"Christchurch, New Zealand's most English city" Christchurch by Kate-Me

Christchurch Travel Guide: 1,256 reviews and 2,655 photos

I've made two visits to Christchurch now, once with my husband in February 2004 (quite a cold trip, despite it being the middle of summer) and the second one with my mother (a 9 day trip) in December 2005.

Christchurch's population is 332,000 (making it NZ’s 2nd largest city after Auckland) It has the feel of a much smaller city, or large town, to me however.

The city is located in the South Island region called Canterbury, and is said to be New Zealand’s most English city in appearance (I didn’t find it so in the city's general buildings itself, but then I come from a city in Australia where that type of architecture is seen everywhere).
The special aspects of Christchurch though I found very English: Victoria Square, Cathedral Square, the picturesque Avon river winding its way through part of the city and the English named streets as well)

Elsewhere in Canterbury:
The seaside town of Kaikoura, about 3 hours drive north of Christchurch, is considered to be the region’s eco tourism capital – very consistent seal and whale viewing opportunities, as well as Dusky dolphins, penguins and other birds (see my Kaikoura pages for more, and seal travelogues)

Mt Cook in Canterbury’s Alps is the highest mountain in New Zealand.
(See my Hokitika, Franz Josef and Fox Glacier pages from 2004)

The Canterbury Seaside town of Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula,1 ½ hours by car south east of Christchurch, is New Zealand’s uniquely French flavoured town, where French settlers landed in 1840. It’s also the best place to see the rare Hector dolphins (see my Akaroa pages)
Penguins can also be seen here and we saw a large assortment of different types of sea and wading water birds. I visitedhere again in December 2005 since I'd loved my first (too short) vistit there. This time I spent 3 1/2 days there to see it properly.

Christchurch, besides being well known for its architecture, is also home to Christchurch Catheral, one of New Zealand's most important and best examples of gothic architecture.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:English garden & building heritage, attractive surroundings, plenty to do
  • Cons:looks like February is a very variable weather month there
  • In a nutshell:Beautiful parks & gardens, statues, town Squares
  • Last visit to Christchurch: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated Dec 19, 2005
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Reviews (39)

Comments (4)

  • Jul 4, 2008 at 4:03 AM

    A must see whilst in Christchurch is the Willowbank Park. we nearly chose Orana instead of this GREAT attraction. The Restaurant and Guided tour along with the traditional Maori dancing was a credit to the Park.

  • sprdak11's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2006 at 4:27 AM

    Very interesting travel page with nice pictures. Greetings.

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2005 at 12:01 PM

    I'll be back ^..^..well it took me a while LOL this has become a wonderful, informativ&well photographed page. the intro is very special! tks Kate, job well done!! greets Wal

  • Alain_Smeets's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2004 at 12:57 AM

    Nice page Kate, it brings back greet memories about my NZ trip. You visited a great part of the country. Great photo's, and did you learn to kayak now? :)


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