Christchurch with its large number of parks, reserves and golf courses is also known as the “Garden City”. Gardening is popular in Christchurch, and, every year, the City Council arranges competitions among the city areas to choose the most beautiful streets, homes and factories. Christchurch is a charming city. The beautiful Avon River is lined with many sidewalk cafes, and straw-hatted boatmen propel punts full of sightseers over the gentle water. Restored streetcars travel around the scenic city center. The city has beautiful shopping centres, department stores and boutiques. The beachside suburbs of Sumner, Mt Pleasant and New Brighton are very popular with swimmers and surfers.
Christchurch, with 390,000 people, is a gateway to the South Island, and the second largest city in New Zealand. Cantabrians, as people of this province are known, are great rugby fans, and strongly support their home team, The Crusaders. The city is so flat that the bicycle is a popular means of transport and most roads have cycle lanes for cyclists. Within a 90-minute drive from Christchurch you can find eight ski resorts, with Mt Hutt hosting several international winter-sports competitions each year. The city boasts many beautiful beaches, and great boating and fishing, especially around Banks Peninsula, located approximately one hour’s drive from Christchurch.
The local economy has a thriving agricultural industry mainly producing vegetables, cereals, grapes, meat, dairy products, wool, horticultural products, timber and aquaculture. Secondary and emerging industries including tourism, high-tech electronic and electrical engineering, software development, biotechnology and education. Canterbury offers an incomparable lifestyle.
Christchurch has all the excitement and convenience of a big city without the hassle – no major traffic jams, or the social problems associated with larger metropolitan cities.
Christchurch is a very safe city and offers various entertainment options and work opportunities, especially in the tourism and hospitality industries. It is possible to study during the day and find part-time work starting in the late afternoon and ending early in the evening.
Christchurch is also a center for adventure and extreme sports with easy access to mountains, high-country tramping, sailing, sea, lake and river fishing. Incredibly scenic Queenstown, a short flight or a five-hour drive away, has a huge range of attractions like skydiving, jetboating, paragliding, skiing, snowboarding, white-water rafting, bungee jumping and more.
For students, living in Christchurch is extremely cheap compared to some other cities – the final cost may be up to 30% less, because the vast majority of accommodation options are cheaper and are located in the downtown area. The bus service is frequent, regular and moderately priced, and is the envy of other cities. Large supermarkets have a wide range of foods at low prices, and wage levels reflect the city’s prosperity.
Besides being a charming and sophisticated city with an exciting nightlife, world-class restaurants and cultural activities, Christchurch people are, above all, friendly people and internationally focused. With its temperate climate and easy access to mountains and sea, Canterbury is the ideal place for people who enjoy being outdoors.
Christchurch has a modern international airport just 10km from the city centre. There is a large Visitor Centre and three i-SITEs.
Beaches Around Christchurch
In Christchurch you will find many beach options. The three main beaches, which are 10 minutes away by bus or car, are Sumner, New Brighton and Taylor’s Mistake.
Sumner is the most highly recommended for those who want to enjoy the beach scene in both winter and summer. Luxurious hotels, restaurants, bars and ice cream are to be found on this beach, which makes it very popular with tourists. Here you can find lots of people at the end of the day, even on weekdays, relaxing and enjoying the sunset. On weekends, many people take time to bask in the sun, play tag, beach volleyball, soccer or rugby, and of course stroll up and down the waterfront, stretch out on a towel, enjoy the breeze, or catch some waves.
New Brighton gives you the opportunity of enjoying long stretches of sand, or playing sports like soccer, surfing, kitesurfing and many more. You will find a beautiful pier there – it is a great place to stroll up and down, and take pictures. Have you ever imagined a library where you can “study” while enjoying a wonderful view out to sea, and playing video games? This library exists and is to be found at New Brighton beach. In addition to the main City Library in Christchurch, located in the city centre, students can still enjoy many great library branch options.
An excellent choice for surfers, Taylor’s Mistake is a cozy retreat, protected by hills, forming a small bowl which resembles Rosa Beach in Santa Catarina. There is a surf school there, for those who are in the know. Many people go to this beach for the day to enjoy a totally different feeling from any of the other Christchurch beaches. For those who like walking, there are several trails on the hills heading up over Banks Peninsula.
Besides these three options, around Christchurch there are many other beaches for all tastes and lifestyles. For example, near Lyttelton Harbour there are gorgeous, tranquil beaches and lagoons, combining salt water and the beautiful green of the deep Pacific Ocean.
Many families seek out these places in summer to have a picnic and spend the day. You will meet a variety of people, predominantly young and you can make some new friends.
Night Life And Entertainment
Night and day, Christchurch is a very busy place. On weekend nights, the happening places are bars and nightclubs located in Riccarton and the city centre. During the week, you can also find good parties everywhere.
The rhythms are varied, ranging from electronic music like House, Electro House, Spy Trance and Drum and Bass, through to Hip Hop, Rock and Roll and the 60s sounds, 70s and 80s music to more specific styles such as Samba and Salsa.
Of the more than 30 options in Christchurch, there are only one or two where you need to pay to enter, because almost all are free. As all options are located in the city center and are close to each other, you will find a multitude of people walking on the street, going from bar to bar enjoying the differences of each.
For those who do not like parties that start late at night, you will also find several options to enjoy a good happy hour, sitting in a bar with friends or even alone to meet new people is something very common in Christchurch. Many games of chance are available as well as options to have a flutter on the horses.
Lovers of cultural life also have their space, as Christchurch is full of art galleries, museums, historic buildings and sites with a strong British influence. This architectural style pervades the city, with its tree-lined streets and its parks scattered throughout the city, full of options for daytime activities.