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Christchurch City

A plains city, shaken but not stirred

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Punting on the Avon River

The capital city in the Canterbury province, Christchurch is often described as the most "English" city in New Zealand, and often known as the garden city, noted for its extensive public and private gardens where you can smell the flowers or meditate under a tree.

The city is bordered by the Port Hills, the Pacific ocean, and situated on the edge of The Canterbury Plains that stretches west for 30 miles to the Southern Alps.

An arrival point for visitors to the country, Christchurch is a centre of learning, with several universities, polytechnics and a medical school. It has a vibrant night life and excellent shopping.

Christchurch is accessible by air with its large international and domestic airport. Or by rail, bus, private car, rental car and some even hitchhike. The port of Lyttleton caters for yachts, cruise liners and cargo ships and there are many tours available.

Climate:
Christchurch gets occasional snow falls in winter and many frosts usually followed by mild sunny days. Annual rainfall is about 60 inches per year. The summer is generally warm to hot with day time temperatures from 20 - 28 degrees C. Spring is the more damp rather than wet season and characterised by an abundance of blossom on the flowering trees and gardens. Where as autumn is dryer and features the colours of the trees changing.

Historic Places:
Since the earthquakes there are still a few remains of the gothic style of architecture that developed in Christchurch more that other cities where it was favoured for churches and schools. Some buildings have been restored and other styles reflect late Victorian and Edwardian times. Although most older buildings have given way to the new, the few that remain hint at how the old city may have appeared. If you have an interest in the past, the central library has excellent records and photos as does the museum.

Markets

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Christchurch Farmers Market

Great places to buy your weekly fruits and vegetables. Local producers sell direct to the public. You'll find organic veggies, free range eggs, bread, meat, fish, cheese, juices, herbs and plants along with many treats.

Supporting local producers directly supports the local community; as when you buy from most shops, you are supporting international corporations

Christchurch Farmers Market Saturday mornings at Ricarton Bush, a short walk from Ricccarton mall (Westfield). 9.00am - 1.00pm.

Christchurch Sunday Market at  Riccarton Raceway. 8.00am - 2.00pm. As well as food, there is a wide range of brick-a-brak, books, second hand, live music etc.

Lyttelton Farmers Market. Every Saturday from 10am to 1pm, on London Street, Lyttelton.

Entertainment
During the summer months, you will find a wide range of entertainment in public places, lunchtime concerts in Cathedral Square, "huge evening concerts in the park" with great fireworks displays and the annual buskers festival in January.

At Night
You will find a wide range of bar restaurants, cinemas, bars & nightclubs. Many touring shows with pop/rock shows at the Addington Stadium.

By day
About the city, there are numerous drives and day trips like the seaside suburb of Sumner for a stroll along the esplanade or a swim in the ocean. Lyttleton & Diamond Harbour, a day trip to Akaroa,Oxford & Mt. Richardson, Lake Taylor & Lake Sumner. South along the hills of Banks Peninsula lies the suburb Halswell and the village of Tai Tapu around where there are several wineries and café's amid the farms.

The Christchurch Earthquakes
The Canterbury region and Christchurch city has been rocked by many earthquakes beginning with a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on Saturday September 4th 2010, moderate damage occurred to older buildings in the city and suburbs, however most normal services returned to normal within a few days.

A violent and far more devastating earthquake occurred in February 2011 that claimed lives and destroyed the already weakened buildings.  The aftershocks have diminished and life has returned to a new normal with reconstruction of the city still underway.

Christchurch today

This is a little of how the city looked before the 2010 -2011 earthquakes.

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