Christchurch is the third largest city in New Zealand and the largest in the South Island. After facing major destruction in earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, the city has been redeveloped into a vibrant, modern, and functional city. It's a great place to live and remains one of the best places to visit in New Zealand. Here are six things you must do to truly experience this epic city!
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History: Transitional 'Cardboard' Cathedral, Latimer Square
The original ChristChurch Cathedral, built in 1904, was severely damaged in the second major Christchurch earthquake. The Transitional Cathedral was designed and built in 2013 as a temporary home for the Anglican Cathedral congregation, as well as provide a venue for concerts, exhibitions and other civic events. The building was designed by Shigeru Ban, a Japanese architect known for his innovative and environmentally conscious architecture and his work in disaster situations around the globe. It's made out of unique building materials - 98 60-centimetre-diameter cardboard tubes and 8 steel shipping containers!
Shopping: New Regent Street
New Regent Street is a historic pedestrian mall lined with Spanish Mission style buildings. Since opening in 1932, the street has been a popular photo spot thanks to the distinctive pastel-coloured pain job. Browse the boutique shops or grab a bite to eat at one of the cafes. You can also travel down New Regent Street aboard a beautifully restored heritage tram on a city tram tour. The journey takes you from Cathedral Junction through Cathedral Square before passing the Avon River, Cashel Mall and High Street. From here the tram rejoins our tram loop and passes the Canterbury Museum, Hagley Park and Victoria Square.
Food: C1 Espresso, 185 High St
C1 Espresso takes the concept of fast food very literally. Order slider burgers or curly fries from the menu to have your food delivered to your table at 140 kilometres per hour... Once prepared, the food is packaged up in a canister and transported from the kitchen to your tables via a system of pneumatic tubes. Sit back at your table and watch orders zip through the clear tubes that line the roof of the old High Street Post Office building.
Scenic: Port Hills Gondola
Board the cable car and enjoy breathtaking views of the Christchurch cityscape, over the Canterbury Plains out to the mighty Southern Alps, and the dramatic hills of Banks Peninsula as you rise to 445 metres above sea level. At the summit, venture away from the gift shop and cafe to explore the Port Hills walking tracks, enjoy some fresh air, and discover new vantage points and perspectives.
Active: Margaret Mahy Playground, Armagh St
Set alongside the Avon River, this playground is loads of fun for both those young and young at heart. It's the biggest playground south of the equator, with more than two hectares of grounds for adventure and plenty of equipment for play! You'll be entertained for hours with a flying fox, ground trampolines, a rope-climbing course, giant slides, and many more activities.
Art: Self-guided Street Art Tour
Artists from all over have taken to the streets of Christchurch to decorate the city with inspiring large murals that brighten up otherwise dull concrete walls. Fill a day roaming the city by foot or bike counting the number of pieces you can spot - check out this interactive, crowdsourced map for some direction. In addition to the large murals, you'll also find sculpture installations and interactive oversized outdoor games.
Adventure: Antigua Boat Sheds
After you've explored the streets, it's time to check out the city from the water. Hire a kayak, paddle boat, rowboat, or canoe from Antigua Boat Sheds and paddle your way along the of the Avon River, through Hagley Park, past the Botanic Gardens, and around the city until your arms get tired. Refuel at the quaint riverside cafe after your big adventure!
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