Escorted Rail Tours to Christchurch
The oldest city in New Zealand
Christchurch is the largest city on South Island. It is believed to have been inhabited by Maori tribes in about 1250, though much of its history is unclear before 1840. This was when a group of English settlers - known as the 'Canterbury Pilgrims' - established themselves in the area. The name 'Christchurch' was suggested by John Robert Godley, who was a graduate of Christ Church College, Oxford.
Christchurch quickly grew, and was made a city by Royal Charter in 1856 - making it the oldest city in New Zealand (even Auckland, the capital at that time, wasn't officially a city then). With a relatively long history, Christchurch is home to a number of attractions today.