With just under 400,000 residents, Christchurch is the biggest city on the South Island of New Zealand, and is the third biggest in the country as a whole. Christchurch is also the oldest established city in New Zealand, and thrives in the farming industry, primarily thanks to its location along the banks of the Avon river. If you are thinking of moving to New Zealand, Christchurch is certainly a destination to consider.
Avonside, as its name suggests, is situated right beside the Avon river. This is one of the oldest suburbs in Christchurch. As an inner suburb, Avonside is close to the central business district so is ideal for those commuting into the city for work.
Sydenham lies just south of the city centre and is a largely residential area, though there is a little industry in the form of small businesses and retail.
Wigram Park may be a location to consider when moving to Christchurch as it has plenty of nearby local amenities. This suburb is very close to the industrial estates in Sockburn, and retail is available in the neighbouring suburb of Hornby. Wigram is home to Canterbury Agricultural Park, and used to host a Royal New Zealand air force base, though this closed at the end of the 20th century as a result of cuts to military spending.
Sumner is a coastal seaside suburb named after the 1849 Archbishop of Canterbury John Bird Sumner. Situated in a scenic coastal valley, Sumner is the perfect location if surfing, swimming and boating find themselves at the top of your priorities.
Getting Around in Christchurch
Christchurch has a metro system which covers bus services operating throughout the city and suburbs, as well as the local ferry, which crosses Lyttelton harbour, running between Lyttelton to Diamond Harbour. All services within the Metro system can be paid for using a metrocard, which is a pay as you go travelcard for public transport in Christchurch. The metrocard offers discounted prices for under 18s and free off-peak travel for senior citizens.
There is also the option of using Christchurch Tramway, which operates a one-way circuit around the city centre. The Tram is mainly a tourist attraction, but is useful for some commuters who can purchase a season ticket.
Things to do in Christchurch
Like most large cities, Christchurch has plenty to offer by way of things to do and see. There are a variety of museums including the Air Force Museum and the Canterbury Museum, and Quake City offers an interactive re-telling of the disasters of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. For entertainment, Christchurch has multiple theatres showcasing various forms of art. The city is often nicknamed ‘garden city’ due to its masses of green space, consisting of many parks and gardens.
Christchurch is home to the oldest bridge in New Zealand, located in Victoria Square.
The city is named after Christchurch College at Oxford University
There is an official “wizard of Christchurch”