After Christchurch’s two consecutive earthquakes hit global news headlines back in 2010 and 2011, locals urged us to stop over and witness the great efforts that have been put into restoring the city as well as see how much there is still left to do.
We weren’t really sure what to expect having not seen Christchurch pre-earthquake, but we soon realised it’s like walking through a massive real life museum. The city roads are surrounded by collapsed buildings, empty un-liveable housing, memorial sites, inspirational street art and never ending construction sites. But with bars, restaurants and shops scattered around the city, it was great to see the progress that’s already been made.
There is also a super British feel to the place, a bit like a mini Oxford or Cambridge. Felt like home whenever we passed an Eton style boarding school, people punting down the river or the smell of a traditional British pub!
And for our top recommendations for 24 hours in Christchurch…
A great introduction to the city, sharing the real-life stories and remains from the earthquakes from the perspective of the victims, the volunteers, the emergency services and of course Science.
Cathedral Square and surrounding roads
The centre of the city which still bears the scars and devastation caused by the Earthquake . You can’t help but feel sad and emotional as you walk past the damaged ChristChurch Cathedral and broken parts of houses and shops!
The Cardboard Cathedral (Temporary)
Following earthquake damage to the original Christchurch cathedral, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban decided to create this extraordinary temporary cathedral made substantially from cardboard. Visit when there is a carol performance taking place and leave feeling inspired and amazed!
185 White Chairs (Temporary)
A collection of 185 differently shaped, styled and sized white chairs to represent and remember the unique individuals who lost their lives in the Earthquakes. Extremely moving and heartwarming.
Colourful and vibrant street art is spread across the city, which we can’t help but to stop and admire.
A refreshing change to the rest of the city, as you are surrounded by beautiful roses, daffodils, Cherry trees and lakes. Perfect place to unwind, relax and soak in the natural beauty.
This was a quick stop for us, as it’s similar to other museums we’ve visited in NZ. Most interesting part was seeing old-school New Zealand including what it was like during the war and before!
Food and Drinks!
Of course we stopped for food and drinks along the way, and the restaurants here are up there with anywhere else in the world! Most delicious, food-porn we have had on the trip! Our top recommendations are:
MumbaiWala Indian Street Kitchen (Authentic decor, food and vibes of Mumbai – and also the best Pau Bhaji we have ever tasted!)
King of Snake (overall delicious food – best Tofu we have ever tasted!)
Amazonita (great spot next to the river for drinks – friendly staff, nice location and date-night ambiance)