On the South Island of New Zealand, Christchurch is a South Pacific city with a European feel. It is generally accepted that the city was named after Christ Church, a college at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, whose soaring spires and beautiful cathedrals influenced much of the original architecture upon the arrival of the Canterbury Pilgrims in 1850. The city’s 375,000 residents enjoy a temperate climate in which winters stay around 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.
Take in spectacular views of the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine Train. You can choose to stay on for a roundtrip journey or to get off at one of many stops and continue your exploration on foot. The trains have food service, making it possible to enjoy the rugged scenery from a comfortable front-row seat.
There are a handful of beautiful parks in Christchurch, perfect for enjoying a mild New Zealand day. Christchurch Botanic Gardens, featuring massive trees and manicured landscapes, is big enough to spend the whole day in. There is also a greenhouse with exotic species, which also provides a convenient escape in case of inclement weather. Located at the center of the city, Hagley Park has nice paths for walkers and joggers to enjoy.
Christchurch is known as the gateway to Antarctica, with many journeys departing to the icy frontier. For those who would rather stay in comfortable and beautiful New Zealand but are still curious about its chilly southern neighbor, the International Antarctic Center gives visitors a taste of the Antarctic experience. See penguins and huskies, learn about the Scott Base, and survive a simulated Antarctic snowstorm!
Rent a car or take a train to Arthur’s Pass, a stunning destination that reaches the highest points of Arthur’s Pass National Park. Opportunities for hiking and mountaineering are abundant here, giving adventurous visitors a taste of New Zealand’s rugged nature. If you prefer a gentler introduction to the Southern Alps, there are also opportunities for boating, guided walks, picnics, birdwatching, and more.
Akaroa, a quaint harbor town just an hour and a half from Christchurch, is a French and British settlement at the center of an ancient volcano. The largest colony of mainland penguins in New Zealand lives here, which is accessible via a guided four-wheel drive tour. Take a harbor tour or go sea kayaking to enjoy the marine life. There are also boutique shops and open air cafes for a relaxing afternoon of shopping.
There are nearly 1,200 vacation rentals on Tripping.com in Christchurch, New Zealand. Enjoy modern amenities in updated apartments to take the stress and uncertainty out of your traveling experience.
Travelers can book flights into Christchurch International Airport, only six miles from the city center. Many visitors choose to rent cars, as there are many scenic drives to take. However, buses and taxis are also standard means of transportation.
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