Christchurch and Canterbury: Places to Explore



Earthquakes aside, the face of Christchurch is changing, fueled by both internal and international immigration. The Māori community, although still below the national average in size, is growing. Ngai Tahu, the main South Island Māori tribe, settled Treaty of Waitangi claims in 1997 and has been investing in tourism ventures. There is a growing Asian population, reflected in the number of restaurants and stores catering to their preferences. Old wooden bungalows are making way for town houses, the arts scene is flourishing, and the city's university attracts cutting-edge technology companies.

With a population approaching 350,000, Christchurch is the largest South Island city, and the second largest in the country. It is also the forward supply depot for the main U.S. Antarctic base at McMurdo Sound, and if you come in by plane in summer, you are likely to see the giant U.S. Air Force transport planes of Operation Deep Freeze parked on the tarmac at Christchurch International Airport.

Christchurch at a Glance