Econo-Lodge Canterbury Court is conveniently placed for those attending events and concerts at the nearby stadium or show grounds, and is within easy reach of all Christchurch has to offer.
Known as ‘the Garden City’, Christchurch was founded in the 19th century by British settlers, the site chosen for its proximity to the vast and fertile Canterbury Plains.
Much of this traditional sheep and crop farming region is now converted to dairy farming, the nation’s number one export industry. Other areas have been converted into award winning wineries, many with top restaurants, and more recently the city has gained international recognition for technological innovation and manufacturing. Many of Christchurch’s historic buildings have been lost, but the city is already regaining its reputation as a centre for architectural excellence with striking new designs for the rebuilding of this bold, modern city.
A cold frosty winter morning in Christchurch is usually followed by a bright clear day with sunshine and blue skies, perfect for the whole family to enjoy the last of the autumn leaves with a stroll through the Botanic Gardens, where the indoor tropical jungle and cactus collection will delight the kids. If you feel a little more active, pack a picnic lunch and head across town and up the Port Hills, where you will find walking tracks suitable for all ages and abilities. From here, the view across the city to the mountains and sea is simply breath-taking.
If you’re in town for the ski season, it’s an easy and spectacular drive to any of Canterbury’s many ski fields. After a day on the slopes and a quick drive back to town, book a babysitter and head out for dinner at one of Christchurch’s amazing variety of restaurants and cafés. After dinner, there are cinemas, live theatre and live music to be found every night of the week. Don’t forget the Christchurch casino, with its spacious gaming floors, top quality bars and choice of fine restaurants. Come to Christchurch this winter for outdoor action all day and a fabulous time every night.