Arriving at Christchurch International Airport is a stunning entrée to New Zealand's South Island and an assured experience that would be hard to beat anywhere in the world.
Christchurch, New Zealand's second biggest city, is the gateway to the south and a multitude of sights and sounds to keep any tourist fully occupied.
It's no accident that it is the host venue for the Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018. It is a sporting hub par excellence catering for a variety of sports with facilities up to the best in the world.
The region has a superb sporting history and has produced such outstanding sporting luminaries as Sir Richard Hadlee and recently-retired All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and his goal-kicking wonder Dan Carter.
Christchurch and Canterbury, have long been a fiercely-proud entity supporting the home colours red and black across a variety of sports codes.
The area's rugby teams are famous – initially for the Canterbury teams which have more than one international scalp to their credit and then, when rugby went professional, the Crusaders, based in Christchurch, became the most successful side in Super Rugby.
But rugby isn't the only sport Cantabrians succeed in.
All of the other sports that are part of the Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018 are well represented on the domestic ladders of success and will ensure that visiting teams are well catered for by knowledgeable fans.
Christchurch regularly host international events with both rugby and cricket Tests being played at what was known as Lancaster Park. Test cricket returned at the new venue at Hagley Park at Christmas in 2014 while the world men's softball championships were played in 2004 and the world bowls championships were played in the city in 2008 and they returned in 2016. The women's world championships were also held in the city in 2008.
Golf has hosted international tournaments, especially at the Clearwater and Russley courses through the years while the city has been one of the strong centres for basketball, football and hockey in New Zealand.
Perhaps the greatest event staged in Christchurch were the 1974 Commonwealth Games. So successful were they that they were known as 'The Friendly Games'.
But the Games struck a chord during a wonderful 10 days that opened with local runner Dick Tayler winning the 10,000m in a world-class time and ended with Filbert Bayi of Tanzania winning the 1500m in world-record time.
The unique blend that makes Canterbury sport so successful is reflected in the numbers of Cantabrians who regularly feature in New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams.
That spirit and legacy of sports history will be available for all to see during the staging of the Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018.