"My winter holiday in summer" Top 5 Page for this destination Christchurch by knerten

Christchurch Travel Guide: 1,251 reviews and 2,676 photos

A bad summer or a good winter?

I left summer in Norway for winter in NZ. Pretty stupid, I know, but it was the only time I could get off work for 2 months to do my research on my PhD without upsetting my boss too much.
Judging by the summer weather in Norway so far, the swap wasn't too bad, and winter in Christchurch has proved itself to be a pleasant surprise.

Make that a "so far", because today, August 15th, it snowed! Well, it is supposed to be winter alright...

For the record, I left NZ on August 25th.

Plus: Unexpected diversity

What is the most intruiging thing about Christchurch, or short Chch, as called by the local kiwis, and what really took me by me by surprise here, is the Asian, particular Korean, population. Albeit they only muster some 10000 compared to the total population of 300000, they make a distinct mark on the city: Korean restaurants and Sushi takeways abound. I would say that if you're anywhere in the city centre, you'd never have to walk more than 5 minutes to find one. They seem to run all the small 7-11-like shops, you'll find more Asian food stores than traditional corner dairies, and they're all over campus! At times I feel more like in the Far East than in good ol' rustique New Zealand.
I love Asian food, and after a 3-day stopover in sumptious Singapore I was preparing myself for 2 months of baked beans and sausages and some fish and chips, but this is heaven...almost.

Minus: Air pollution in winter

Christchurch lies on a river plain and most of the time in winter it's not that windy, so the smog settles pretty quickly. Add to that all the fireplaces and woodburners in people's homes than you have a recipe for bad air. It's supposed to have been worse 10-20 years back, but I think it's still bad. So bad that when I went to Wellington on a short trip, and after cleasning my luings with the fresh air there, I noticed that all my clothing, my bags and myself smelled like "soot" as if I'd been lying smouldering in a fireplace. Yuk!
The air is generally clean on windy and rainy days, but if you suffer from asthma, don't count on those days for your visit.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A lot to offer if you look for it
  • Cons:Air Pollution in Winter
  • In a nutshell:I like this place, I could almost live here for good.
  • Last visit to Christchurch: Jul 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (35)

Comments (16)

  • swings's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2007 at 6:37 PM

    Hi! Greetings from Chch! I've enjoyed reading your tips, especially about the food and Ballantynes and the food! Oh, and did mention the food? ;) I think I'll go ambling in Riccarton Bush this afternoon... Cheers! w

  • May 4, 2006 at 3:00 PM

    Nice photos & tips! August is often our coldest month so not surprising to see a bit of snow!

  • PorkyNZ's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2005 at 12:50 AM

    It's very important to protect our agriculture and for biosecurity...and yes it's taken EXTREMELY seriously here.

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2005 at 6:38 AM

    I was quite happy to learn that there are Asian restaurants there. Thanks for the great tips and photos. Hope to go there soon.

  • maple_air's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2004 at 3:16 AM

    like this page a lot, speacially the "food tips" section, yummy!!. Thanks for your nice comment on my page.

  • dvideira's Profile Photo
    Aug 21, 2004 at 10:43 PM

    What a great page you have here. It's nice when we can stay in a place for that long and get to know it well. Although books give us the best "views" themselves, this library with a view is great. Food tips are pure torture... yummy. Thanks. Cheers.

  • unravelau's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2004 at 6:23 PM

    A very enjoyable trip around Christchurch from a visitor's perspective. Got a bit sidetracked towards the end searching forums for short legged pants........LOL.....Thank you.

  • rozehill's Profile Photo
    Aug 14, 2004 at 5:39 PM

    Great array of food places....delightful pictures and tips Jan.

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2004 at 11:03 PM

    your intro is precise and very well observed ^..^ fine account of CHCH.as an editor I just grouped and re grouped your excellent tips. ^..^

  • Jordi_Pujol's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2004 at 6:33 AM

    A super tip - I suffer from asthma and was thinking of visiting Christchurch this coming winter. Now I'll delay my trip until late Spring. Many thanks.


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