Christchurch city promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture. As the gateway to the South Island, it's a must on any itinerary.

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Described by Lonely Planet as a "vibrant city in transition, coping resiliently and creatively,” Christchurch's energy is evident wherever you go. The city has bounced back after the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 with innovative new attractions, as well as some old favourites.

Visit the Re Start container mall, the transitional Cardboard Cathedral, and some of the many pop up restaurants and bars. Contemporary art galleries, boutique shops and open-air markets add to Christchurch’s creative vibe.

Traditionally known as the Garden City, Christchurch’s award winning Botanic Gardens are over 150 years old and boast an enviable collection of exotic and native plants.

The Avon River flows gently through the city centre, making Edwardian punt rides an iconic way to sightsee. Alternatively, catch a ride aboard the Historic Tram or take a bicycle tour to learn about Christchurch's history.

Other popular activities include the International Antarctic Centre, Orana Wildlife Park and walking, mountain biking or driving through the Port Hills for stunning views of the city and coast.

Lonely Planet listed Christchurch as one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2013 and the New York Times ranked Christchurch second on its list of 52 Places to Go in 2014.