If you’re only in Christchurch for a day and night, have a few hours to kill, but want to have a look around, step out of Kiwi basecamp, head east down Bealey Avenue, take a right on to madras and head down to the Cardboard Cathedral. Well worth a look. Cost $5 million but stunning. Behind this is the 185 empty chairs display, a memorial to those who lost their lives in the Feb 2011 earthquake. From there head into the centre to see Christchurch Cathedral, in limbo whilst it is decided whether to repair or rebuild. Cathedral Square, once the tourism centre of town. Then to Restart Mall (or Container Mall) a colourful and vibrant collection of shipping containers from which retailers ply their trade. Get Coffee, food, clothes, and other necessities. You’ll be surprised how cool and inspirational a space it is. A wander around the centre city, still many open spaces where once were buildings, but some new, ultra-modern office buildings, shining examples of how Christchurch CBD will look.
Down Worcester Street to our Heritage Precinct. The Christchurch Museum is well worth a look, free entry, gold coin donation, some interesting exhibits. It’s not very big, so you can race around in minutes if you have limited time. Next door is the Christchurch and Canterbury Tourist Information Centre. Friendly staff and plenty of information and ideas for your time in the South Island. Turn around, there are the Botanical Gardens. Stunningly beautiful gardens, massive trees, brand new Visitor Centre. If it’s beer you need, head across the road to the Astro Lounge, quirky and unique. Live music weekends after 5.00pm
That round trip would take up to three hours at a leisurely pace, but can be done a lot quicker if you’re on a mission. It’s all flat, so easy for all levels of fitness.