Explore the picturesque and vibrant heart of the city that is getting back to normal after a series of devastating earthquakes.
Heritage buildings, green spaces, pedestrianized shopping streets and the Avon River draw visitors to Christchurch city center. This was one of the most heavily damaged parts of the city during the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. But unbowed by these natural disasters the city is picking itself up with an extensive regeneration program parts of which are already completed. Visit Christchurch City Centre’s for museums, memorials, gardens and an eclectic mix of shops.
In the heart of the city center is Cathedral Square, once dominated by the 19th-century Christchurch Cathedral. This grand building was badly damaged during the 2011 earthquake and will undergo restoration. Nearby is The Chalice, a large public art installation in the shape of an inverted cone. From here walk over to the Cardboard Cathedral, a temporary structure to replace the original.
To discover more about the impact of the quakes and how Christchurch is regenerating and looking to the future visit Quake City. This multi-sensory special exhibition by Canterbury Museum encompasses artifacts, rescue and survival stories, and interactive exhibits on the science of earthquakes.
Wander down City Mall, the main pedestrianized shopping area. In addition to the shops are a couple of heritage structures that survived the earthquakes. These are Beath's Department Store Building, which dates back to 1935, and the Bridge of Remembrance, an ornate archway dedicated to those who lost their lives during World War I.
One of the joys of spending some time in Christchurch City Centre is visiting its natural attractions. Unwind amid the green surroundings of Hagley Park which hosts Christchurch Botanic Gardens, an inner-city haven of exotic and native plant species. Stroll along the banks of the Avon River and pause by the Earthquake Memorial. This marble wall is inscribed with the names of the 185 victims of the 2011 earthquake.
Christchurch City Centre is compact and easy to get around on foot. Alternatively, travel by taxis or public transportation. For drivers there is parking available for a fee in parking lots.