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Is It Worth Visiting After the Earthquakes?

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- search for old buildings

This issues to do in Christchurch submit was initially posted in September 2017 and was up to date after my current journey the town.

Upon getting into the centre of the town for the primary time because the 2010 / 2011 earthquakes, it turned apparent what an extended shadow these pure disasters nonetheless forged over Christchurch. This metropolis continues to be in ruins. Males in orange vests and exhausting hats enormously outnumber digital camera wielding vacationers. It’s a little bit of a multitude, however is it nonetheless value visiting? I’ll try and information you in that call whereas outlining one of the best issues to do in Christchurch.

The town centre

Seek for previous buildings

Christchurch was based approach again in 1848 by English settlers, who commissioned grand buildings such because the Christchurch Cathedral and the Canterbury Museum. Loads of these heritage buildings have been both broken or destroyed within the earthquakes, however there are nonetheless lots to hunt out. Cathedral Sq. was the focus for central Christchurch however it’s in ruins in the meanwhile. The cathedral continues to be fascinating to see although, and there are many different previous buildings scattered round, together with the Isaac Theatre Royal and the Christchurch Artwork Centre.

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- Christchurch CathedralThings to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- historic buildings

Stroll by the Avon River

A stroll alongside the banks of the Avon River is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Christchurch on a sunny day. You possibly can stroll via a part of the leafy Botanic Gardens, previous the Antigua Boat Sheds and cross historic bridges, together with the Bridge of Remembrance. There are some detours resulting from development nevertheless it’s one space in central Christchurch the place you’re not continually reminded that there’s an enormous rebuild happening round you. You can even go punting or kayaking on the Avon.

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- Antigua Boat ShedsThings to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- Bridge of RemembranceThings to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- walking by the Avon River

Journey the Trams

One of many coolest issues about Christchurch is the truth that trams nonetheless rattle their means via the central metropolis. You gained’t discover this anyplace else in New Zealand and it makes for an fascinating solution to get round. It’s a hop on hop off service which means you’ll be able to discover Central Christchurch at your personal tempo and in some type! The trams make 16 stops across the centre metropolis and also you by no means have to attend too lengthy earlier than one other one comes alongside.

New Regent Road

This pedestrian mall within the coronary heart of Christchurch was constructed within the 1930s and is likely one of the metropolis’s coolest historic spots. You gained’t be hit by a automotive whereas strolling between the brightly painted store homes, however be careful for trams! There are many cafes and eating places on New Regent Road — it’s in all probability the nicest place within the metropolis centre to hang around at.

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- shopping at New Regent StreetThings to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- New Regent Street

Road Artwork

Christchurch has been paraded as the most effective locations to see road artwork in New Zealand, however for my part it’s nowhere close to nearly as good as Dunedin. There are some cool murals to hunt out although. They’re principally discovered within the internal metropolis  and there’s a little bit of a amount over high quality state of affairs happening. Because of the centre of the town primarily being one huge development website, murals are sometimes painted over, hidden or in any other case “decommissioned”. You’ll move by heaps of road artwork murals whereas strolling round central Christchurch, none jumped out as being unmissable although so that you in all probability don’t have to see all of them.

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- street art in the centre cityThings to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- ice-cream street art

Canterbury Museum

If you wish to study extra about animals, Japanese tattoo artwork, Antarctica and early New Zealand historical past (and much extra), you’ll be glad with a visit to Canterbury Museum. My favorite a part of the museum must be “Christchurch Road”, a recreation of a road scene from the times of the early settlers. Canterbury Museum is housed in an enormous, 135 yr previous constructing — there’s additionally a pleasant fountain outdoors and the Botanic Gardens / Avon River stroll are close by.

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- Canterbury MuseumThings to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- fountain at Canterbury Museum

The Restart Mall

The Restart Mall not exists, so there’s in all probability no level studying the subsequent couple of sentences. It was a cool place although!

Dozens of vibrant delivery containers mix to make certainly one of New Zealand’s most original buying malls. Even in case you’re a minimalist who laments our society’s consumerist obsessions, it’s value stopping on the Restart Mall for lunch. There are a number of meals vans promoting scrumptious (and low cost) meals, drinks and snacks. I attempted a inexperienced curry and a kebab — each have been actually good.

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- The Restart Mall

Artistic Areas

There are many vacant tons in downtown Christchurch, and a few of them have been become inventive hang around spots. I stumbled throughout The Commons when strolling across the metropolis. There are many locations to take a seat, some quirky artworks, meals vans and even a transportable grandstand. It’s good to see individuals utilizing these derelict areas creatively.

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- The Commons

The Cardboard Cathedral

This rapidly thrown collectively alternative for the earthquake broken Christchurch Cathedral isn’t completely made from cardboard — additionally they used metal and wooden in addition to cardboard tubes. It seems to be fascinating from the surface, with its giant stain glass home windows, however it was closed once I visited.

