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a city is alive with colour, atmosphere and world-class attractions. It`s a place known internationally for its spectacular gardens. Here you`ll find a fresh experience every day. In the centre of the city you can`t help but notice Christchurch Cathedral, an outstanding example of Gothic Revival architecture. You can climb up to the spire for a bird`s-eye view of the city and, while there, examine the cathedral bells at close hand. Other grey-stone nineteenth century buildings, tree-lined avenues and extensive leafy parks give the city an elegant, rather English atmosphere.
Other central city attractions include the beautiful Neo-Gothic Arts Centre, the historic tram which loops the city centre, the Christchurch Gondola and the International Antarctic Centre. Christchurch is also a great place to go shopping - look for Ballantynes, New Zealand`s oldest department store. Expect a high standard of cuisine wherever you go - restaurants and cafes make the most of the region`s delicacies and local wines. Before or after lunch, take a leisurely journey down the Avon River in a punt. Known internationally for its award winning gardens, Christchurch is also a place for events and festivals.
Whether you choose leisurely days discovering the city`s cultural core or thrilling outdoor activities, you`ll find that conservative old Christchurch can dish up a few surprises. Canterbury, stretching from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean, has legendary physical attractions, from ski fields and fishing rivers to the Port Hills tramping tracks and East Coast beaches. Day-trip options from Christchurch include Kaikoura, Akaroa, Hanmer, Arthur`s Pass, and Methven -- each presenting its own version of provincial hospitality, rural escapism, and heart-stopping outdoor adventure.
People here enjoy the lowest annual rainfall of any of the four major cities, the greatest temperature extremes, and 2,120 hours of sunshine annually. With one-eighth of its area devoted to public parks, reserves, and recreation grounds, and with the 186-hectare (459-acre) Hagley Park smack in its center, you shouldn`t be surprised to find Christchurch tagged New Zealand`s Garden City. This verdant core, along with the Avon River, a spread of Victorian architecture, and the avenues and squares, give the city its `Englishness` and go a long way toward making it an elegant setting.
Christchurch is the South Island`s largest city. It`s a vibrant, cosmopolitan place with exciting festivals, theatre, modern art galleries, great shopping and award-winning attractions. Around every corner there are new surprises. You can choose to relax along the Avon River, tour through the city, or plunge towards the ground attached to only a bungy cord.