We finished our 2016 road trip of New Zealand in Christchurch; the city in which we started our 2006 trip. Because of the 2011 earthquake, it was a completely different city to the one which we had visited before.
Christchurch City Centre
We arrived to a very empty city centre. Most of the old colonial and brick built buildings had been flattened, making way for plenty of parking spaces for workers who were busy bulldozing the remaining brick buildings and regenerating the city centre. Whilst we did recognise areas of Christchurch city centre, much of it was unrecognisable.
New Regents Street Shopping Centre
We started our walk around the city at New Regents Street. Miraculously much of the old colonial street survived, and following extensive restoration the street is thriving with cafes and independent shops. We grabbed a coffee whilst admiring the beautiful pastel painted houses. (It took me back to our trip to Georgetown in Malaysia)
Related Post: Penang, Malaysia: A Photo Diary
Our next stop was the iconic Christchurch Cathedral. It’s in the middle of a council and residents battle to protect or demolish, but whilst the city fights amongst its self, the cathedral is open to the elements (and pigeons) and falling in to disrepair.
Personally, I find it quite ugly, but I hope that it is restored soon…
Re:Start Container Ship Shopping Mall
Away from devastation and disrepair, Christchurch has a new and trendy shopping experience. The Re:Start Container ship shopping malls, which were brought in as a temporary measure to keep business going through the rebuild of the city is thriving. It’s a welcome bust of life in a flattened concrete jungle, and it looks like its staying put. There are some awesome independent shops and great food outlets. If we had time we could have easily lost the day browsing.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Our final trip was to one of my favourite types of attraction. It was a little chilly but we had a wonderful walk through the beautifully landscaped Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and stopped to admire perhaps the most gorgeous botanical lake to date.
Sitting in the cafe with both savoury and sweet scones, I though back on the previous two weeks. We had travelled from the North Island to the South. We had seen sun and snow. Sea and sand. Friends and family. Ate too much. Drunk too much (Dale’s fault). Visited the most popular tourist attractions and found our own pieces of paradise. We had the most amazing time most favourite place in the entire world.
This wont be the last we see of New Zealand……
If you’ve missed the rest of our road trip around New Zealand, catch up by reading the following links: