Christchurch, New Zealand, is the oldest community in the country having been established in 1856. The first inhabitants, however, lived in the area about 1250. If you step back in time to about 1840, then you will discover the first Europeans landing here on whaling expeditions. This community saw a population explosion after the railroad arrived in 1856. Its location near the Southern Alps makes it a popular tourist destination, although agriculture still plays a key role in the city’s economy. The Pacific Ocean’s considerable influence on this region leaves it dry and temperate most of the year. Families visiting Christchurch, New Zealand, find a variety of things to do.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Covering over 30 hectares, something aromatic is always in bloom at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Visitors can also see a variety of sculptures that were especially created for this picturesque setting. If you get warm during your stroll, then take off your shoes to play in the paddling pool. Meanwhile, children can work off their energy at the expansive playground.
Two devastating earthquakes in 2011 threatened many historical sites in Christchurch, but the city is determined to not lose its heritage. Through extensive hard work, Cathedral Square has been reimagined after the earthquakes. Today, visitors can see geometrical-inspired artwork alongside beautiful gardens. Much of the artwork has been created using remains of the cathedral that was destroyed by the earthquakes.
The beautiful Canterbury Museum is one of the oldest buildings in Christchurch. This museum is known for bringing world-class exhibits to Christchurch regularly. Children love to explore natural history in the special discovery area set aside just for them while everyone can enjoy viewing the Asian artwork. This architecturally beautiful museum also contains examples of history from Christchurch.
185 White Chairs
Many Christchurch hotel guests that the most memorable thing they saw while in this city was the 185 White Chairs exhibit located on the corner of Cashel and Madras. Each chair represents a victim lost during the earthquakes of 2011. While each chair is unique, but together they represent the great tragedy of lost souls in the city. Visitors will want to make their plans to come to this memorial soon, however, because the city is still deciding if they want to make this memorial permanent.
Running daily from Christchurch to Greymouth, the Transalpine train is one of the most scenic train rides in the world. Riders can climb aboard in Christchurch for a 4.5-hour ride to Greymouth. Then, they have an hour to explore this city before heading back to Christchurch. One-way tickets are also available. This train ride is very enjoyable because of the reclining seats located next to large panoramic windows. Sky lighting makes the train ride even more enjoyable.
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Nature lovers should not leave Christchurch without visiting the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Visitors are introduced to many New Zealand animals while learning about steps that everyone needs to take to protect their fragile ecosystem. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet a kiwi without glass separating you from this animal. Additionally, guests should visit this location to learn more about the Maori culture along with eating an authentic Hangi meal.
There are many reasons to visit Christchurch, so make sure to book your accommodations very soon. Each family member will find something fun to do in this city steeped in history. Do not miss the opportunity to see these sites.