New Zealand is known as Middle Earth in many-Oscars-Academy-Awards-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy. The most captivating and magical settings for the world-class movie making are abundant here. Hobbiton, Mt. Doom, Eregion Hills and the pillars of Argonath were all filmed here. So, when I received an invitation to a wedding in Christchurch, New Zealand, I didn’t hesitate. I made the plan to attend the wedding and explore Middle Earth.
As soon as I cleared Custom at Christchurch International Airport, I shopped for the suitable rental car. Christchurch, near the center of the east coast of the South Island, east of the Canterbury Plains, was the ideal place to start my exploration, not only because of its historic importance but also because of its attractive surroundings and activities for thrill-seeking tourists. Skiing and snowboarding on steepest mountains, whale watching, rafting, rock and ice climbing, and swimming with dolphins are all within a few hours drive from this English-style garden city with its many 19th century stone buildings.
Driving towards the city center I passed Avon River on Oxford Terrace. This river, with its urban-park-filled banks, flows through the city center. A classic Edwardian punt carried a group of tourists on a city tour. Colombo Street in downtown took me right to the heart of Christchurch; the Cathedral Square.
Christchurch has a special importance to car enthusiasts. Every February, Skope Classic, the Southern Festival of Speed, is held at Ruapuna Raceway. There won’t be any new lap record set at this race. Classic Allard’s, MG’s, Jaguar’s, and other vintage cars are raced to commemorate the glorious past and provide a family pass-time...@driving-vacation.com