Christchurch is still kicking around since the seismic events of 2011 but you might not recognise the new landscape. You’ll still find the iconic treasures that make this the most ‘English’ city south of the equator but it will also surprise and fascinate you with the new creative ways of doing things: a mall made out of brightly coloured shipping containers, a cathedral made out of cardboard, pop up bars, Gap Fillers and an abundance of street art is creating new treasures to discover.
With newly reopened hotels like Accor, Rendezvous and Rydges, there is also plenty of opportunity to make Christchurch your base to explore the unique experiences and diverse scenery only found in the wider Canterbury region.
Kaikoura is two-and-a-half hours north of Christchurch and offers a host of marine experiences, from spotting whales on board the Whale Watch Kaikoura Catamaran or swimming with dolphins with Encounter Kaikoura. Or travel south-west to the relaxing Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa, well known for its healing (and of course relaxing) properties.
Akaroa is a one-and-a-half hour drive south east of Christchurch over the regal Banks Peninsula. The French beat the English to this gem of a spot and the legacy is visible in this distinctly French influenced township. Akaroa Harbour offers Black Cat nature cruises where guests can have the unique experience of swimming with world’s smallest and rarest dolphins, the Hectors.
A trip to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park (an hour south of Tekapo) is essential. Here you’ll find New Zealand’s longest glacier and highest mountain, Tasman Glacier and Mt Cook. It is one of the only places in the world where the glacier and terminal lake can be easily explored thanks to Glacier Explorers.
Learn more about the Christchurch and Canterbury regions by completing the ‘100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Programme’. Visit www.traveltrade.newzealand.com for more information.
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