Christchurch, we love you. And yes, we realise that now is not the ideal time to be talking about all the things visitors can do in your beautiful city. Most of the CBD is cordoned off, some of the loveliest buildings have been reduced to rubble, and many of our favourite places to stay are leaning in a suspiciously Pisa-like manner. No, Christchurch is not exactly operating at full capacity for out-of-towners right now, but we still really, really want you to go down and visit. And so do they.
The first thing to say is that there are still plenty of places to stay. They're outside of the city centre but, you know how often you finish holidaying somewhere and don't really feel like you've ever got off the tourist trail? That's not going to be a problem here in the near future, with most operating hotels based in pretty suburbs like Merivale, Addington, Riccarton and Papanui, and more good options around Hagley Park and the Airport. There are lots of things to do in all those places including shopping: the best way to support local businesses - where else can you so effectively guilt your partner into letting you spend money?
Once your digs are sorted, go find something to do. There are ten different ski fields within two hours of the airport, some of them with their own little townships nearby. The famous Hanmer Springs has hotpools and spa treatments to relax and beautify you after a day on the slopes. Or, make yourself appear more beautiful to your friends by getting them half-cut on a local wine trail. Be careful though, it's hard enough to say the word 'Hanmer' when you're not pissed.
If snow isn't your thing, go coastal. Akaroa Harbour is a really special part of the country and the township has embraced it's Frenchy history by naming all the streets 'Rue' and holding lots of Gallic-themed events. Of course, as you know, there's only one way to really test their French authenticity, and that's to say you're invading and see if they surrender.
If you fancy a nice drive one day, head towards Selwyn - yes, it sounds like the name of the one of your granddad's old, racist friends, but actually its where you'll find the famous Canterbury plains, with amazing views of the Southern Alps. You'll recognise some of the vistas from Lord of the Rings, and you may even, like us, get so excited by the landscape that you start using poncey words like "vistas".