Christchurch is New Zealand's third largest city and the largest city of the South Island. It is a hub for English culture and heritage in New Zealand, combined with some of the best gardens in the world, earning it international acclaim as the 'Garden City'. The modern buildings of the city, blended with the Gothic architecture of remnants of the Victorian era heritage of Christchurch and the Canterbury region.
Before the English influence over New Zealand, Christchurch was historically called Otautahi, the Maori word signifying the place of Tautahi. While a series of earthquakes in the 21st century seriously damaged the historic structures of the city, the authorities have worked tirelessly to restore these edifices to their former glory. The cosmopolitan centre of the South Island, the city is home to a number of trendy cafes, bars and restaurants. The magnificent Avon River snakes through the city, adding to the natural beauty of the Garden city, famous for its world class Botanical Gardens. The other popular green space of the town is Hagley Park, a massive expanse which is also the site of the golf course, multiple cycling and walking paths, an international cricket arena, horse races and other recreational facilities for residents. The International Antarctic Centre, one of the few in the world, helps promote and understand tourism in the Antarctic region. Due to the amazing connectivity of the city, Christchurch is a famous stopover and gateway to the Southern Alps, as well as adventure and tourism of of the Canterbury region, such as skiing, dolphin spotting or just admiring the serene and exotic natural beauty of the area.
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