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The natural beauty of Christchurch and the surrounding terrain is just magical, especially for children. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the best things to do with kids in Christchurch.
1. Tour Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. This small zoo has all sorts of creatures native to the southern hemisphere that you might not see elsewhere. They include fallow deer that will eat from your hand, ostriches, wallabies, lemurs, and even a nocturnal kiwi house. At night, the reserve hosts Maori cultural shows, featuring dancing and storytelling.
2. See a rugby game. Christchurch and the Canterbury region routinely yield some of New Zealand's best rugby players. With its regular stadium under repair, the Crusaders squad now plays at a park in the suburb of Addington, but still boasts an outstanding roster.
3. Stroll through The Botanic Gardens. The city's quaint Botanic Gardens are worth a stroll, and they’re a great place to spot unusual local birds. The exteriors of many closed buildings nearby, like the Arts Centre and Museum of Canterbury, are worth a look for their vintage English architecture.
4. Take the TranzAlpine Railway. One of the best short train rides in the world, the TranzAlpine goes across the South Island to the west coast city of Greymouth roundtrip every day. The scenery is beautiful, the train ride itself is fun especially for kids, and Greymouth is a pleasant spot.
5. Visit Hagley Park. This gorgeous public park near the city center is also doubling as the city's events and festivals hotspot. It hosts outdoor concerts, art festivals and other fun events. Check the schedule for what's going on during your stay.