Your initial impression of Christchurch will likely be one of a genteel, green city. Joggers loop through shady Hagley Park, and punters ply the narrow Avon River, which bubbles between banks lined with willows and oaks. With a population approaching 350,000, Christchurch is the largest South Island city, and the second-largest in the country. It is also the forward supply depot for the main U.S. Antarctic base at McMurdo Sound. The face of Christchurch is changing rapidly, fueled by both internal and international immigration. The Māori community, although still below the national average in size, is growing. Ngai Tahu, the main South Island Māori tribe, settled Treaty of Waitangi claims in 1997 and have been investing in tourism ventures. Old wooden bungalows are making way for town houses, the arts scene is flourishing, and the city's university attracts cutting-edge technology companies. In short, there's plenty of fresh energy percolating underneath the English veneer.