Despite the earthquake damage, Christchurch City is still best explored on foot and a good starting point is Canterbury Museum which contains a wide range of exhibits encompassing Antarctic expeditions, Canterbury settlement, ethnology and natural history.
Next to the museum, you’ll find the Visitor Centre within the grounds of the Botanical Gardens -very pleasant to wander through by the side of the River Avon. From the museum, cross over the road and walk down Worcester Boulevard, passing the former Arts Centre which is presently being re built, to Cambridge Terrace. Here you can turn left to walk a short distance to the Re Start City Mall, the retail centre ingeniously created out of Ship Containers .
It’s well worth visiting Quake City, located in the Mall to get a comprehensive understanding of how each area of Christchurch was affected by the earthquake and to look at plans for the rebuilding of the city . Take lunch in one of the pop up eateries and then head two blocks down Lichfield Street to view the 185 chairs, an open air installation containing white chairs commemorating each individual victim of the quake.
It’s close to the Cardboard Cathedral which was built quickly to replace its ruined stone predecessor. The cathedral is a creation of industrial cardboard and plastic, with a stunning interior. Return via Hereford street to the gardens for afternoon tea at the Curators House.
If you want to go further afield it’s well worth considering a half day coach tour into the Port Hills . Most operators will take you to the main viewpoints and some will return via Sumner , Christchurch’s seaside destination . There are some good walks along the Crater Rim Walkway from the Sign of the Takahe to the Sign of the Bellbird and beyond.
What our travellers enjoyed about Christchurch…
- Viewing the amazing re construction work taking place in the city
- Enjoying walks through Hagley Park
- Quiet time in the Cardboard Cathedral
- Hearing the stories from people who were in Christchurch on the day of the earthquake