Christchurch is one of the main airports from which to enter New Zealand’s South Island, and because Christchurch is in the centre of the island’s east coast, it offers easy access to Kaikoura, Able Tasman, Marlborough and Nelson to the north, Mount Cook, Mackenzie Country, The Southern Alps and the West Coast to the west, and Queenstown, Central Otago, Costal Otago, Southland and the Southern West Coast (including Fiordland and Milford Sound) to the south.
Historically, Christchurch is a very English city, with beautiful parklands along the Avon River, but the city is currently experiencing significant change after a devastating earthquake 6 years ago. This makes Christchurch a really interesting, dynamic city to visit, as there are new developments constantly, and the 21st century is currently butting up against the older parts of the city that are being preserved. Two of my favourite new (old) places to visit this trip were The Tannery in Woolston, which is a new shopping and eating precinct in a beautifully preserved old arcade and New Regent Street in the CBD, which is full of cafes and quirky little shops, very near Cathedral Square. I miss old haunts I used to visit like the Arts Centre, but am fascinated by my old memories of Christchurch and the palimpsest of new developments that have been overlaid over the old routes and ways I used to navigate the city. I know it’s been very hard for people who live in Christchurch, but she is a wonderfully resilient city and I know it is going to be a very interesting city to visit for years to come.
Surrounding the city on all sides are the gorgeous Port and Cashmere Hills, and it is an amazing feeling being in a city where you can see magnificent and rugged nature looming just beyond the skylines of buildings. This is something I associate very much with New Zealand, and it always makes me feel like I am home.
Stayed: With friends in St Albans
Ate at: The Caffeine Laboratory, Tanner Street Bakery, The Thai Container
Explored: The Tannery, Christchurch Art Gallery, Crate Escape (an Escape Room in a Shipping Container!)
City Highlights: CBD, Woolston, Lyttelton