The largest city on the South Island, Christchurch is a place where you can enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle amidst a natural environment world-renowned for its beauty.
Whether Christchurch is your intended destination or just a brief stopover on the way to your new home, we have compiled this guide to help you get your bearings on arrival. To obtain more details about the city check out the websites listed at the end of this profile.
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island and the second largest in New Zealand and has a population of approximately 370,000 (Sep 2009). The population mix consists of 83% European, 7% Maori, 5% Asian, 2% Pacific Island and 3% other.
Christchurch, the capital of the Canterbury region, is bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean and is situated on the edge of the Canterbury plains stretching to the Southern Alps.
Christchurch is perfect as a pleasant jumping-off point for the mountains, ocean beaches, rivers, lakes and wide-open spaces less than an hour from the city centre.
The local economy is reliant on its primary produce: vegetables, specialist horticultural produce, grains, grapes, meat, dairy products, wool, aquaculture and timber. Emerging industries include tourism, light industrial engineering, manufacturing, software development, electronics and education. The local economy is very strong and has been growing faster than the national average since September 2002.
Canterbury’s unique climate and geography make it a perfect place to grow and create some of the world’s best meat, seafood, fruit, cheeses and wines (10% of the country’s wine is produced in Canterbury). There are more cafes and restaurants per head of population than anywhere else in New Zealand.
||Christchurch has an open and planned road transportation system linking major arterial roads to a parallel street system. There is a well-developed public transport system as well as a free inner city shuttle service. Trains run to Picton via Blenheim with connections to the ferry to Wellington. Christchurch is the main international gateway to the South Island and the airport is only 10 minutes drive from the city centre.|
Christchurch is New Zealand’s foremost festival city. Throughout the year it proudly celebrates over a dozen festivals, including the World Buskers Festival, which provide a wealth of cultural and entertainment diversity. There’s also the three month long SummerTimes celebration, which includes outdoor concerts, fireworks and children’s entertainment. The city is also home to the South Island’s largest art gallery, New Zealand’s foremost theatre company and an historic Arts Centre featuring a lively weekend arts and crafts market.
||The local economy is reliant on its primary produce: vegetables, specialist horticultural produce, grains, grapes, meat, dairy products, wool, aquaculture and timber. Emerging industries include tourism, light industrial engineering, manufacturing, software development, electronics and education. The local economy is very strong and has been growing faster than the national average since September 2002.|
Christchurch is the only New Zealand city with two Universities; Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury. Christchurch also has a Polytechnic, College of Education and many English language institutes. The city has more than 120 primary and intermediate schools and 30 state and integrated or private secondary schools.
Christchurch and Canterbury Visitor Information
Christchurch City Council
Canterbury Development Organisation
Average maximum temperature in Summer
Average maximum temperature in Winter
Bright sunshine hours per year
Mean annual rainfall
22.5 Degrees Celsius
11.3 Degrees Celsius
Christchurch time is GMT +12 Hours. From September to March one hour of daylight saving time applies.