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- The Cardboard Cathedral

Issues to Do in Christchurch: The Shoreline and Suburbs

Orana Wildlife Park

In case you’re on the lookout for the perfect issues to do in Christchurch with youngsters look no additional than Orana Wildlife Park. There are heaps of unique animals to take a look at and also you’ll additionally get to feed a giraffe, which is plenty of enjoyable. We acquired up near a kiwi, a couple of gorillas and plenty of different animals. It’s in all probability greatest to go within the morning to keep away from the warmth (and see the animals once they’re a bit livelier.

Taylor’s Mistake Seashore

This little slice of volcanic sand marks one finish of (in all probability) Christchurch’s greatest coastal hike. The seashore is value a go to even in the event you’re not mountaineering — it’s far prettier than close by Sumner Seashore and the drive there gives up some nice views. Take a look at this submit for extra superior New Zealand seashores!

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- Taylor's Mistake Beach

Hike to Godley Head

The hike from Taylor’s Mistake to Godley Head (you can too do it in the other way) is, for my part, the most effective factor to do in Christchurch. Coastal hikes don’t get a lot better than this. There are heaps of viewpoints overlooking totally different elements of Banks Peninsula and there are additionally some WW2 relics to discover. The hike takes a few hours and is pretty straight ahead. One other good hike is from the gondola automotive park over the hill to Lyttleton — I haven’t executed it but however I’ve heard good issues.

FURTHER READING: Take a look at my publish concerning the Taylor’s Mistake to Godley Head hike on my different weblog!

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- Hiking at Godley HeadThings to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- Taylor's Mistake to Godley Head hike

The Christchurch Gondola

For an amazing view over Christchurch and Banks with out having to stroll for hours make a journey on the Christchurch Gondola. The views from the highest are nice and there are some tracks up there to discover. Or you can simply loosen up within the cafe and recognize the views! The Bridle Path, certainly one of Christchurch’s most iconic mountaineering tracks, is shut by and it can save you a while by taking the gondola up after which strolling right down to Lyttelton.


Sumner is a seaside suburb with an honest seashore on its doorstep. It’s a well-liked place for locals on sunny weekend afternoons. There are some good locations to eat and drink, making it an excellent choice for a little bit of seashore aspect rest.

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- Sumner Beach

New Brighton Seashore and Pier

New Brighton Seashore and Pier is one other coastal Christchurch spotlight. The huge pier extends out into the ocean and offers some good views again in the direction of the port hills and in addition down the seashore which stretches for miles in both path. There are some good bars and eating places within the small village throughout the street from the pier.

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- New Brighton Beach and Pier

Riccarton Home and Bush

In the event you want a while away from the constructing website vibe of Central Christchurch a visit out to Riccarton is a good suggestion. The primary attraction is the mall (certainly the most important within the South Island), however close by sits Christchurch’s final remaining tract of native forest. It’s a pleasant place to stroll round (it solely takes round 20 minutes) and you may also take a look at Riccarton Home, certainly one of Christchurch’s coolest previous buildings. You possibly can take a tour of the home or simply take a look at the bottom flooring and have a espresso or one thing to eat.

A day journey to Akaroa

In the event you solely have a few days in Christchurch and aren’t planning on visiting Akaroa, you need to rethink! It’s solely an hour and a half away and is among the most picturesque small cities in New Zealand. There are heaps of issues to do in Akaroa, together with harbour cruises (the place you’ll probably see Hector’s Dolphins), and drives across the scenic hills. There are many colonial period buildings in Akaroa and a few wonderful cafes and eating places (it was based by the French in any case). It’s greatest to spend a few days there (like we did just lately), however when you’re brief on time a day journey will do.

FURTHER READING: A Romantic Weekend in Akaroa

Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- A day trip to AkaroaThings to do in Christchurch, New Zealand -- Akaroa

So, is Christchurch value visiting after the earthquakes?

Sure and no. I actually loved my current journey to Christchurch. There’s greater than sufficient to maintain most busy for a number of days, however it actually will depend on how lengthy you’re planning on being in New Zealand. When you solely have a few weeks and also you need to see the highlights you’ll be able to undoubtedly skip it (however perhaps do the Taylor’s Mistake to Godley Head hike when you’re passing by means of). So far as South Island cities go, Dunedin is far more fascinating, so in case you’re torn between the 2 it truly is a simple selection.

Are you planning a visit to New Zealand? Which locations are you most excited to go to? Let me know within the feedback under!

Disclaimer: I used to be hosted by Christchurch Points of interest (Christchurch Gondola and the Metropolis Tram Tour) and Orana Wildlife Park throughout my current go to to Christchurch. All ideas and opinions are my very own.

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Jon Algie

A journey blogger from New Zealand who hates speaking about himself within the third individual and has no creativeness in relation to naming web sites.

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