Christchurch, the largest city of New Zealand's South Island is nestled at the foot of the Port Hills next to the Pacific Ocean. To the west, the Canterbury Plains spread flat for more than 100km until the Southern Alps rise suddenly above them.

While there's not a hell of a lot of action in Christchurch itself, it's a pleasant enough city to live in, with a lot of action in striking distance from the city. The beaches and the hills present a range of recreational options, as do the many bars around town.

If you're into hiking or skiing, then the nearby Alps are worth hitting up. The biggest field nearby, Mt Hutt, is a little over an hour away, with many more small fields lurking along the road to Arthur's Pass.

The same region provides almost countless hiking opportunities. The Department of Conservation website provides more information, and you can see some photos from hikes out this way in my photos from Mt Somers and Arthur's Pass.