Christchurch, New Zealand

Art Gallery Avon River Christchurch Cathedral Pier Porthills

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. View our Free Christchurch Photos page.

Christchurch lies on the east coast of the broad Canterbury plains, alongside the mouths of many braided rivers. Starting at the foothills of Banks Peninsular and sprawling northwards, the city is flanked by the mighty Southern Alps on one side and the wide Pacific Ocean on the other.

The city of Christchurch today represents a moment being made in history. Originally built with a strong English influence, the streets have familiar British names, and the structures and buildings have a rich historic feel, concealing a bright and vibrant cosmopolitan energy. However, these old structures are steadily becoming fewer and fewer.

On the 4th of September 2010 and again on the 22nd February of 2011, Christchurch was dealt devastating blows. First by a 7.1 magnitude and then a 6.3 magnitude earthquake – just two in a series of quakes measuring over magnitude 5 that have battered the city. These brought much of its heritage buildings to ruin, and many lives were lost. Christchurch is a damaged city, but a resilient one. While the once-elegant city centre may be off-limits, the citizens of the town are banding together, with offices, restaurants and other businesses popping up all over the city.

The Christchurch of 2012 is therefore constantly changing, whether a new building is going up or coming down. But some things remain the same. We are still the internationally-renowned Garden City, proud of our trees and beautiful public spaces. The stunning Hagley Park and Botanic Gardens still brim with verdure, the seaside suburbs of Lyttleton, Sumner and New Brighton still attract swarms of people on a bright afternoon, and the people of Christchurch remain as strong, warm and vibrant as ever.

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