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The city recovers from last month's devastating earthquake

Positive signs emerging from Christchurch

A new day spa has opened in Christchurch in what many are interpreting as a sign of confidence in the city’s ability to recover from last month’s devastating earthquake.

The new Linden Leaves Day Spa is the first of its kind in New Zealand and has opened in the beautiful Chateau on the Park hotel, opposite Christchurch’s famed Hagley Park. The spa offers a range of relaxing, pampering skincare and massage treatments for men and women.

"It’s great that Linden Leaves has pushed ahead with its plan to set up a day spa in Christchurch despite the events of the past few weeks. It’s a real sign of the confidence people have that Christchurch will come through this difficult time and again be a world-class destination,” says Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter.

"People are committed to rebuilding this great city and already we’re getting pledges from iconic businesses, like our premier department store Ballantynes, that they will stay in the central city and keep its heart beating. That’s fantastic news.”

While the core of Christchurch’s city centre, the so-called red zone, remains off-limits, in the western suburbs of Christchurch life has already largely returned to normal. The city’s two biggest shopping malls are open and suburban bars and restaurants are doing a roaring trade as they cater to both visitors and locals.

Key visitor attractions like Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Orana Wildlife Park, the International Antarctic Centre, Wigram Airforce Musuem, and the Tranz-Alpine train service are operating as usual and visitors are continuing to use Christchurch as the gateway to the South Island.

From April 4, visitors to Christchurch will again have access to an i-SITE Visitor Information Centre where they will be able to get all the information they need about what to see and do while in Canterbury and the South Island. The temporary i-SITE will be also be located at The Chateau on the Park, an easy-access location for visitors and locals.

There is talk too of constructing a temporary entertainment hub in Christchurch for the many bars and restaurants that have been forced out of the central city by quake damage.

And in another sign that Christchurch is determined to get back on its feet as quickly as possible the Christchurch City Council has pledged to push ahead with its annual New Zealand Cup and Show Week Festival in November. The 10-day festival incorporates New Zealand’s answer to the Melbourne Cup – the New Zealand Trotting Cup – as well as Canterbury’s famed A&P Show, which has been held annually for more than 100 years.

The recently announced BMW New Zealand Golf Open is also going ahead in December as planned, at Clearwater Resort.