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16 July 201402:37

Christchurch First XI: Tourist Highlights

The New York Times ranked Christchurch number two on its list of 52 places to go in 2014 and now you can find out why!

Christchurch First XI: Tourist Highlights - Cricket News
This week we show you 11 must-do things in the South Island’s largest city and gateway to the Canterbury region – Christchurch.

Christchurch will host three matches at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, including the tournament’s opening ceremony and opening match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka on 14 February 2015. Click here for a full fixture list for Christchurch.

Punting on the Avon
Experience life the way it should be – relaxed, tranquil and thoroughly enjoyable! Sink back into the velvet cushions of your boat as the Edwardian punter gently glides you down the Avon River, passing the trailing willows and leafy banks of the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens. This is an iconic Christchurch experience and an attraction not to be missed! Visit website.

Feeling peckish?
With a myriad different dining and nightlife options, Victoria Street is the place to be. From stylish and funky Asian fusion, to spicy Latin flavours and modern European fair, you are sure to find the perfect restaurant for even the fussiest eater. Then grab your dancing shoes and continue on late into the night with bars, clubs and the Christchurch Casino.

All aboard!
Step on board the classic 1960s London Open Top Double Decker bus, which has been converted to run on eco-friendly bio-diesel, for a fun and informative tour of Christchurch. Learn about Christchurch’s fascinating history from the pioneering days through to modern day times. You can also learn about the Christchurch rebuild and how the city is recovering following the Canterbury Quakes of 2010 and 2011. Visit website.

Experience Antarctica
One of New Zealand's best tourist and family attractions, the International Antarctic Centre based at Christchurch airport provides visitors of all ages with an interactive, fun and exciting experience of Antarctica. The centre includes a hagglund ride, an ice voyage 4D Show, a snow and ice experience, a penguin encounter and an informative, hands on display. Visit website.

A taste of France
The charming French inspired port of Akaroa is a picturesque 90 minute drive from Christchurch. Cradled in the arms of an ancient volcano, you can take in sweeping harbour views and see the outer bays from a hilltop vantage point. In the village itself, spend a leisurely day exploring boutique shops, an antique museum, galleries and gourmet eateries, or swim with the rare Hector’s dolphin.
Visit website.

Taste Canterbury
Have a taste of Canterbury in Waipara, only 40 minutes north of Christchurch. New Zealand’s fasted growing wine region, tour the flavours of Waipara Valley’s North Canterbury Food & Wine Trail. With over 24 wineries, 15 cellar doors and specialised winery restaurants, you can sample innovative menus at local cafés, visit farm gate and artisan producers. Visit website.

Alpine paradise
Hanmer Springs is a beautiful alpine setting for a weekend of indulgence, rejuvenation or adventure. Just 90 minutes from Christchurch, soak in natural hot pools, explore mountain bike and nature trails, enjoy gourmet dining or have a shot of adrenalin with bungee and jet boating. Hanmer Springs is a picturesque and exciting destination with no shortage of activities to entertain and renew. Visit website.

Ocean adventure
Imagine a place where the mountains plunge into the ocean, and whales, dolphins, seals and sea birds abound. Just two hour’s drive from Christchurch, you can escape to Kaikoura where you’ll find a huge range of activities and experiences, all set against a dramatic coastal backdrop. Enjoy the breath-taking beauty of this rugged peninsula and feast on fresh local crayfish to top off a world class nature experience. Visit website.

High country heaven
The ever-changing high country landscape acts as the perfect playground for visitors of all ages and fitness levels and makes Terrace Downs a unique, captivating year-round holiday destination in Canterbury’s high country. There are a selection of resort-operated leisure and adventure activities to choose from, including an 18-hole championship golf course, spa treatments, jet boating, clay pigeon shooting course, archery range and salmon and trout fishing. Visit website.

Among the clouds
Pristine snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and a network of powder blue canals form the tapestry of this remarkable region. At the heart of it all towers the country’s highest mountain peak, the majestic Aoraki Mount Cook, otherwise known as the Cloud Piercer. Trek the well-worn paths of New Zealand’s mountain climbing pioneers or enjoy a stunning view of this dramatic landscape from the comfort of a luxurious alpine suite. Visit website.

Alps 2 Ocean
The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is truly one of New Zealand's great rides. For over 300 kilometres, visitors can experience some of the most beautiful scenery New Zealand has to offer. Suitable for all ages, the trail is an easy grade, and offers a pleasing mix of on and off-road trails that link the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean. Allow 4-6 days for the entire ride, or simply try out a day excursion.
Visit website.

For more information on what to do in Christchurch, visit: www.christchurchnz.com