Established in 1850 by the English settlers , Christchurch is the largest city on South Island and the second largest city in the country. The English heritage shows mostly in the older buildings. There are a variety of things to do here, whether you want to just relax or be active.
Christchurch is located on the South Island, just north of Banks Peninsula.
How to get to Christchurch
Christchurch International Airport (CHC) is a major international and domestic airport. There are international flights to/from Australia, Singapore and Japan.
By road, Christchurch is connected to the other cities on the South Island via the State Highway One. State Highway 73 connects the city to the west coast. Daily buses connect Christchurch to the rest of the cities on the South Island.
There is also possible to take the scenic train ride between Christchurch and Greymouth.
Read more about:
>>Train travel in New Zealand
>>Bus travel in New Zealand
>>Flights to Christchurch
>>Getting from Welling to Christchurch
>>Getting from Christchurch to Dunedin
>>Getting from Christchurch to Queenstown
The city has a dry, temperate climate. The coldest months are June and July when the average high temperature is 11C and the average low 2C. The warmest month is January, with an average high temperature of 21C and the average low of 12 C. The summer weather is often moderated by the sea breeze. It is possible to snow.
>>read more about Weather in New Zealand
Things to do
When visiting Christchurch, make sure to add some festivals to your to-do list. The World Buskers Festival takes place in January and features comedy, street, and circus acts from all over the world. The Festival of Romance takes place before St. Valentines (from February 4) and includes a variety of romantic activities. Carols by Candlelight is a traditional which takes place on Christmas Eve in Victoria Square.
Plan to take the Summit Road, whether you drive, bike , take the bus or walk it, as it offers superb views of the city, the Southern Alps, Pegasus Bay, Lyttelton Harbour and Banks Peninsula. Or take the Christchurch Gondola, which is a 10 minutes ride above the city and offers superb views of the Banks Peninsula, Lake Ellesmere and Lyttleton Harbour , Pegasus Bay, all the way to the Southern Alps.
On Saturday morning, plan a visit to the Lyttelton Farmers Market. It’s worth it if you are after local, fresh produce. Or you can spend half a day at the Botanic Gardens, which houses exotic and indigenous plants and trees.
Orana Wildlife Park is the country’s largest wildlife and is home to endangered species from around the world.
If you are after extreme activities, hot air ballooning is very popular in Christchurch. Or you can try horseback riding, which is definitely not extreme at all.