Christchurch was hit by an earthquake in 2011 that destroyed or severely damaged much of the city center. As a result, the entire city center is under reconstruction. Since some of the buildings are in danger of collapsing and are cordoned off, shops, cafés, restaurants and bars have moved to containers. In the so-called ” Container City ” you can find everything your heart desires in a very pleasant atmosphere. If the relatively small number of shops is not enough for you, you will find one of the largest shopping centers in New Zealand in the “ Westfield-Mal ” in the Riccarton district.
Christchurch is also called ” The Garden City ” because of the many parks. The largest park in the city, Hagley Park, is very centrally located and offers, in addition to a museum and a botanical garden, many opportunities to do sports. In addition to various rugby fields and a golf court, there is also the opportunity to view the park from a rented kayak or canoe.
It is worth leaving the city via the Dyers Pass or the tunnel towards Lyttelton. You cross a small mountain range and on the other side a completely different environment opens up. The landscape, characterized by bays, rugged cliffs and small beaches, invites you to relax in good weather. Those who like such a landscape should follow the Dyers Pass to Akaroa. It’s a relaxing day trip by car and one of the nicest routes I’ve driven in New Zealand. In addition to the small beaches mentioned, the districts of New Brighton and Sumner offer large sandy beaches and good waves for surfing.
If you have to do without a car, you can look forward to very good public transport in Christchurch. Buses run regularly and usually punctually through the entire city. If you want to use the bus, you should definitely get a Metro Card at the university from UCSA, as the prices are otherwise relatively high. Furthermore, the bike is a good alternative, as Christchurch has many bike paths and hardly any mountains. Bicycles can also be bought cheaply from UCSA.
University of Canterbury
Short for UC by abbreviationfinder, the University of Canterbury has a very well structured and organized website. When registering on site, you will be guided through several numbered stations and it is almost impossible to get something wrong or to forget. If you don’t have a student visa at this point, you can get one during the enrollment process, as Immigration NZ employees are on site. At the end of the enrollment process, you will receive your student ID, which is also your library card. All other important information will be given to you at the welcome event. Should any questions arise, there is a very competent Student Service Center who knows how to help you with any question.
The actual study has also turned out to be very pleasant. Many professors record their lectures, sometimes just the sound, sometimes with pictures. This makes it possible to travel a little during the semester without missing out on lectures.
In addition, the UC has very well-equipped libraries that are pleasant to work in and that have lots of computers and printers at their disposal. Computers and scanners are freely available, a small fee is charged for copies and printouts. Payment is made directly with the student ID, which works like a prepaid card.
There are numerous cafés on campus. In addition to coffee and cappuccino, you can also get small snacks and sandwiches here. Unfortunately, there is no real cafeteria and the food in the cafés is offered at very high prices. So it makes sense to take your lunch with you or to eat at home.
Parking cars at the UC is also a very costly proposition. There is ample parking, but it costs NZ $ 2. 50 per hour. Alternatively, the UC offers an annual ticket for approx. 200NZ $ and a semester ticket for 100NZ $. Without a valid parking permit, the car will be provided with a wheel clamp and freeing it will cost 40NZ $. It is also possible to park the car free of charge in one of the adjacent side streets. However, you may have to search for a while before you have found a parking space.
While studying abroad at the University of Canterbury, I privately rented a room with a bathroom in the Riccarton district. Therefore, unfortunately I cannot report on my own experiences with the student dormitory. I’ve heard split opinions about the dorm and would recommend checking out the UC website or another review.
If you want to rent an apartment or a room yourself, you have to expect that the rents are between 170NZ $ and 250NZ $ per week. In addition, one should not necessarily in Linnwood family or the surrounding districts live. For the cheapest deals, I recommend checking out www. trademe. co. nz. This Ebay-like platform is used in New Zealand for anything that can be sold or bought in any way. This website is also highly recommended for car purchases and is preferable to car dealerships.
Before the start of the semester in New Zealand, I had the opportunity to see the country a little. I arrived in Auckland, bought a car there and then traveled to Christchurch. I have had some great experiences along the way, which I would like to give as a tip to those who also have such an opportunity.
Auckland is home to almost half of New Zealand’s total population. To escape this “big city”, Waiheke Island is ideal. With a ferry directly from Auckland you can get to the small paradise island in a few minutes. Here you can enjoy the food and local wine in one of the numerous restaurants or take a hike through the rainforest, some of which are still in the first generation. Furthermore, beautiful sandy beaches invite you to relax.
If you like driving along beautiful roads and appreciate small, secluded beaches and bays, I can warmly recommend the Pacific Coast Highway (35) from Opotiki to Gisborne on the North Island of New Zealand. On this route you sometimes have the feeling of driving through the middle of the rainforest, while the sea and small bays constantly appear on the side of the road. There are only a few small towns along the way, so it is highly recommended to fill up your tank beforehand and to stock up on enough food.
There’s a little more “action” in Rotorua. Here you can do white water rafting very well. Anyone who has never rafted should not miss this opportunity.
The Waitomo Caves can be explored in a similar but somewhat quieter way. The caves, known for fireflies, can be explored in a three-hour guided tour in a wetsuit in a swim ring. There is also the possibility to cross it completely dry on a climbing route.
The volcanic landscape in Tongariro National Park is known to almost everyone from the film “Lord of the Rings”. If the national park is not closed due to volcanic activity, you can go on hikes over several days and climb the “Doom Mountain”.
On the South Island you should definitely make a detour to the Abel Tasman National Park. A breathtakingly beautiful landscape can be discovered here by kayak and on foot. There are also tours that include an overnight stay on a houseboat. On the kayak tours, with a lot of luck, you can meet numerous seals and dolphins or orca whales.
Kaikoura is a sight like a zoo. Hundreds of seals lie on the stones here during the summer months (especially in February and March) and enjoy the sun. Furthermore “whale watching” is offered in Kaikoura.
For a weekend getaway during the semester in Christchurch, the Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki are ideal. Water fountains from the so-called “blow holes” can also be observed here. If this activity is not enough for a weekend, you can stop at Arthurs Pass on the way and follow one of the numerous hiking routes. However, the climb to Avalanche Peak is more of a climbing tour than a hiking trail, but it is highly recommended.
Since Christchurch is a relatively small city, the nightlife is a bit limited. Clubs and bars are available, but if you want to party bigger, you should do so in Wellington, Auckland or Queenstown.
In general, it is advisable to visit the local tourist information office (called i-Site) on arrival in a city. Here you get all the information about activities and these can then be booked on site.