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Christchurch New Zealand
Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island and is the second most populated after Auckland. It is a popular destination, especially during the winter as unlike the two other major cities in New Zealand, Auckland and Wellington, there is snowfall in Christchurch once and sometimes twice a year. During summer the weather is generally dry and warm with temperatures averaging around the low 20°C.
Cathedral square is located in the centre of the city, it surrounds the Anglican cathedral, ChristChurch is located. It was built in the latter half of the 19th century. The cathedral spire is over 60 metres tall and provides a great view of the city.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, which is commonly referred to as Christchurch Basilica, it took only four years to build and was officially opened in 1905. It was designed by New Zealand architect Francis Petre and was his largest completed work.
Weather & Climate in Christchurch
WEATHER IN CHRISTCHURCH
Positioned on the East Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Christchurch mostly experiences a mild, temperate climate. These moderate temperatures can be linked to the Pacific Ocean (which moderates the heat in summer) and the Western Tasman Sea (which affects the winds making Christchurch a city with minimal rainfall compared to all other parts of New Zealand).
The winter months commence in June and end in August and the weather is much cooler at times reaching as low as 2 degrees Celsius or 36 degrees Fahrenheit (ski fields are within driving distance from Christchurch). The wind is quite calm blowing across Christchurch so even on frosty mornings, glorious winter days usually follow.
During the summer season temperatures can exceed 25 degrees Celsius and can last from October through to April. This excessive heat is caused by the winds drying out. Though occasionally high, the weather in Christchurch is rarely too intense and this is due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean (interestingly the cities located on similar latitudes to Christchurch in the Northern Hemisphere experience much hotter summers, the reason for this is their lack of Pacific Ocean).
With such a comfortable welcoming climate, New Zealand’s Christchurch is the perfect holiday destination.
BY KRISTIE MULLENS
Sightseeing & Attractions
Christchurch and Antarctica
Christchurch & the Canterbury Region
Christchurch is possibly the most well known and most talked about destination on New Zealands South Island. It is no wonder this is the case given how much Christchurch has to offer any traveller. Christchurch is not only a major city but if you look a bit further you will find it is an adventurists play ground as well as having tranquil rural areas for those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of every day city life.
Offering accommodation from affordable back packers, to rural retreats and five star luxury hotels for those wanting a little bit extra. There is a place to stay here to fit everyone's budget.
Christchurch itself is located in the region of Canterbury, here you will find many other places and regions to explore including Kaikoura, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Selwyn, Ashburton, Banks Peninsula, Mount Cook Mackenzie, Central South Island and Waimate.
The Garden city itself this being Christchurch is a great central spot to stay when exploring the Canturbery region. Here you can explore the Christchurch Botanical Gardens, go shopping at the local markets or the many boutique shops, see the vintage trams, have lunch on the riverside restaurant located alongside the picturesque Avon River, or visit some contempory galleries.
The rest of the region has some more options for you including vineyards, glacial lakes, alpine hot pools, or check out the volcanic peninsula with it's amazing bays and stunning views. In winter hit the snow fields where you can go skiing or snow boarding and in summer there are some amazing beaches to either relax on or enjoy the surf.
What ever your interests Christchurch and the Canterbury region is just waiting for you to come and explore it.
Christchurch is New Zealand’s second largest urban area and is one of only eight pairs of cities that are exact antipodes – Christchurch’s antipode is A Coruna in Spain. Christchurch also has the distinction of one of the world’s highest quality water supplies. Water is sourced from the foothills of the Southern Alps and naturally processed by a series of aquifers (permeable rock) as it travels.
Christchurch’s proximity to the Southern Alps makes it a booming tourist town.
Christchurch lies in the region of Canterbury on the east coast of the South Island. It is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and estuary of Avon to the east, the volcanic slopes of Port Hills to the south and south east and the Waimakairiri River to the north. Although a geographically large town, Christchurch’s population is only 368 900 according to the 2006 census. Still, this makes it New Zealand’s second largest town by population.
Christchurch’s first inhabitants were the flightless (and currently extinct) moa bird. Maori oral history has the Maori people first settling the area in 1000AD. The main tribe to reside in the area were the Ngai Tahu tribe. Christchurch’s Maori name, Otautahi (which means Home of Tatauhi), comes from the Ngai Tahu chief, Te Potiki Tauhati.
