Unfortunately Base Christchurch is temporarily closed due to the severe earthquakes in the South Island.
The Lonely Planet has prepared a whole new chapter on Christchurch for its New Zealand guide book and has taken the unusual step of making it available for free download on its website eight months ahead of the guide's official release in September.
In the chapter Christchurch is described as a "vibrant city in transition, coping resiliently and creatively'' with the aftermath of New Zealand's second biggest natural disaster.
"Traditionally the most English of NZ cities, Christchurch is now adding a modern and innovative layer to its damaged heritage heart. Punts still glide gently down the Avon River, and the Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park are still amongst NZ's finest public spaces, but an energetic entrepreneurial edge is also evident, harnessing the opportunities emerging from the city's recent seismic heartache,'' the chapter says.
It goes on to comprehensively detail places where visitors to the city can stay, eat, shop and play and the sight-seeing activities available in post-quake Christchurch and its environs.
"It's a fantastic guide to the city and we're thrilled that Lonely Planet has invested so much time and effort in producing it,'' says Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter.
"The damage caused by the quakes means that many of the older guide books on Christchurch are only of limited use because so much has changed in the city over the past 12 months so this is a very welcome addition to the market.''
Mr Hunter says the fact Lonely Planet is so positive in its account of post-quake Christchurch and the future of the city should send a clear message to potential visitors that Christchurch is still a destination worth visiting.
"We see this as a very positive development for our tourism industry and hope it will encourage people to add Christchurch to their travel itineraries. Christchurch is at an exciting point in its history and it has become a hot-bed of creativity and innovation. That makes it a very memorable destination and a place well-worth visiting,'' Mr Hunter says.
Lonely Planet's Christchurch chapter can be downloaded for free from their website.