Ideal duration: 3 - 5 days
Best Time: November to April Read More
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Christchurch is New Zealand's third and South Island's third and largest city. 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 blend with the remnants of the Gothic architecture from 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 city's historic structures, the authorities have worked tirelessly to restore these edifices to their former glory.
Christchurch is home to many trendy cafes, bars and restaurants. The magnificent Avon River snakes through the city, adding to the natural beauty, famous for its world-class Botanical Gardens. The other popular green space in the town is Hagley Park. This massive expanse is also the site of a golf course, multiple cycling and walking paths, an international cricket stadium, horse races and other recreational facilities for residents.
Due to the excellent connectivity from other regions in New Zealand, Christchurch is a famous stopover and gateway to the Southern Alps, as well as adventure and tourism 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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With the beach as its main attraction, Sumner is a neighbourhood to spend a lazy day, especially over the weekends. On most days, expect to see elderlies, families or surfers flocking to the beach to enjoy the sunny day. There are also many holiday homes in Sumner that face the beach, making it a great place to spend a short vacation.
Located close on the way to Sumner, Ferrymead is home to a majority of Christchurch's most popular cafes, shopping outlets and restaurants. Tourists will also find several accommodation options to choose from. This part of the city mainly became popular after most commercial establishments shifted here after the earthquake in 2011.
Towards the southern end of Christchurch, Cashmere is a great area, away from the crowded locales of the city, to spend some leisurely time. With a village-like setting replete with old heritage buildings, this neighbourhood is a fantastic choice for history buffs. There are also some excellent cafes and restaurants to choose from, making Cashmere well worth the time for a visit.
4. St Albans
Located within walking distance from the city centre, St Albans is a quiet area of the city which is home to many parks. St Albans Park and Malvern Park are two popular parks in this vicinity.
1. Customs check is tough when entering New Zealand. There are strict laws on prohibited items that cannot be brought from international shores. Read the form carefully about what to not carry on your trip to avoid any inconveniences and delays after landing.
2. It is recommended to get the Metrocard (NZD 10) and top it up to use when using the public transport system in Christchurch. Using the MetroCard can save up to 50% in daily travel costs.
3. The weather can be unpredictable. Even though it might look like a cloudy day, it can quickly turn sunny, making it easy to get sunburnt if not careful. Make sure to pack sunscreen and protective sunglasses, and headgear.
4. New Zealand follows the left-hand drive system. Learn the basic rules if you plan on renting a car when in Christchurch.
5. Internet access is not widely available in New Zealand, which also holds true in Christchurch. Sometimes cafes or other public spots might not offer WiFi or have weak coverage. It is recommended to bring along or subscribe to a cellular plan with strong internet coverage in the country.
6. Ubers are cheaper as compared to local taxis. But fares over long distances can also be high for Uber taxis as well.
7. Remember to carry a water bottle. Drinking water from public and hotel taps is safe in New Zealand. It is a great way to save costs by not buying packaged drinking water.
8. Private rooms in budget hotels and AirBnBs are almost similarly priced. Try and look for the best deals on highly rated accommodation options well before a trip. Find the best deals at bookme.co.nz on both tours and hotel rooms.