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Things to do in Christchurch

As the South Island’s largest city, you can expect to find lots of things to do in Christchurch. Unique shopping malls like The Containers will satisfy your retail urges, while fascinating museums and art spaces in the city’s historical neo-gothic buildings provide insight into Christchurch’s culture. Just beyond the urban area, you’ll find city suburbs like Sumner and Methven, which provide fantastic outdoor activities.

International Antarctic Centre

Science and fun collide at the International Antarctic Centre, one of Christchurch's most popular tourist attractions. Learn about Antarctica through interactive and hands-on exhibitions, as well as gaining insight into every expedition (so far) to the coldest place on Earth. Find out about New Zealand's history with the Antarctic region and experience what it's like being caught in an Antarctica storm.
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Christchurch Gondola

If you'd like nothing more than to get out of the city and right into nature, the Christchurch gondola is for you. Starting in the Heathcote Valley, the gondola takers passengers up Mount Cavendish in the Port Hills. Hop off at the top and go for a hike, take in the view, or simply enjoy a serene ride back to the bottom on one of the returning gondolas.
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Quake City

If you're heading to Christchurch, chances are you already know something about the area's notoriety as an earthquake hotspot. If you'd like to know more about the city's seismic history, learn of the stories of triumph during disaster and the many ways to stay safe in the unlikely event of an earthquake during your stay, the Quake City museum is an excellent pit stop.
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Orana Wildlife Park

Sitting on 80 glorious hectares of open land, the Orana Wildlife Park is New Zealand's only open range zoo and animal conservation centre. The park is a staunch defender of animal welfare, and its conservation efforts and zoo-based breeding program of exotic and endangered species are revered around the world.
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Willobank Wildlife Reserve

One of the best places to encounter New Zealand's native wildlife in its natural habitat, the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is a well-respected South Island conservation location. For those who absolutely must see a real life kiwi with their own eyes before going home, this is where you need to be.
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Canterbury Museum

The major repository for the history of the Canterbury Region and Christchurch itself is the Canterbury Museum. The museum's exhibits focus on both local and international subjects. Canterbury Museum also hosts larger featured exhibits that provide one-of-a-kind insight into new cultures and time periods. Switch your mind to ‘curious' mode when you enter the museum.
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Christchurch Arts Centre

Formerly part of the Canterbury College, the Neolithic Gothic buildings that are now the Christchurch Arts Centre are equally as beautiful as some of the art it is home to. Discover historical writings and local artwork, as well as free theatre productions. Badly damaged in the 2010 Canterbury Earthquakes, the centre is still open for business and is actively fundraising its revitalisation.
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Air Force Museum of New Zealand

A celebration of Kiwi military ingenuity and creativity, the Air Force Museum of New Zealand is home to many retired aircraft from the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). See planes and other objects used by the RNZAF aircraft prior to and during the World War I conflict. This is a must-see museum if you're interested in military history.
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Centre of Contemporary Art

Sitting in the heart of Christchurch, the Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) is the city's hub of modern art. Displaying local and international modern art, you can expect to find a good rotation of thought-provoking exhibits. That gallery's aim is to provoke a dialogue about the world we live in, which art aficionados and the amateur art critic alike can comment on.
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