The city of Christchurch experienced a devastating earthquake on the 22 February 2011, since then the city has focused on restoring this amazingly resilient picturesque city. Parts of the central city are inaccessible as the area is still deemed unsafe, and will remain so for awhile. However, access is opening up, and locals can be seen to be frequenting the CBD once again. This incredible area has a lot to offer visitors such as the International Antarctic Centre, the country’s largest marae (Nga Hau e wha), pamper yourself in Hanmer Springs with thermal pools, massages and incredible treatments, amazing wildlife adventures, Ferrymead Heritage Park, Botanical Gardens, and educational memorable Museums.
The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve gives tourists a glimpse of early life for the first peoples of this area, the Maori. Willowbank contains a living Maori Village; here you can experience a challenge or Where, a Karanga, be instructed in the Haka, listen to a Waiata (song), use the traditional poi, travel the river and sit upon a waka (Maori Canoe); immersing yourself in the customs of the indigenous Maori people will leave you with lifelong memories of this amazing culture.