Until recently, Christchurch was the main gateway in and out of South Island, New Zealand. The “Garden City” and its surroundings provide a refreshing outdoor getaway destination, along with waterfront recreation on a string of Pacific coast beaches and two rivers. Not to mention winery and wine tasting tours. A series of earthquakes rattled the city in 2010 and 2011, with a major one in February, 2011 that damaged several landmarks, such as the Christchurch Cathedral and the Hotel Grand Chancellor. Get a car for hire in Christchurch so that you can go beach hopping, and explore the landmarks (damaged or otherwise) at your own sweet pace.
You can start with Cathedral Square, where the imposing 19th century neo-Gothic structure of the Christchurch Cathedral is being demolished and will be replaced with a new cathedral. With that out of the way, get a car for rent in Christchurch and head for Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens. Nature and outdoor enthusiasts will probably want to check out the International Antarctic Center, Orana Wildlife Park, and the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. History buffs may want to see the Canterbury Museum and the Bridge of Remembrance. The harbor and port of Lyttelton are also worth a look-see. Shoppers will likely want to spend some time on High Street and Poplar Lanes. The nightlife crowd can be found in the bars on Sol Square.
The New Brighton Pier is a great place for fishing and for long walks. South New Brighton Park is perfect for picnics, but the best family beach is at Sumner, where you will find ice-cream shops and restaurants close to the beach. Southshore Spit is a good place for bird watching, while Taylor’s Mistake is the ideal beach for surfers. Apart from these, there are a huge number of beaches on the Banks Peninsula.
The vast Canterbury plains have a lot of wine producing areas, but there is a especially heavy concentration within easy driving distance of Christchurch. The Banks Peninsula wineries can be found east of the city, while the famous Waipura wine trail is due north. The Burnham wineries are located south of Christchurch. Do not miss the Waipara Springs and Torlesse vineyards, and the Pegasus Bay Winery in the Waipura region.
Christchurch is no doubt a fascinating destination where you could easily spend your entire holiday down under. But inveterate explorers will find it hard to resist the siren song of a South Island coastal discovery. Book your car rental in Christchurch right now and plan a road trip that takes you from Christchurch to Kaikoura for a whale watching trip. Continue on to Blenheim and Picton for an exploration of the Marlbourough Sound and Queen Charlotte Sound. Turn around and head past Nelson and Havelock to Westport and Greymouth on the west coast, before you turn inland to return to Christchurch. Alternatively, you could head down the east coast from Christchurch to Dunedin, and continue on to Bluff and Invercargill, before turning around to head for Te Anau along the eastern shores of massive Lake Te Anau in Fjordland.
28 May 2019
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29 May 2019
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31 May 2019
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