Christchurch Hotels and Accommodation
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Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. It is widely known that Christchurch has been devastated by thousands of earthquakes- four intense earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 6.0 to 7.2 since September 2010. The city centre has suffered the most devastating blow. Unfortunately, some of the attractions and venues are temporarily closed for reconstruction. For this reason, there are really few who still consider the city a tourist destination. The city’s reconstruction has already started. In contrast to the public belief, the second biggest city of New Zeeland has signalled a new era, offering an inspirational survival lesson.
Although winter in Christchurch is cold and freezing, summers are considerably warm. On the other hand, spring and autumns are pretty mild. Locals insist on wearing a raincoat all year around, since Christchurch is rainy. If you are willing to visit the city before the 23rd of March, you have the opportunity to visit the innovative street art “Rise/Oi You!” exhibition, presented by the Canterbury Museum. Summer seems to be the ideal season to visit Christchurch. The Christchurch Arts Festival is the largest arts’ festival in South Island, starting on 12th of August. Summer travellers should surely visit the beaches located around the wider area of Redcliffs. Surf lovers should consider visiting New Brighton, which is definitely the hottest spot for surfing.
Swimming and surfing are only two options out of a wide variety of sports and outdoor activities. No one leaves Christchurch unsatisfied, since there are options literally for everyone- hiking, mountain biking or skiing at the Southern Alps, rafting at Banks Peninsula, go golfing or try bungee-jumping. You can also enjoy a bike ride around Christchurch. The city is described as the “New Zealand Amsterdam”, because of its flat surface. Therefore, Christchurch is a great place to go cycling. The choice is yours!
If you are not willing to add fitness in your agenda, sightseeing seems a good alternative. The city is famous for the gothic cathedral, the diverse neo-gothic public architecture, the city’s green parks and gardens. It has four different squares, which surround the central one. Christ Church Cathedral is a famous gothic Anglican cathedral, which is located at the heart of the city centre. Despite the earthquakes, the cathedral’s beautiful architecture has remained untouched. The Gothic Revival architecture of the cathedral was the reason it is one of the monuments in the World Heritage list.
There is a gentle river that flows through the centre. Christchurch has received the nickname “Garden City” for a reason. Avon River’s banks are pretty fertile, creating a big urban park all along the river. The Hagley Park is not only Christchurch’s biggest park, but also the 3rd biggest city park in the world. Don’t lose the chance to take a relaxing walk at Hagley Park. The walkers should head to the absolutely stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens, located within the Hagley Park. After meandering around, you will see the impressive Rose Garden. Its outstanding collection consists of more than 250 rose varieties, coming from the four corners of the earth.
After visiting the top tourist attractions, the purchase of souvenirs is surely a must. In case you have made up your mind about shopping, it is about time to visit the Re:Start Cashel Mall. This unusual mall consists of multiple colourful containers. The mall was constructed after the earthquake in order to replace the collapsed shopping buildings. At Re:Start Cashel Mall, there are several boutiques which sell famous designers’ clothes. A coffee break is ideal to recharge your batteries. Multiple cafeterias such as Dose Diner, Hummingbird Café and Crafted Coffee Company are the perfect place to enjoy your coffee, tea or snack within the mall.
An all-day walk will surely make you hungry. If you are looking for a quick treat, grab a snack from the Canterbury Cheesemonger. There is also the choice of a Mexican taco. Mamacita’s is one of the best, reasonably priced Tex-Mex in the area. Travellers, who prefer European, Asian and Australian tastes, choose the Saggio Di Vino hands down. The restaurant offers great wine options and high quality food. Among a great deal of gourmet dishes, try the popular, local dishes “Hapuka fillet” and the “The King of Snake”. Whatever you choose – snack, fast food or proper meals- leave some space for dessert. Skip your diet for a day and succumb to your sweet tooth’s wishes. Taste the incredibly delicious, colourful Lolly Cake, you won’t regret it.
The end of the day is incomplete without a night-out. A wide range of pubs and bars are located in Christchurch. Smash Palace is an alternative and definitely not common pub. Smash Palace’s name is a humorous reference to both Christchurch’s former disaster and a cult Kiwi movie. For those who like cocktails, Diamond Bar is ready to mix multiple ingredients only for your eyes! 3,500 hanging crystals and chic decorations are ready to accommodate your cocktail dreams! If you are willing to become part of the city, you should follow the city’s flow. New Zealanders love gambling, so go with the flow and visit the Christchurch Casino. Do not forget your formal outfit, since there is a strict dress code.
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The aftermath of the earthquake is still obvious in the city. However, they occupants never say die. They have used a natural disaster as an inspiration to create an astonishing, unprecedented, city-centre atmosphere. Christchurch never stops progressing. The earthquake-struck Christchurch is ready to rock your world!