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PAUSE Travels: Christchurch, New Zealand

By August 20, 2022Guest Post

The past couple of years have been tough for everyone, but especially for those who love globetrotting. With tourist routes now back to normal just about everywhere, many of us have been revisiting those travel bucket lists with a renewed sense of purpose. Long-promised destinations that will be visited “sometime” are suddenly promoted to the top of the queue.  

New Zealand is a perfect example. It’s somewhere most of us talk about going but it’s so far away we never quite get around to it. Shape up and think positive, you can actually fly to New Zealand in a little over 24 hours with a stop in Singapore. What’s more, if you book well in advance, an economy ticket can be bought for less than £1,000. Auckland might be New Zealand’s biggest and most populous city, but if you’re only going to visit one place, Christchurch wins hands down. Here are a few reasons why.  

Incredible Street Art

If you like street art, you’ll love Christchurch. The city has always had a talent for expressing its artistic side, but this went into overdrive in the wake of the 2011 earthquake. It’s a spellbinding example of how a community can use creativity to come through disaster and to engender a sense of hope amid the despair. The unofficial street art trail begins on Riverside Market and is easy to follow.  

Stunning Nature

New Zealand is famed for its natural beauty, and despite the urban setting, that’s something you can experience by the bucketload in Christchurch. The Botanic Gardens are a case in point. Literally in the centre of the city, you can stroll for as long as you like amongst the native flowers and plants. Even better, take in the views across the city’s parks from the comfort of the water with a punting tour down the River Avon.  

The  Original New Zealand Casino

After a day of culture and nature, you can be forgiven for wanting a little decadence in the evening. New Zealanders are as fond of a flutter as their Australian neighbours, and these days, online casinos in NZ are all the rage. However, if you want to play casino slots, roulette, blackjack and the like in a more traditional setting, Christchurch has you covered. Christchurch Casino on Victoria Street was New Zealand’s very first gambling house. It boasts 500 slot machines, a wide range of table games and regular poker tournaments, so there’s something for everyone, from casino novices to seasoned gamblers.  

The Gateway to Antartica

We suggested earlier that New Zealand can seem a long way from anywhere. Still, there are more remote locations. Christchurch has been the launchpad for the Italian and American Antarctic Programmes since time immemorial. As a result, Christchurch is considered by researchers to be the gateway to Antarctica, and in the early 1990s, the International Antarctic Centre opened its doors. It’s one of the city’s top attractions, so if you love snowmobiles or are a sucker for penguins, don’t miss it! 

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