Christchurch Canterbury Region South Island New Zealand

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Christchurch has a population of around 300,000. It’s the largest city on South Island of New Zealand.

Some people say it's the most attractive city in New Zealand. The city centre is filled with beautiful city parks along with plenty of private and public gardens. The shallow Avon River meanders right through the city and there is a pedestrian zone downtown on Cathedral Square.

Christchurch is home to one of New Zealand's two main international airports and is also connected via a tunnel to a seaport at Lyttleton, right on the Bank's Peninsula.

The city was founded by the English upper class and you can still see their influence today. The city's style and architecture both appear very British. The very English Christ's College School or the punts on the Avon River remind us firmly of who the early founders were.

Christchurch is centred around an impressive neo-Anglican Cathedral located right in the heart of its main square. Cathedral square is a hub for tourism, shopping and public transport. This is where you'll find the main tourist information centre. You can also take tours of the Cathedral itself. It will take you 133 steps to get to the top, but the views from there are amazing. You can see the whole city and well beyond.

Most of Christchurch's attractions can be reached by foot from Cathedral square, or alternatively you can rent a bike or hop on a bus. There's also a tram route that goes around the centre of the city.

One of city's oddest attractions is the "Wizard of Christchurch". This eccentric character (a former sociology lecturer) used to appear every day at one O clock in the afternoon. He would stand in front of the crowds and rant and rave for hours, about his various causes. One held dear to his heart was the inversion of the world map to place New Zealand at its rightful place - the top! Unfortunately, he’s long since retired, but was proclaimed "Wizard of New Zealand" in 1990 for his long standing service.

The University of Canterbury, New Zealand's second oldest university, established in 1873, is located in the suburb of Ilam in Christchurch. It offers degrees in Law, Arts, Commerce, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Forestry, Music, Social Work, Speech and Language Therapy, Science, Sports Coaching and Teaching. Christchurch also has a lively nightlife and the Buzz that surrounds all student towns.

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