Quality Hotel Elms
456 Papanui Road
Phone: (64) 3 3553577
Fax: (64) 3 3520290
This solid stone Anglican church with its square, crenelated tower, serves the well-to-do parish of Merivale. Consecrated in 1926 it is the second on the site, replacing a wooden church built in 1866. At the rear of the nave, glance upward to the beautiful barrel-vaulted ceiling and across the rows of richly carved pews. The organ is one of the largest parish organs in the country, containing 2800 pipes. The church is decorated with a collection of exquisite stained glass windows. A booklet is available to guide you through the elements of each window.
Across the road from Hagley park, close to the city center, and bordering the prestigious suburb of Fendalton, the Millbrook Reserve is a small park notable for its memorial to Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, the first European to arrive in New Zealand waters in 1642. Commemorating the 350th anniversary of Tasman's arrival, the memorial was gifted by the Dutch community, in gratitude for the welcome bestowed on Dutch immigrants to New Zealand, following World War II. Tasman's prophetic words, "this land looks like a very beautiful land," appear on the memorial. Formal European trees, azaleas, rhododendrons, native plants, and in spring, daffodils, anemones and hyacinths, also gifted by the Dutch community, are on display here. Call for additional information.
This imposing brick church, known as "The Cathedral North of the River", is the headquarters of Canterbury Presbyterianism. Its cavernous interior is finished in dark timber paneling with a soaring timber-framed roof supported by a forest of carved timber pillars. The somber architecture of the Knox Church is offset by a beautiful stained glass window that makes for a very appealing view. You can also view a blue-braided river flowing down from the mountains across the plains. Call for service timings, and additional information.
Behind the facade of a fine old two-storey villa is Hare Krishna Temple, fragrant with incense and steeped in ancient spiritualism. A pleasant oasis, featuring a tiled foyer and a ceiling adorned with a superb mural depicting Lord Chaitanya and his disciples chanting. Executed by a local art student, the facial features of the figures in the mural have a Polynesian look. A Murti statue sits cross-legged in an alcove beneath twin stained-glass peacocks. A conservatory lets in sunlight and protects several sacred tulsi trees. There is a children's play area on the small lawn outside.
This small, man-made lake adjacent to the golf course in North Hagley Park is a favourite with model boat enthusiasts and duck feeders. The Christchurch Model Yacht Club was formed in 1898, and its members continue to conduct nautical manoeuvres in miniature on the lake today. The lake itself is crescent shaped, with large overhanging oaks and birches and a crowd of resident ducks; you can incite a feathered riot with a few crusts of bread. Spot the New Zealand Scaup: small ducks with jet black plumage and bright yellow eyes. The tiny wooded pond next door is Albert Lake.
This intriguingly-named, boutique brewery is located in dairy farming country near Lake Ellesmere (Te Waihora), about half an hour's drive from Christchurch. The brewery does not run tours, but visitors can sample and purchase the beer at the brewery's shop in the city. Milkshed Brewing Company specializes in boutique-style, all-malt beers, from which there are nine to choose.
This 30-acre reserve comprises native bush and historic buildings, bordered by the Avon River. Learn about local history as you walk through the bush and visit the homesteads. Find out about the early settlement of Christchurch, and pioneers such as William and John Deans who built their cottage here in 1843. Native birds are plentiful and some of the bush has been here for hundreds of years. An information brochure provides good historical detail and will add to your visit. This unique site is merely 3.5 kilometers from the city center. Due to earthquake damage Riccarton House is currently closed to the public, but the public can still see the surrounding area including Riccarton Bush, Deans Cottage, and the Riccarton House grounds.
Few inner city landmarks can have as chequered a history as the Victoria Street Clock Tower. Brought to Christchurch in 1860, it was first moved to the old Government Buildings on Durham Street before being re-erected from 1897-99 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the Coronation of Queen Victoria. It was moved again, in 1930-1933, from the High Street to its present location. Despite restoration work in 1978, the structure has sustained heavy weathering, although this has not obscured the ornate wrought iron railing and scrollwork above the clock-face. The clock was damaged during the 2011 earthquake and is scheduled to be repaired.
A natural-state park with stands of indigenous trees and plants, including flax (harakeke) and cabbage trees (ti-kouka), Murchison Park is situated in one of the quiet backstreets of Christchurch's outer residential areas, about 15 minutes drive from the city centre. The park has a large playing field, a stand alone swing and a rock climbing area and also a children's playground. There is even a pair of miniature rugby posts, for those wanting to try out their All Black-rugby kicking skills. A small flax-lined stream runs along one area of the park.
In the 1870s, Victoria Square was the center of Christchurch. Remodelled in the 1980s, it is still a site of historical interest. Statues of Queen Victoria and the explorer James Cook are joined by an impressive carved wooden post (Pou pou), commemorating the signing in Canterbury of the Treaty of Waitangi. Also of note is the H.L. Bowker fountain, the first electric illuminated fountain in Australasia, and remembered for its displays of coloured lights. The Parkroyal Hotel and the Christchurch Town Hall impressively frame the square, with its broad terraced lawns. Due to damage from the 2011 earthquake some portions of the square are still being restored and may be off limits to the public.
A quiet oasis amid the bustle of Riccarton Road, the Anglican church was begun in 1923 as a memorial to local men killed in the First World War. Constructed of brick, faced with Halswell stone, the exterior of the church has a number of cherubim, each thought to be a likeness of those who built the church. A unique feature of the interior is the heraldic painting adorning the rafters and walls. Each timber arch bears heraldic shields with Greek symbols and the Roman cross, symbolising Jesus. There are also coiled snakes, shells, the Star of David, lilies and Lebanon cedars.
This fantastic, ornate Edwardian cast iron fountain brings grace and baroque elegance to the lawns outside the Canterbury Museum. Restored to the Botanic Gardens in 1996, before then, the fountain had languished in storage in a shed at the Ferrymead Historical Park, after being dismantled in 1932 to make way for the new art gallery. The fountain is a particularly fine example of its kind, cast in the Coalbrookdale foundry. It is three-tiered, adorned with dolphins, herons and lilies, and brilliantly painted in green and gold.