Visit Christchurch for a suitably laidback and gentrified city stay.
With its Botanical Gardens and blossoming Hagley Park to enjoy during summer, or skiing the slopes in winter, as well as Whale-watching trips around nearby Kaikoura, tea houses, country walks and wine tours, plus the obligatory adrenaline sports of jet boating and skydiving, of course, you'll have plenty to do.
Coastal Christchurch is certainly a place to enjoy life at a leisurely pace, as although there’s a great mix of biking trails around wider Canterbury, waterfall treks, rafting, jet boat tours and the fun-filled zip-lines of Christchurch Adventure Park, the city itself offers something altogether different.
Here, time is best spent wandering around the city’s Botanical Gardens and other green spaces, perhaps punting down the River Avon, visiting a Christchurch food market, taking a spa day or admiring the views from the Christchurch Gondola and top of Mount Cavendish.
There are bohemian cafés and bars to lose yourself in for an afternoon too, as well as a thriving art scene and clutch of museums, even an urban wildlife reserve at Willowbank where Kiwi birds and Maori performances can both be admired.
For movie buffs, Christchurch is also a great base to hop off on a Lord of the Rings tour, or you could take the scenic TranzAlpine rail journey to Greymouth once you’ve had your fill of culture, street art, good food and the wine tours that Canterbury is loved for.
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