Christchurch is a city devastated by earthquakes. Many believe that there’s nothing left, but that’s simply not the case. The city is still in the process of rebuilding itself, but there’s plenty to see and do. Best of all, you don’t need too much time to see it all! Follow me to Christchurch.
We hired a car to get around Christchurch which also made it possible to do day trips to the rest of the Canterbury region. It is possible to explore Christchurch by foot and tram though! We did a free walking tour which was a great way to explore the city. I highly recommend it!
The Christchurch Cathedral which is still in disrepair is a great starting point where you can learn about the history of religion in the city as well as the devastating effects that recent earthquakes have had.
From here it’s a short stroll through the city to the ANZAC Bridge of Remembrance and popular Re:Start Mall, a shopping centre built entirely from shipping containers. The mall is the perfect place to grab morning tea or lunch. There are public toilets here too.
From here it’s a short walk to the beautiful Hagley Park. Wander through the botanic gardens and along the Avon River and bask in the natural beauty of the city. You can even pretend you’re in Venice and ride in a gondola down the river.
At the edge of the gardens sits Canterbury Museum, housing years of history on the region. Despite being established in 1867, the building has barely been affected in the earthquakes.
If you love taking photos of unique buildings, be sure to check out Cardboard Cathedral. The small and colourful building was rebuilt in 2013 following its destruction in the 2011 earthquake out of cardboard and shipping containers.
After spending an entire day on your feet you’re no doubt exhausted. C1 Café is the perfect quirky and unique lunch or dinner stop with sliders and curly fries delivered to your table in a tube which travels at high speed along the ceiling. Be sure to try and find the bathrooms! Hint: They’re hidden in the bookcases.
If the day is clear, head to Christchurch Gondola where you can ride to the top of Mount Cavendish and look out over Heathcote Valley and nearby, French-influenced Akaroa. Tickets includes a really cool 3D ride through history of the region, from the first volcanic eruption to modern day Christchurch. There’s a café on top of the mountain so you can sit back and enjoy the view.
If you’re planning a trip to Christchurch I recommend renting a car. Not only does it make it possible to venture to scenic locations scattered throughout the Canterbury region, but it also makes it easy to get around Christchurch itself. Parking is abundant and often free.
What do you love most about Christchurch? Let me know in the comments below!