Tourism has taken a sizable hit in Christchurch. Perhaps the understatement of the year? Don’t laugh. The reality is not all in Christchurch has been munted (to borrow Mayor Bob Parker’s catchy expression). We still have much to offer our visitors – and ourselves. This week I called at the temporary Christchurch I-Site just inside the Botanic Gardens and next to our excellent Canterbury Museum. It was buzzing and I was impressed by the well-stocked brochure racks. The I-Site is a good case of improvisation well done. Why not make it permanent on this site? While there I took my first ever ride on the Caterpillar Garden Tour. Susie was the tour guide and I was impressed. Despite being a regular visitor to our Botanic Gardens over the best part of a lifetime, I discovered much that was new and enjoyed a new viewpoint. Our guide was a mine of interesting information and knew what each curator had contributed to this wonderful garden oasis in the heart of Christchurch. On-going good work by Garden’s staff meant that, even in late summer, many of the flowering plots were still looking great. Autumn colours were just appearing. In a couple of weeks, with autumn well and truly kicking in, this will be the stunning tour for Christchurch. Don’t leave it all for our visitors. If you are a local climb aboard the Caterpillar too. (This one is no threat to your prize cabbages.) And while in the vicinity why not complete a balmy morning or afternoon with a punt ride on the Avon, from the nearby Antigua Boat sheds where you can also enjoy a coffee or something stronger in the café.