The Top 5 Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand and the third-largest in the country, with a population of 400,000, offers an interesting mix of art, culture, history, nature, and outdoor activities not far from the city. town.

Although it suffered two devastating earthquakes in late 2010 and early 2011, which destroyed many houses and buildings in the central city, it was completely removed and rebuilt.

Whether you're passing through on a long trip to the South Island or planning to spend a few days in Christchurch and the surrounding Canterbury region:

Here are 5 must-see sights and activities!

1. Pay respect at the Earthquake Memorial

In 2010 and 2011, Christchurch and the surrounding areas were affected by two powerful earthquakes, in addition to a series of aftershocks in the following months. On September 4, 2010, the first was more powerful (7.1 on the Richter scale), but the second, on February 22, 2011 (6.3), was more destructive.

The Canterbury Earthquake National Monument opened in 2017 and commemorates the earthquakes and lives lost. Designed by Slovenian architect Grega Vezjak, the names of the 185 dead are etched into the marble panels of a wall that runs along the banks of the River Avon in the center of the city.

2. Punt on the River Avon

Flowing from the hills of west Christchurch, the River Avon winds leisurely through the center of the city. A popular activity is taking a sightseeing boat ride (a flat-bottom boat propelled by a long pole pushed against the bottom of the river) with a guide dressed in Old English costume, which can be seen in the English city of Cambridge.

Alternatively, you can rent a kayak and go self-guided paddling. The water quality here is not optimal, so swimming should be avoided.

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Source: Peter and Yen

3. Be intrigued by the unusual cardboard cathedral

One of the second victims of the Christchurch earthquake was the partial collapse of the city's Anglican cathedral of the same name, Christchurch Cathedral, in the city center. The Christchurch Transitional Cathedral (also known as the Cardboard Cathedral) was built and opened in 2013, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.

It is an A-frame building constructed largely of cardboard tubes and decorated with colored triangular glass windows on the front. It's sturdier than it looks and definitely weather resistant.

4. Take a day trip to the Banks Peninsula

The Bulbous Volcanic Banks Peninsula stretches southeast of the city of Christchurch and is an ideal destination for day trips to the great outdoors. Here you can go hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and dolphin watching. Dolphin watching in a kayak is an enchanting experience, as you get a chance to see the world's smallest and rarest dolphin up close, Hector the dolphin, without the hassle of traveling in a large boat.

To experience a little of the rare French culture (and food!) In Nova Zelândia, trust Vila de Akaroa, which the French colonizers established in 1840. Historians credit that the French colonization of Akaroa led Grã-Bretanha to accelerate the annexation of New Zealand.

5. Swim at Sumner Beach

Each seaside town has its own beach play areas, and Sumner Beach meets that need for Christchurch residents. About a 20-minute drive southeast of downtown, Sumner has a 1,300-foot stretch of sand, a paved boardwalk, cliffs, and a rock cave to explore, and it's good for a swim while lifeguards patrol you in the summer.

Scarborough Beach, east of Sumner, is good for surfing but less suitable for swimming.

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