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Christchurch by bike, NZ

Thursday, February 14, 2008
Christchurch is the regional capital of Canterbury and the largest city on New Zealand's South Island. It is a flat city and has many purpose-built cycle ways. A beautiful place, it has big green parks, pretty gardens and the Avon River gently meandering through its centre.

Christchurch Bike Tours' two-hour tours show you what would take at least four hours on foot. They venture outside the city centre so you see things not usually seen by tourists.

The pace is leisurely and there are no hills, so it's right for all ages and fitness levels. Cycle paths and quiet streets are used for safety and comfort. They provide comfortable bikes with a basket on front for bags and cameras, and modern helmets.

The route begins at Cathedral Square and along Worcester Boulevard, a lovely cobbled road leading to the Arts Centre. The Arts Centre is made up of beautiful Gothic-style buildings which once house the Christchurch University. It is now home to craft studios, caf&233;s, galleries and restaurants which you may wish to visit during your stay. There are small cinemas, live theatre and weekend markets.

Then it's off to the Antigua Boatsheds where you will see locals and tourists enjoying gentle rides up the river in an English-style punt into the Botanic Gardens.

From there you head back, past the Botanic Gardens and museum and into Hagley Park. It is Christchurch's green heart and the people love it! It is a treat to cycle through the park, away from traffic and taking in fresh air.

Next, the route heads for the suburb of Riccarton where you will see houses and schools typical of Christchurch.

The homestead Dean's House and the historic Dean's Cottage is the birthplace of Christchurch and is a truly beautiful area. The house is set up as a museum and you will learn of how life was for hardy pioneers who first settled the area.

Everyone is invited to a short walk through Riccarton Bush, a precious piece or virgin New Zealand bush with rare kahikatea trees, up to 600 years old. You may even spot the friendly native fantail bird.

On to Mona Vale, a beautiful estate with sculptured gardens. As well as a gracious homestead there are two gatehouses, and as you cycle through the grounds, you will have a good look at some of the city's grandest real estate.

There is a lovely ride alongside the Avon as you head back into Hagley Park and back to the city, down Armagh Street. Along the way you see leafy Cranmer Square and the historic Canterbury Provincial Chambers.

Location

Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island.

Cost

Christchurch City Bike Tours has two-hour guided tours starting at around $25. They depart each day from Cathedral Square at 2pm.

Air New Zealand has flights to Christchurch.

  • Melbourne $258*
  • Sydney & Brisbane $258*
  • Adelaide $258*
  • Perth $548*

*One-way fare

Prices correct at 14.02.2008

For more information

Christchurch Bike Tours Ltd
24a Achilles Street
Dallington
Christchurch, New Zealand
Ph/Fax +64 3 366 0337
Website: www.chchbiketours.co.nz
Email: chchbiketours@yahoo.co.nz

Air New Zealand
Ph: 132 476
Website: www.airnewzealand.com.au

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