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Tourist Places To Visit In Christchurch
Located on the east coast of the Southern Island, Christchurch is one of the major attractions in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. With the Avon River flowing through the city, the ocean to the eastern side and the snow-clad peaks of the Southern Alps on the western side, Christchurch has plenty to see. From museums, galleries to Wildlife parks and other tourist places to visit, Christchurch has it all and will definitely keep you occupied.
Christchurch Art Gallery
The Christchurch Arts Gallery is located in the center of the city within a few meters from the River Avon. The Christchurch Art Gallery is home to some of the best art on the island. With a wide range of classic and modern art collections, the gallery is a trip through the artistic culture of the city. While the gallery also houses collections from International Artists, it houses a vast collection of art from local artists. While the art in the gallery is definitely a major attraction, the building itself is a piece of art. Built to represent the serene waters of the Avon River, the glass façade of the gallery is definitely worth seeing. A trip to the Gallery is highly recommended.
The Arts Centre
Located next to the Christchurch Art Gallery, the Arts Centre is one of Christchurch’s treasured attractions. The structures here are over 135 years old and are an integral part of Christchurch’s heritage. While they were restored recently, the old charm and the architectural design have been preserved. The Great Hall and the Rutherford Den are the major attractions here.
The Great Hall boasts of a Gothic revival style and is a vast structure with the World War One Memorial window at the centre of the hall. Installed originally in 1938, the glass is made up of 4,000 individual pieces. The glass was saved and has been re-installed.
The Rutherford Den is a tribute to the Nobel Laureate, Lord Ernest Rutherford. Lord Rutherford studied in the Canterbury College and this was the site of many of his initial experiments. Open throughout the week, the Rutherford Den has numerous fun activities to give visitors an essence of the scientific vigor of Lord Rutherford.
Ilam Homestead Gardens
Christchurch is also known as the Garden City of New Zealand. The city has a number of parks and reserves, some located inside the city and some hidden away in the outskirts. The Ilam Homestead Gardens are about 6 km away from the city centre. Hidden away in the bushy outskirts, the Ilam Homestead Gardens are one of the most scenic parts of the city. The gardens showcase the regional plants like azaleas and rhododendrons throughout the year and are especially colorful in the spring.
International Antarctic Centre
Christchurch, considered one of the five gateways to the Antarctic, has a history of expeditions and adventures to Antarctica. The International Antarctic Centre, located only about 11 km from the city is a pit stop for the Antarctic experience. The centre has a storeroom that is chilled to -5°C, with winds that -18°C and storms every hour like in Antarctica. The storeroom is the perfect way to experience life in the Antarctic without the real threats that the continent poses. The centre also offers tours aboard the Hagglund, the all-terrain amphibious vehicle. The tour allows visitors to experience what it would feel like to travel across the ice. There are many other attractions in the centre like the penguin and Husky units and the 4d theatre. A trip to the International Antarctic Centre is a must if in Christchurch.
The Washpen waterfall is located about one hour from the city, located at about 80 km away. Situated amidst an ancient volcanic canyon, the Washpen waterfall is absolutely stunning. With great views of the plains around and the sound of falling water, the waterfall is truly a delight. Located amidst the sheep, cattle and deer farm, the waterfall is a short walk from the Old Washpen Woolshed. There is a small fee to enter and a track guide will be allotted along with walking sticks.
Orana Wildlife Park
The Orana Wildlife Park is about 25 minutes from the city, located at about 21 km from the city. The park is the home to New Zealand’s only Gorillas and Orangutans. The park is a perfect place for a fun day with the family. The park is also home to Rhinos, Giraffes, and the native Kiwis. One can feed the tall Giraffes in the park. The park also has a Lion reserve that tourists can visit. A visit to the park can be lots of fun.
The Canterbury Museum
The Canterbury Museum is one of the most culturally and historically significant museums in all of New Zealand. They have on display items that belong to early Maori settlements and also those from the more recent European inhabitants. Some of the more unique exhibitions include Christchurch Street, which is designed to replicate 19th century Christchurch. Another display gives insight into the Antarctic Expeditions that commenced from the country. A number of special exhibitions take place throughout the year making it a popular destination among tourists looking to learn about New Zealand.