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Top city spots in Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch: a delightful New Zealand city with an Anglocentric vibe. It’s a great destination for skiing in winter, surfing in summer, and hiking in spring and autumn. Whichever month you choose to visit, you will have a wonderful time!

Located north of Banks Peninsula on Pegasus Bay, Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island and the political seat of the Canterbury Region. Named Ōtautahi in the Māori language, this lovely metropolis experienced great damage during two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The community has resiliently rebuilt since the catastrophes and the subsequent redevelopment work has created new and improved attractions and facilities for both locals and visitors. The change in seasonal climates creates different reasons for tourists to visit Christchurch. In Summer months you can enjoy beach life or a genteel punt down the Avon River. Highly recommended is Corsair Bay, a picturesque bay a short drive from Lyttleton that has a pontoon and great grass areas for picnics. Surfers should check out the sandy shores of Sumner & Scarborough or Taylors Mistake close to Godley Head Recreational Reserve. In Spring and Autumn Christchurch is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts - some of the best tourist attractions can be found in its green spaces. The many public parks and gardens to be found in the area have earned Christchurch the name of The Garden City. Near the city centre you will find Hagley Park and close neighbour Christchurch Botanic Gardens. The former is often used as a venue for sports events and live music performances. The second hosts a wonderful array of flowers and trees, and several plant conservatories. Highly recommended for hikers and those interested in nature are Willowbank Wildlife Park, Travis Wetland and Orana Wildlife Park, a huge open air zoo. Christchurch is a fantastic destination for a skiing holiday in winter. Canterbury has the most ski areas anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere and most can be accessed easily from the city. The largest, Mt. Hutt, is great for beginners, has five terrain parks and a superb skiing school. If you have an adventurous spirit then take the helicopter ride to Methven Heliski for some freeriding across three different mountains. Mehven Village is the popular place for Après-ski fun with a great choice of bars and restaurants. Finally, for an amazing adventure out of town, book a ticket for the TranzAlpine rail journey! This railway will take you from Christchurch to Greymouth on the west coast of South Island. During the five hour route you can take in every aspect of the region - from the dramatic Canterbury Plains to the awesome alpine views of the Southern Alps.