In Christchurch our trip really starts! Before we pick up the campervan we have plenty of time, almost 3 days, to discover this city.
Christchurch has its own unique look and feel, there is no other city that compares. The residents are resilient; because of the many earthquakes they face, their city is in a constant mode of development. My admiration goes out to this place and its people, Christchurch has chosen not to resign itself to fate, but to seize the opportunity to create a future proof city from scratch and be the flagship for raising awareness about earthquakes.
Below I state my top 5 of must-sees in Christchurch
5. Christchurch Art Gallery
Close to the Visitors Centre and the Fiddlesticks restaurant you’ll find the Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna o Waiwhetu), it holds a charming collection of New Zealand public art and gives young talent the opportunity to exhibit their work. Just hop in, it’s free! Looking for more information > https://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/.
4. Botanical Gardens
This were the first Botanical Gardens of New Zealand I saw and they are breathtaking. The trees are huge and there are so many different plants and flowers from all over the world. In the greenhouse you can have breakfast or lunch or you can just bring your own stuff and have a picnic on the grass. In a romantic mood? Go punting on the Avon!
Big earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 left Christchurch’s streetview with a lot of gaps. A group of creative, pro-active people decided to fill these gaps by organizing temporary events and city art pieces. The number 1; RE:Startmall, is also a Gapfiller initiative. Want to know what’s happening when you are there? Take a look at http://gapfiller.org.nz/whats-happening/.
2. Quake City
Quake city is the interactive museum about earthquakes, the experience with the big earthquakes that hit Christchurch in 2010 and 2011 is used to illustrate the theory about earthquakes in practice. It’s really impressive to see how an earthquake affects the lives of so many people, especially when you are from a country that is not familiar with catastrophic natural disasters. Although the museum has a high information density, it’s presented in such a way that you want to know it all. Really worth a visit!
1. RE:Start mall
One of the projects of the Gapfillers. A pop-up mall on Cashel street that consists of shops and eateries that are located in shipping containers. It feels a bit like a festival :). Even if you are not planning to buy something, just go there, sit down and enjoy the vibe.