Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/253

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161
CHRISTCHURCH

Island for the third time, and French possession, perhaps, was thereby forestalled by a few hours. In Akaroa to-day are seen landmarks of the first French settlers in this island.

On the plains the Canterbury Association, headed by a bishop, founded Christchurch, the second largest city in New Zealand. It was the association's aim to establish settlements limited to members of the Church of England, but an influx of people of other faiths prevented its realization. "The most English city of New Zealand" is set behind the high hills of Lyttelton, its port. From Lyttelton it is reached by a million-dollar tunnel more than a mile and a half long. Some day, if the dream becomes a reality, the city will be connected with the sea, seven miles distant, by a ten-million-dollar canal.

Fresh as I was from the cramped quarters of Wellington, my first view of the outlook of Christchurch was relaxing. Here were long vistas of clean, well-paved streets, and many open spaces. Here were the meadows, gardens, and recreation grounds of Hagley Park, the grassy, willow-shaded banks of the tortuous Avon, and Cathedral Square, the traffic heart of the city. From the Cathedral's tower I saw the entire city embowered in its trees and hedges and fanned by its numerous windmills.

The Christchurch of early days stood wholly on the plains; the Christchurch of to-day does not. The original site—a chessboard-like area a mile square with streets bearing ecclesiastical names—long ago became too