Take a close look at the...
Take a close look at the beautiful Cathedral - it has been designed by Benjamin Mountford 1864 after the magnificent cathedral of Caen,
France. The second photo shows the former Canterbury Provincial Government Buldings at Chathedral Square, today you can find the
post office (main building) there.
The early History of Christchurch (2)
Early in 1848 the Canterbury Association was formed, and it was decided to name the capital city Christchurch after the college John Godley had gone to at Oxford University. Land was bought from the Mâori owners. Godley arrived with his family on the Lady Nugent on 12 April 1850, Captain Thomas had built a jetty, customs house and barracks accommodation for the newly arrived settlers.
He had planned three towns - Christchurch, Sumner and Lyttelton (named after Lord Lyttelton, chairman of the Canterbury Association) and started building a road to Sumner by way of Evans Pass. Unfortunately money was running out, and work on the road had to stop.
Godley and Thomas did not get on very well together, and Godley left for Wellington, arriving back in Christchurch just before the arrival of the first four ships which had left England in September 1850. The Charlotte Jane arrived in Lyttelton on the morning of 16 December 1850, the Randolph on the afternoon of 16 December, followed by the Sir George Seymour on 17 December, and the Cressy, on 27 December.
The passengers from the ships stayed in the Immigration Barracks, in tents, or V-huts (basic huts built quickly and simply). The Deans brothers at Riccarton, and the Rhodes brothers at Purau supplied food. All heavy luggage had to be taken by small boat around to the Estuary and up the Avon to Christchurch. Other lighter luggage was carried over the Bridle Path.
The first 'selection days' to ballot sections of land in the new towns were held in February 1851. The most popular town sections at first were those in Lyttelton. The first school, newspaper and bank opened in Lyttelton in 1851. Gradually the new arrivals moved over the Port Hills to Christchurch, and the town there grew.
Within a year eight chartered Canterbury Association ships and another seven privately backed ships had arrived, bringing the population of the settlement to 3000. -
Many new arrivals moved out onto the plains, where the land was good for sheep and cattle farming. Early in 1852 news of the Australian gold rushes attracted young men from the Canterbury settlement, so public works, such as roads, slowed over the next three years.
On 30 June 1832 the NZ Constitution Act was passed in England. NZ was divided into six provinces, each with their own administration, including an elected Superintendent. Godley was invited but decided to return to England.
Under the new provincial system, Canterbury's first superintendent was James Edward Fitzgerald, elected on 20 July 1853.
Christchurch became NZ's first city in 1856 under the terms of a royal charter. This was because it was the base for a bishop. The Reverend Henry John Chitty Harper became Archbishop of Canterbury. He established the Anglican Church in Canterbury, and was behind the building of the Christ Church Cathedral.
On 24 August 1857 the road from Lyttelton to Sumner was completed. But it was a difficult road, not many people drove over. The new Superintendent, William Sefton Moorhouse, decided to connect the city and port by a railway tunnel through the Port Hills. Work began in 1860, but came to a halt due to extremely hard rock. Finally on 9 December 1867 the tunnel was opened as NZ's first rail tunnel.
In 1855 assisted immigration, which means: the fare was paid for selected workers, began. So between 1863 and 1864 over 6000 new settlers arrived.
Although Christchurch prospered and got a lot of public buildings, it still had no cathedral. The foundation stone had been laid in 1864, and the foundations finished in 1865 before the money ran out. Bishop Harper gave 50 pounds a year from his salary towards the building fund. Others followed his example and by 1873 building started again. The tower and main part of the cathedral were finished by 1881, and although the rest was not completed until 1904, from the 1880s Christchurch was known as the "Cathedral City".
Watch the National Game
The Crusaders are the most successful of all Super 12 Rugby teams. They have many stars of the famous All Blacks and play an open form of the game running the ball as much as possible. The NPC team also has many stars so you can get your Rugby fix from March through to October when the seasons running. Make sure you bring warm clothes as most rugby is played at night-time and in winter it can get a bit chilly. The best stands to be in over winter are the number 2 and 3 stand as they are covered and on level 2 or higher in the Paul Kelly stand. If it's raining the DB stand (at the Port Hills end of the park) isn't too bad as it keeps the very cold Southerly off your back however it's out in the open!! The level one seating in the Paul Kelly stand is the most open to the elements as the wind can hit you from all directions. It's where the teams run on & off the ground so if you get low down & in the middle of the stand you get a good close up of your favourite player.
Ferrymead Historic Park: If...
Ferrymead Historic Park: If you are travelling with children, you may want to check out Ferrymead (269 Bridle Path Road) to sample what Christchurch was like back in colonial times. Conversely, the trams in the central city were provided by this park.
Seriously, drivers in Christchurch are the worse in the world, they cut in front of you, they dont give way to you, they speed, there are boy racers, teenagers with altered cars who drive like stupid and leave drag marks over the roads, and who got a speeding ticket today?? ME!!! the traffic lights turned orange and i sped up because it was too late to stop and the police gave me an $80 dollar fine...
Anyway, Christchurch has a great number of roundabouts, and some of these are double laned, so you have to be in a certain one to turn a certain way. Also most roads are single laned, so often there are people overtaking dangerously, or if you want to overtake someone often the road is too bendy or busy to do so. Still you cant always blame the locals (though I do), anyone with a drivers licence from overseas can drive in New Zealand, so there are often accidents where tourists go onto the wrong side of the road (drivers in New Zealand drive on the left side of the road).
So anyway if you are driving in new zealand, remember to get insurance!