Rugby World Cup 2011 may have moved games out of Christchurch, but the city and the region are still worthy places to visit.
The city’s tourism industry has taken its first steps towards recovery with the removal of non-essential travel restrictions and reopening of some core services.
Damage during the February 22 earthquake was localized inside the Christchurch city area, and regional tourism activities have continued to operate normally in the surrounding Canterbury region.
Places like the Air Force Museum and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve are opening and hotels have also opened. The Tranz-Alpine train which begins its journey from the city is running scheduled services.
More important for travelers to the World Cup, Christchurch International Airport remains the essential gateway into the South Island, and Mt Cook/Mackenzie, Ashburton, Kaikoura, Methven, Hanmer Springs and Akaroa, is fully operational.
Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter said travelers to the region were being very understanding and seemed happy to modify their plans so they avoided quake-damaged Christchurch but still got to experience the best Canterbury has to offer.
"We’re very pleased that a lot of travellers have chosen to push ahead with their plans to holiday in Canterbury because in doing so they’re helping our economy and our industry at what is a very difficult and challenging time.
For more information on traveling in the Christchurch and Canterbury go to: http://www.christchurchnz.com/what-to-see--do/earthquake/key-information-for-travellers.aspx