Want to go skiing, bungee jumping, rafting, mountain biking, wind surfing, whale watching and riding in a hot-air balloon? Oh, and then finish it off with a few glasses of wine at several internationally acclaimed wineries? Then head to Christchurch—a charming city that’s considered the gateway to New Zealand’s adventure-filled south island. It’s also a place that perfectly balances the area’s natural beauty with a growing cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Sadly, Christchurch was rocked by a series of major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, which caused widespread damage to the city’s core, as well as numerous injuries and fatalities. Repairs are estimated to cost $3.5 billion in reconstruction, according to New Zealand’s Earthquake Commission. However, the city is slowly recovering, and many in the travel world turned their eyes to New Zealand as it struggled in the aftermath. In March 2011, the travel blogging world banded together to write about New Zealand, in an effort to promote and encourage tourism to the country.