You never know what you will get
Travel to Christchurch is great as the weather you get here is normally quite good. With cool but dry winters and warm summers Christchurch is a good place to be. Sometimes the weather doesn't play its part and it can get really cold and wet. It can also snow here but not often though when it does, it is usually quite memorable. If it does get messy, weather wise, there are plenty of places to hold up in and wait out the weather - bars, cafes etc etc.
What to Bring?
Christchurch is a city that caters to the backpacking and the business/family traveller. I think that the kind of luggage you bring would depend entirely on what you were hoping to do in and around Christchurch. If you are planning a large trip around the South Island then I would suggest the less you bring the better! You may even like to hire a campervan and drive around though, in which case all your luggage can be dumped in the van! Up to you really :-) Christchurch gets very hot in summer (30 degrees +/-), so summer clothes are necessary. There are beaches out Brighton way that you may like to go to.
In winter Christchurch is pretty cold and often has snow fall. Many people who visit Christchurch in winter are on there way to the mountains further south to go skiing. If you have your own ski gear then I suggest you bring it. I reckon that ski hire in NZ is expensive (for a kiwi anyway!). Everything you will need can probably be purchased in Christchurch. Likewise with Photo Equipment! New Zealand is THE outdoors country!! You will be able to find really good quality camping, beach and outdoor equipment in almost every New Zealand city. Christchurch is no exception. If you are planning a long trip in NZ then it may be better to buy some of this stuff here rather than bring it all the way from home.
The Port Hills were once covered with native forest. Following colonisation of european settlers, the land was extensively burned and cleared to produce rolling hills for settlers livestock. Personally I dont think the land is very suitable for keeping animals, many parts are incredibly steep which makes you wonder how they round their sheep/cows up.
My favourite track at Mt Vernon Park is Gorge Track, it winds along a river, through native trees and bush and a pine plantation, and up onto grassy hills.
Espresso and Pizza after Shopping "All' Italiana"
This is Italian shopping at its best. Pasta, cheese, salami, parma ham, olive oil, canned tomatoes and beans, olives, coffee beans, grissini sticks, Bacio chocolates, a big selection of wines, and all the famous spirits and liquors like grappa, Fernet Branca, amaretto etc. Just everything you need to feel like in Italy, have a great antipasti platter at home or cook all those Italian delights.
Most products come at surprisingly reasonable prices, and many are cheaper than in the local supermarkets.
Integrated in the shop is a nice café and pizzeria for lunch and coffee. The menu is small but everything is delicious, especially the super thin crust pizzas and the fresh bread.
The red brick building is surrounded by (new) Roman arches which gives it a touch of colosseum, so immediately makes you think of Italy and the splendour of its food that is available in the shop and the café.
Open Mon-Fri 8am - 6pm
Sat/Sun 8am - 4pm
You can find outlets of this Mediterranean shop in Nelson and Wellington. And if you do not live there you can order online, just check the website.
When I flew to Christchurch I was travelling from Auckland in the North Island. I flew on Air New Zealand. The flight took a little over an hour. The service on Air New Zealand was excellent.
Fares have come down in price over the years and I recommend this airline if you are ever travelling to or within New Zealand.