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Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand. It's the oldest city of the country. Christchurch became a 'city' by Royal Charter, on 31 July 1856. It's also called 'the most English city outside of England'. Apart from the many gothic buildings Christchurch consists of parks, public gardens or recreation parks. The city is therefore also called the Garden City of New Zealand.
The city has 380,000 inhabitants.
Christchurch is located on the east coast of the South Island, near the estuary of the Avon, which transverses the city. The river banks have been transformed into a public park.
Trading and processing of products from the surrounding agricultural area has long been a basis for Christchurch' economy. It concerns mainly dairy, meat and wool. Tourism but also international education plays an increasing role: a growing number of Asian students attend one of the educational institutes in Christchurch. Electronics and software development are also important for local economy.
Christchurch International Airport is situated just outside the city and is easily reachable by rental car. Memorial Avenue runs straight from the center of Christchurch to the airport.
Christchurch has good public transport. From the central bus station at the corner of Colombo Street and Lichfield Street busses go to all parts of the city as well as to destinations further out such as the beaches of Summer and New Brighton. During weekends however service is limited. There is also a free bus service (the yellow Shuttle) in the city center. The historic Christchurch Tramway was recently brought back into use, also only for destinations within the city center.
It's not difficult to find your way around in Christchurch: the city has a regular street pattern. Some streets are one way streets. You need to pay for street parking. You can do so with coins, your credit card, or your mobile phone.
Christchurch has a large supply of accommodation. From backpacker hostels to guesthouses, lodges and motels, but also some luxury hotels. In general you don't need to book your hotel room long time in advance.
For more information about Christchurch we recommend Google and the following sources: