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

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Described by Lonely Planet as a "vibrant city in transition, coping resiliently and creatively,” Christchurch is showing off its vibrancy with new developments popping up all over the place. The Tannery, built inside a former tannery building on the banks of the Heathcote River on the outskirts of the historic industrial area of Woolston, is home to dozens of dining, entertainment and shopping options.

The city has bounced back after a series of earthquakes, and all public services and spaces are running as normal. 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. 

There’s plenty to do in and around this rapidly changing city, like visiting the Re Start shopping area and Pop Up City bars. Old favourites 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.

Summers here are warm and mild (Christchurch enjoys more than 2,000 hours of sunshine a year) while winter days are often clear, cool, and calm, while autumn brings a burst of colour and a long period of settled weather.

Functional facts: Approximate population 346,000, international airport, three i-SITE visitor centres.