Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand with a population over 350,000, and the third largest city in New Zealand after Auckland and Wellington. It is on the edge of the Canterbury plains and has direct flights to its efficient international airport.
Christchurch was established in 1850 by Anglican English settlers and this heritage shows in its fine older buildings, especially the neo-gothic buildings in the cultural precinct along Worcester Boulevard and Rolleston Ave. The River Avon meanders through the central city and disrupts the otherwise regular rectangular layout of the city streets. Christchurch is known as the Garden City, a well-deserved name. Looking from a few floors up, one is struck by the number of trees that grow like a forest throughout the suburbs. The central business district is undergoing a major rebuild after earthquakes. All areas are now accessible and the city remains a major gateway to the rest of the South Island.