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Must see attractions in Christchurch
Christchurch had a hard go of things in the past few years due to the impact of earthquakes. The city has rebounded remarkably since being hit, and has taken the chance to completely re-brand itself. Christchurch has the most unique characters of any city in New Zealand.
As one of the best gateways to explore a variety of New Zealand scenery "from the ocean to the alps", Christchurch has many things to see.
To make things that little bit easier, here is the Top 10 Things to do in Christchurch.
1. Adrenaline Forest Christchurch
If you're looking for a bit of a rush combined with a physical challenge, then head to the Adrenalin Forest, high wire/rope, zip line and flying fox attraction set amongst a great forest setting. The attraction blends freedom, fear and fun into a single entertaining package.
2. Visit Arthur's Pass
Bridging the New Zealand South Islands east and west coasts is the spectacular Arthur's Pass. It is one of the most scenic drives in the entire country. Passing through the aptly-named Arthur's Pass National Park, this roadway reaches over 900m in height at its greatest point and provides some awe-inspiring vantage points.
3. Orana Wildlife Park
Orana Wildlife Park is one of the best animal-focused attractions in New Zealand while also offering a range of animal encounters. The inhabit strives to maintain the natural essence of their native habitats in the wild. It is a refreshing change from the typical caged-in zoo experiences.
4. The Avon River with Welcome Aboard Christchurch
One of the must see attractions in Christchurch is the Avon River. It has become one of the most iconic sights in the Christchurch region: a venice-style gondola trip down the river's serene waters. Operated by Welcome Aboard Christchurch and based from the city's historic Antigua Boat Sheds. Some of the local landmarks you'll encounter that take on an entirely new life from the water include the picturesque Botanic Gardens, charming Town Hall, the pleasantly drooping branches of willow trees and the changing face of the city centre.
5. Quake City Christchurch
While it's sad for visitors to see the devastation that has hit what is otherwise a beautiful place, you can admire throughout the city the sense of optimism from Christchurch's locals. The Quake City exhibit aims to make understand to the general public of how the city and its inhabitants were affected by the quakes.
It's an incredible interesting look at the impact the natural world can have on human development.
6. Christchurch Gondola
Being one of the more mountainous countries you'll come across in your travels, it only makes sense that kiwis love their gondolas (cable cars) as there are few better ways to get up above the city and its surrounds for some incredibly panoramic views. The Gondola itself provides a nice, gentle ride to the top of its host mountain , taking 10 minutes and covering a distance of 862m horizontally, with comfortable, stable cabins that can seat four people. There are also plenty of tracks and trails to walk around and explore once you're at the summit.
7. Coastal Pacific Scenic Railway
The Coastal Pacific Scenic Railway combines travel with spectacular views, taking guests alongside both mountains and sea and is one of the best ways to get from Christchurch to many other popular South Island destinations. The path of the train covers all manner of landscapes and passes wonderfully close to the Pacific Ocean to the east, meaning you'll get a sample of New Zealand's rugged and untamed coastal regions which don't get nearly enough credit as a sightseeing highlight for those travelling in the country. This is definitely one of must see attractions in Christchurch.
8. The Court Theatre
The Court Theatre was recently relocated to premises outside the city CBD due to the impact of the earthquakes. This has had no effect on the quality of the performances conducted at the venue. It offers many different stage-based entertainment, the Court Theatre puts on shows that range from comedy to classical to contemporary to kids, and everything in between.
9. Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Christchurch is known as the Garden City, and there's no place that better reflects this than its wonderful Botanic Gardens. Christchurch's botanic offers a diverse array of plant life, trees, ponds and much more that's impossible to take in within a single day and which has existed for over 150 years.
10. Cashel Street "Pop-Up" Mall
If there's an area that best symbolises the atmosphere of what the "new" re-branded Christchurch is envisioned to be, it's the Cashel Street Container mall. The district serves as new home to many businesses that were formerly situated in the centre of the city that were adversely affected by the quakes, and together they form a contemporary hub of activity that has to be seen to be fully appreciated.