Although Christchurch and Canterbury were planned by British idealists as an ordered settlement - along their English lines - the city was actually first inhabited by Maori, (the Maori word for Christchurch is Otautahi - ie belonging to Tau Tahi) and the Scottish Deans brothers - who named the rive 'Avvon' after a stream in Scotland.
Nevertheless, the 'founding fathers' stamped their ideas firmly on the city by placing an Anglican cathedral right in the centre. To this day, lazy writers continue to call it an 'English city': true many of our old buildings date back to the style of our heritage. Many of us locals consider them as 'of the style of our beginnings' rather than as an English city - Gothic, Regent,Queen Ann. And, of course, most people had migrated to escape the old 'rules' and refused to 'stay in their place', and so began our - still firmly-held - egalitarian traditions: Jack is as good as his master we had decided.
Christchurch is in the heart of the South Island, is surrounded by nine districts - all within a few hours drive - and which provide a variety of experiences - from skiing to vineyards, wildlife to art - natural wonders on our plains and from the oceans to the alp's.
The architecture ranges from neo-Gothic and Gothic Revival to contemporary, and the roads are mainly set out in a grid-like pattern. Our centrally-located Hagley Park is the 3rd largest city-park in the world (behind New York's Central Park and London's Hyde Park)
The Avon river runs through the centre of the city (Note: it is not named after the Stratford-on-Avon river in the UK but after a small Scottish stream - Avvon - near where the Deans brothers grew up.
166 GLOUCESTER STREET
79 Main Rd, Governors BAy
95 Oxford Terrace