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Christchurch, the international gateway to the South Island, is famous for its natural beauty and huge range of attractions and activities. With the centrally located 161ha Hagley Park and Botanic Gardens, Victoria Park, leafy avenues, and spectacular gardens like Mona Vale on the banks of the Avon River, Christchurch certainly lives up to its internationally recognised title of “The Garden City”.

Christchurch has an abundance of activities and attractions, festivals, art and culture, stunning parks and gardens, 19th Century buildings and unique and diverse retail outlets. Experience a multitude of must-see attractions such as the Botanic Gardens, the Arts Centre, and Art Gallery, take a tram through the city or ride the Gondola for magnificent views of the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps.

Avon River ChristchurchOther varied attractions include the International Antarctic Centre, Orana Wildlife Park, cruising on Lyttelton Harbour or a stroll through the Cultural Precinct - education, art, science, government, religion, history and recreation all within an area of less than a square kilometer in the heart of the city.

The surrounding area is a largely undiscovered playground. The varied landscape includes rugged ocean beaches, wide braided rivers, spectacular gorges, fertile plains, and beyond to the majestic Southern Alps. From bungi-jumping, jet boating and skiing for the thrill seekers, to hiking in the Port Hills, visiting award Canterbury Wine Regionswinning wineries or punting on the Avon for those wanting a more relaxing holiday, Christchurch has it all.

North of Christchurch is Waipara, a rapidly growing wine region producing world class wine ranging from rich, spicy Pinot Noir to aromatic, dry Riesling. With 24 wine producers in the region, including 11 cellar door operations and 3 vineyard based restaurants, there are ample opportunities to sample the local wine and food.

Continue inland to Hamner Springs and relax in the hot pools, or head further north to Kaikoura where you can take a Whale Watch Tour, swim with the dolphins or sample the local delicacy of fresh crayfish.