Christchurch is largely regarded as 'the most English' city in New Zealand. Located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, with an extensive coastline and numerous beaches, though the water temperature even in Summer is cooler than many might expect. It is also affectionately known as 'The Garden City' due to the number of well kept gardens, large parks and big trees both native and introduced found throughout the city, and extensively through the central Botanic Gardens. Running through the gardens, and a feature of Christchurch is the river Avon, the life blood of the city. In summer, Punts can be seen ferrying tourists and locals alike, gracefully upon it.
Post Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 that irreversibly transformed the face of the city as locals knew it, extensive redevelopment began. The success of this can be seen in the eclectic mix of architecture throughout the city, including numerous bars and cafes which line the banks of the Avon and bustle with patrons irrespective of the season. The re-birth of Christchurch also saw many fine murals gracing the walls of derelict buildings and also some new builds. Christchurch was the first 'planned' city in New Zealand, and although significant changes have been forced upon it due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, what now exists is a wonderfully vibrant, culturally diverse and architecturally fascinating city.
There's a lot to see and do in the magnificent city of Christchurch, the gateway to the South Island. Come join us as our guests, we'd love to tell you more.
The township of Akaroa lies approx 84km S.E of Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island. This pleasant township was originally founded by the French in 1840, and many residents are proud and protective of their heritage, so don't be surprised if you see the odd French flag flying and many street names with a French influence. These days more than 60% of the properties in Akaroa are holiday homes and the resident population is estimated to only be around 790.
The Harbour itself is home to the very friendly and frequently seen, Hector's Dolphins. There's an opportunity to swim with them, run by a local operator. Akaroa also happens to be home to one of New Zealands leading and most innovative sculptors, Josie Martin, creator of 'The Giants House' as it is known. So elaborate and extensive are the many works of art throughout the garden that it has been bestowed with the prestigous title of "Garden of International Significance". Visitors to Akaroa will find it an easy town to navigate on foot, but as much of the allure of this region is found not just in Akaroa itself but the surrounding area, a short tour is highly recommended.