Christchurch, known as the ‘Garden City’ due to its award-winning expanse of parks and gardens, still retains its green heart. Hire a bike and pedal through Hagley Park for a lovely day out; take a leisurely punt ride down the picturesque Avon River; jump back on the bike and up to Summit Road for panoramic city views.
While in the city, don’t miss a visit to the International Antarctic Centre, showcasing the grandeur of the Antarctic through sound and light shows, interactive exhibits and audio-visuals.
Founded in 1863 with the planting of an English oak tree, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens have grown from small beginnings to become a much-loved destination for Cantabrians and visitors alike. Over the years, natural wetlands and sand dunes have been transformed into an elegantly cultivated 21-hectare park with more than 10 different gardens framed by mature trees and expansive lawns, which are mostly contained within a loop of the Avon River.
If you enter from Rolleston Avenue, next to the Canterbury Museum, you'll walk past annual bedding displays and across the archery lawn to the rose garden. For much of the year, the collection of modern and cultivar roses make this a colourful and fragrant place. Adjacent to the rose garden is the New Zealand garden, which provides an introduction to native species.
Time on the Avon
Summer or winter, glide along the tranquil Avon River in Christchurch as a skilled punter in traditional Edwardian attire propels you slowly along the water.
Take an Avon River Punting tour aboard a handcrafted flat-bottomed boat, poled along by your punter from the platformed till at the rear end of the boat. An ideal group or family activity, punting on the Avon is a great way to relax and enjoy Christchurch from a different perspective.
Christchurch has in many ways become the epitome of New Zealand Rugby. The Canterbury Crusaders are arguably the most successful rugby club in the world. They are the most successful club in the Super Rugby competition with seven titles and 3 world cups under their belt. The All Blacks are being heralded as the most successful rugby team in the history of the game with a 76% winning record, and have a winning record against every nation they have ever played!
Rugby is the official national sport of New Zealand and some would say it's more of a religion than a sport. Rugby is an integral part of their culture and identity. Rugby binds rural communities together wherever they are in New Zealand or around the world. If you really want to get a taste of New Zealand culture make sure you're invited to one of these local get-togethers, or make your way to a rural country pub with a flatscreen TV.
From Christchurch you can easily explore the surrounding natural attractions and activities of the region, including Akaroa, a French-style seaside village, the stunning vineyards of Waipara and a variety of ski areas within a few hours’ drive from the city.
The Infinity Experience
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