Christchurch is the South Island's largest city, located on the eastern coast near Banks Peninsula.
Christchurch is a flat and sprawling city at the edge of the Canterbury Plains. To the south and east is Banks Peninsula, a cluster of extinct volcanoes. The Port Hills at the edge of the city form part of the crater rim of one of these volcanoes, and offer a variety of short walks. Across the plains, good day trips are possible in the foothills at the edge of the Canterbury Plains.
The September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes have had a significant and lasting impact on the city, with the destruction of the majority of the central business district and the disappearance of a great many landmarks. Many businesses have moved to suburbs, and accommodation options are limited. Visitors should organise accommodation prior to arrival, and should confirm the locations of retailers and businesses.
Christchurch is a good base for stocking up on hiking gear and supplies, and for planning activities. Many outdoors retailers are located at the Tower Junction Shopping Centre, near the eastern end of Blenheim Road.
- Christchurch i-SITE Visitor Centre
Botanic Gardens, Rolleston Avenue (next to the Canterbury Museum).
+64 3 379 9629
- Department of Conservation Ōtautahi / Christchurch Visitor Centre
Botanic Gardens Information Centre, Christchurch Botanic Gardens. From the western end of Armagh Street, cross the bridge and take the road into the gardens. From the car park, cross the foot bridge. The visitor centre is nearby.
+64 3 379 4082
|1,426 square kilometres|