Getting Oriented in Christchurch and Canterbury

Canterbury is the South Island's largest geographical region, with a natural boundary formed by the Main Divide (the peaks of the Southern Alps) in the west and stretching from Kaikoura in the north down to the Waitaki River in the south.

  • Christchurch. From the Port Hills New Zealand’s second-largest city spreads out below, radiating from the central greenery of Hagley Park. The central city is now a city of the future—a city of cranes and new buildings, undergoing colossal change. To the west Christchurch's leafy suburbs are reminders of a genteel history. And to the east large areas of housing have been cleared. Their trees and gardens still remain, a poignant reminder of what happened when a series of strong earthquakes hit in 2010 and 2011.
  • Arthur's Pass and Canterbury. Arthur's Pass and Hanmer Springs are alpine regions; Akaroa is a seaside village tucked under high hills; and the southern areas around Geraldine and Timaru are the center of large, fertile farming areas. The Waipara Valley, just to the north of the city, is known for its excellent Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rieslings.

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