View from the top, Christchurch
Christchurch is located in Canterbury on the central East Coast of the South Island. The Canterbury Plains are the largest area of fertile, flat land in New Zealand. When you fly in, take a look at the patchwork quilt of the plains.
Fondest memory: My first visit to Christchurch was when I was in my teens to visit relatives. My Mum was born in Christchurch (a mainlander as they call themselves) and we still had a few relatives down there.
The weather seemed to be always good and on my first visit, I had never seen so many bicycles. Domestic gardens were also very pretty with their colour beds of flowers.
While the city and the lovely Avon River is always memorable, getting out of the city was also great and doing a one day trip down to Mt Cook, passing through all the little towns was just fabulous. If you are only based in Christchurch, try and fit this into one of your days. Its an early start to do the tour but well worth it to see some stunning scenery.
(photo from canterburypages.co.nz)
Favorite thing: Christchurch is a very flat city. You get a real sense of this from the air when you are on your way out. The city is squished up against the port hills with homes covering much of their lower slopes. There are two main beaches being Brighton and Sumner with Sumner by far the nicer of the two. There's also Taylor's Mistake over the hill from Sumner. The airport is at the North of the city and in the foreground of the photo. Hagley Park is in the middle of the city and can be seen as the expance of land in front of the lighter coloured buildings in the centre of the photo.
Go up the Gondola near the tunnel to Lyttleton(the port). The view across the Canterbury Plain is spectacular. You can see the east coast in both the north and south and the Southern Alps to the West. Christchurch below and the province are there to see in perspective.
Especially if there has just been a southerly front through and the day is clear and sunny - in the winter the snow makes the Southern Alps appear a lot closer.
Also go to the Arts Centre. LOcal craftsmen and artisans sell New Zealand products. Cheaper than in Auckland too.
Fondest memory: Rugby at Jade Stadium.
Fondest memory: .....when I saw out of the plane window the Canterbury Plains and I thought: 'Yes girl, you made it, your dream came true!!'