Christchurch is no longer a ‘land and leave’ location. It is now a ‘stop and drop’ destination!
The time has come to explore all that this new and innovative city has to offer. There have been some huge changes in Christchurch central over the past few years. If you’re like me, a local who doesn’t often venture to the inner city, chances are there is at least one new place that has popped up since the last time you visited.
Since the 2011 earthquake, the city took a huge hit. Not only in the devastation of buildings, homes and landmarks, but also among the community of people who reside here. The way in which Christchurch has evolved since 2011 is a reflection of its residents. The importance of connecting the community with their city again (and making it a safe and exciting place to spend time) has been the main focus while also giving visitors a reason to stay and look around.
Demolition and abandoned buildings have been replaced with impressive architecture and vibrant street art. The city has burst to life with colourful and impressive murals of all styles featured on the side of buildings around the city. Creative architecture of new buildings and the restoration of old buildings have bought a unique artistic vibe to the city.
The Garden city is living up to its name more than ever; there’s no shortage of beautiful outdoor lunch spots. Take a picnic while sitting on the banks of the Avon River watching the kayaks paddle past, stroll through the newly revamped Victoria Square or enjoy the sweet smell of fresh flowers in the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
Turanga, the new central library, is not your everyday library! There is something for everyone and I don’t just mean book genres. Turanga is a place where anyone has a chance to express their creativity, featuring a recording and production studio, 3D printers, virtual headsets, sewing and embroidery machines, and even a touch screen discovery wall. Enjoy a coffee and something sweet in the Foundation café located on the ground floor.
Isaac Theatre Royal is the only operational Edwardian style theatre left in New Zealand. During the year and especially over the summer months, there is a wide range of shows hosted there such as comedy shows, musicals and movie nights. Take a look at which shows are on while you are in Christchurch. The theatre is located on New Regent street which is worth a look both during the day or at night. New Regent Street is a complete heritage streetscape with beautiful Spanish Mission Architecture which fills the street with cute pastel coloured buildings. Treat yourself to a Rollickin’ gelato, oven fresh cookies from Mrs Higgins or grab a coffee at one of the many quaint cafes before jumping on the Heritage Tram to your next destination in the city.
Twisting laneways are lit up with fairy lights and filled with cocktails, craft beers, live music and international cuisine. This is where you will find a variety of food and atmospheres from classy and intimate restaurants, outdoor courtyard bars, food trucks and even a late night cafe where you are served burgers and fries delivered to your table by pneumatic tubes!
Eateries like Little High (located on St Asaph Street) are a great option for groups who can’t agree on one restaurant. Find a table together and order from the variety of delicious meals within this modern marketplace.
EntX is a fresh new eatery and entertainment complex on the corner of Lichfield and Colombo Street. Here you will find an array of unique dining options from around the world cuisine. Upstairs is a brand new state of the art movie theatre with the largest movie screens in Christchurch and comfy powered recliners.
Your hiking trip may leave you craving more adventures. If you have a spare day before you fly home we highly recommend checking out the new adventure park.
The Christchurch Adventure Park (CAP) opened in 2016 and was an exciting outdoor multi-activity hub for locals and visitors. Two months after the grand opening the park suffered significant damage from a nearby bush fire.
10 months later and CAP is back up and running with new and improved structures and attracting pro riders from all over the world.
CAP is located in the Port Hills surrounded by a forest of beautiful tall pine trees. The epic mountain bike tracks attract the majority of people; catch a scenic chairlift ride to the hilltops and soar your way down a number of different tracks marked out for all abilities.
Top quality bikes and gear are available to hire on site with half day and full day passes.
Other activities at CAP include a 2.5 hour Zipline Tour on New Zealand’s highest and longest zipline.
Fly through the air on a zipline stretching over 1.1 kilometres overlooking the snowy Southern Alps in the distance. At 150 meters high you have a birds eye view of Christchurch City without having to hike up a mountain!
If you are just looking for a lovely walk with superb views, there is an uphill walking trail which weaves around the hill; watch as the mountain bikers and zipliners whizz past. At the top take in the fresh air and 360 degree views of Governors Bay and surrounding hills. Catch the free chairlift down the hill and enjoy some lunch on the outdoor veranda of the Handle bar and café overlooking the park.
The talk around town is no longer about the weather - these days Christchurch has better things to talk about. Have you heard about that new project for a riverside market? Have you visited the new laneways and outdoor mall complex?
Locals are scrambling to keep up with all the new restaurants, shops and activities and as a visitor you will experience a whole new city each time you visit!
Whether you have a day or a week in Christchurch, there is no shortage of exciting activities and attractions to fil your day. If you want to keep up with what’s happening in Christchurch check out ChristchurchNZ , our local city development agency which ignites ambitious and exciting projects in our city and keeps us all up to date with why Christchurch is the place to be in 2019!