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Christchurch or Auckland?

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I am hoping to visit NZ to see some friends in Nelson for a couple of days. For the rest of the time ( additional 4 - 5 days), I would like to visit either Auckland or Christchurch?

Which of the two cities has a better public transportation system like buses and trains? I rather not drive if I can avoid it.

Also, if one wants to see "Lord of the Ring" scenery, where would one go? :)

Any additional suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Ming

N.B.: I will be flying in from the US.

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