I stayed in Christchurch for 2 nights. People warned me that there wasn’t a lot in Christchurch, as there had been an earthquake in 2011 and a lot of the buildings had been torn down. People said they wouldn’t spend time there because it would be too sad.
Not gonna lie, some parts of the city are just rubble. I was there on a Sunday and there was no building work being done in an area, and it looked a bit like an abandoned town.
Saying that though, I really enjoyed being in Christchurch.
I arrived and stayed at the YHA Rolleson House and it was great! The girls in my room were awesome, one girls living in Melbourne as well!
We headed out that evening to The Villas, which is a little restaurant that does really good muffins. We arrived there quite late a night, so of course, no muffins left. But there was a dessert menu and we happily shared a good pud and talked politics.
The next day I got up early to explore the city and started off with a walk round the botanical gardens, which is a must see. The flowers were so beautiful, and there’s a rose garden
which I sat down in and listened to the morning birds sing (bare in mind this was about 7am) so no one around which was great.
From there I meandered my way past the boat sheds, down to the Cardboard Cathedral. As it was a Sunday I didn’t venture in. It was a very beautiful church, with a very high pitched ceiling. I noticed that the sides of the building literally were shipping containers.
Next I headed to 185 empty seats. It said on the map that it was a pop up/art piece I think. It represents the people that lost their lives during the earthquake and serves as a rememberance memorial. Each chair represented a different person. You were also invited to sit in a chair that spoke to you. It was very moving, but I do recommend you check it out.
That end of the city is still quite empty, lots of flat land, old dis-used buildings, the skeleton of new buildings. Walking around, really does put into perspective how bad Christchurch was actually hit. But things are beginning to make their way back.
There’s the RE:Start mall, which is such a wicked idea. It’s a little shopping area made out of shipping containers!
They’ve got souvenirs there, clothes, and the best bit, the food! I got THE BEST frankfurter from Fitz’s wieners!
All the sausages come in a baguette rolls, plus onions and/saurkraut for free, so it only came to $6! Obvs plus free sauce too.
Canterbury museum is amazing! It’s got a tonne of things to offer for all ages and interests. I spent hours in there, and this is coming from a girl who’s been to every museum in every place I’ve been to. I can hear you saying ‘but surely you must have read everything now?’ No is the answer! It has the best exhibit on Antarctic explorations with the actually vehicles they used!
A few things to note: theres a wood carving gallery on Worcester Blvd, as well a lady a few doors down from that who sells her art work on a lawn. Oh also check out the Cathedral, it’s half fallen down but it hasn’t been knocked down. It’s a very beautiful building, even just from the outside.
I spoke to a few locals from Christchurch and asked them what it was like to live there. One guy said, it’s nice because with all the rebuilding, you have something to look forward to in the next few years.
I really enjoyed Christchurch, it had such a homely feel about it. I really can’t explain it, but everything about the city intrigued me. I must go back!