The "Garden City" of New Zealand, Christchurch is a place of history, colour and atmosphere. Christchurch is the largest city on South Island with a population of over 350,000 and the main gateway to the many attractions in the South of New Zealand. Christchurch has an active arts scene, many attactions, good shopping, restaurants and well established parks. Within two hours of Christchurch you can ski, bike, raft, ride in a hot air balloon, watch whales and visit gardens, harbours and mountains.
The Garden City is also, arguably, the most attractive city in New Zealand, with extensive inner city public gardens and parks, the shallow Avon river meandering though the city centre, and a pedestrian oriented downtown centred on Cathedral Square. It is a place where its residents continue to 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.
Christchurch enjoys the largest collection of Gothic architecture in the country, with Christchurch Cathedral, the Canterbury Museum, Christ's College School, and the former University of Canterbury, which now forms the bustling cultural centre of Christchurch, the Arts Centre.
The city centre is comfortingly compact and the most delightful central feature is the gently winding Avon River. On its grassy banks lined with poplars and weeping willows, office workers and visitors join street entertainers, seagulls and ducks for lunch in the sun.
Christchurch has a mild climate. The beautiful New Brighton and Sumner beaches are a very popular way to cool off and relax over the summer, while winter sees locals heading to the hills to enjoy some of the great ski fields! Summer in New Zealand runs from December through February and Winter from June through August.
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