European settlers began settling the area in 1840. These settlers intended to model their new town after Christ Church in Oxford, England. A myth exists that Christchurch became one word due to a spelling mistake made by one of its founding fathers.
Christchurch has a dry, temperate climate. The city receives frequent sea breezes from the north east during summer. New Zealand’s south coast is the only area of the world to receive the no’ west arch, a foehn wind that appears as if from nowhere (sometimes in the middle of a clear day) that can cause storm form attacks.
Residents of Christchurch take advantage of the town’s beautiful natural surroundings, with outdoor pursuits incredibly popular in this region. Christchurch has many wild life parks and bike and walking tracks to enjoy. The large number of heritage and decorative gardens has earned Christchurch the nickname City of Gardens.
The Christchurch Arts Centre is Christchurch’s cultural hub. The renovated neo-gothic building was the original main building for the University of Canterbury. The Arts Centre is home to the Court Theatre, a professional theatre that employs local and international actors, and the Cloisters and Academy cinemas, which mainly play art house and foreign movies. Visitors to the Christchurch Arts Centre can also enjoy galleries, cafes and bars.
Christchurch’s music scene was predominately classical for a long time. The city has a symphony orchestra and is the base for professional opera company, Southern Opera. Hip hop is beginning to become popular in the town due to the success of Scribe, a former Christchurch resident who became New Zealand’s most well known rapper.
Other popular amenities in Christchurch include the casino and multipurpose sports arena. There are three universities and one polytechnic in this city.
Residents of Christchurch get the best of both worlds. This thriving, industrious town boasts all the necessary attractions, while also affording a gorgeous natural environment that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Christchurch is the second largest city in New Zealand, it is situated on the South Island and boasts its Alpine region, beautiful beaches and relaxing countryside.
Better known as 'the garden city', 382,200 people call this city home.
A boutique city with beautiful scenery and gardens (as you can tell by the name), the city itself offers galleries, botanical gardens, outdoor markets, hidden laneways, 19th century buildings and restaurants featuring some of the best local produce in New Zealand.
As for the natural wonders to the south is the fantastic alpine high country topped off with Aoraki or Mount Cook, this mountain is part of the Southern Alps Mountain Ranges and is New Zealands highest point at 3754 meters above sea level. If you venture north you will be heading towards the countryside here you can relax in the hot pools, at one of the many wineries or try and find some of the many wildlife that inhabit this area. Heading west now and there is a train trip which can take you on a unforgettable journey over the Southern Alps.
Heading towards the coast now you could take a trip down the Kaikoura coastline and visit the historic settlement of Akaroa, here you can go whale watching, or swim with the dolphins, snorkeling with the seals or walk the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway.
To the north you will encounter Waimakariri here you will find beaches, rivers and mountains all waiting to be discovered. A creative town with tones of history and culture to be explored.
Towards the south is a little town named Waimate this place is truly magical with a strong country atmosphere, you can go hunting, fishing, mountain biking or take a visit to the annual strawberry fare.
With some of the best skiing and alpine resorts in the world, as well as magical corners to this remarkable city. A visit to Christchurch is well worth it.
The first thing that strikes you as you leave the Airport and head down Memorial Ave is that it is visually stunning. Known as the garden City Christchurch is the international gateway to the South Island. With a population of just over 350 000, the sense of space is comforting, you feel unrushed and relaxed to explore the stunning landscape.
It is a place where the locals 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.
Situated in the middle of the four leafy inner-city avenues of the city you will find the 161 hectare Hagley Park, which boasts an urban golf course, the Botanic Gardens, Victoria Square and spectacular gardens of Mona Vale on the banks of the Avon River. It is a vision which is embraced today by proud resident’s right throughout the city.
Must sees' are the weekend Arts Centre market, Christchurch Cathedral, Botanic Gardens and International Antarctic Centre, but if you really want to experience the contrasting way of life for the locals I suggest you take a tour out into the suburbs. Merivale is a great place to start as one of the oldest and affluent suburbs; stunning villas are visible through impeccably manicured hedges and gardens. From here you can travel through Ilam and Riccarton and really get a sense of how the city is put together.
Christchurch has a mild climate. The beautiful beaches of Sumner and New Brighton are a great way to spend a summer’s day, while over the winter, Cantabrians flock to the Southern Alps to enjoy some amazing ski fields.
Plan on spending awhile here, take it slowly and enjoy a slower pace of life.