Are we the slowest bloggers of them all? Maybe not… but it is a fact that we have been in New Zealand for over a month and are only now getting around to write about Christchurch. From Hobart, we had to fly back to the mainland and then took a flight from Melbourne to Christchurch. We stayed a week in the city – and honestly, there is nothing much to do in the quake city. But as always: We are going to tell you aaaaawl about the few things that are there 😉
Christchurch has a lot of similarities with typical American towns. As in: it is spread over a huge area and really really flat. In Orlando, I was excited to get to the town center… but there was no “center” as I know it from European cities. Very similar in Christchurch: The center has a small mall (Container Mall) and a few shops in the streets around it. That is it. No flair, no cute cafes. Just the rest of the city. So don’t expect to go for some nice exploration strolls around the town. You will not see much of interest. You should, however, grab a bus and drive to the spots – they are just really far apart.
In the “center” area you can check out:
Learn The City History In “Quake City”
Well, sadly for the city, Christchurch is most known for its shaky past – as in its earthquakes. The museum called Quake City is pretty interesting to understand why Christchurch looks the way it looks. You can check out a lot of interactive stuff, recounts of peoples experiences and generally a lot of geological facts about earthquakes and the area.
Shop In The Container Mall
A lot of parts of the city are still under construction and feel really improvised. Sure, it is difficult and costly to rebuild a city that has been this damaged – while life also has to go on. So people have taken up shops in a bunch of containers. What started out as an interims solution has now become a “proper” shopping mall. Together with a bunch of food trucks, the container mall is probably as much of a center as Christchurch gets.
Start mall with stores in shipping containers Christchurch New Zealand by amanderson 2 https://www.flickr.com/photos/amanderson/18378319272/
…Or Other Malls
This is only relevant if you need to get some shopping done. Christchurch has a lot of bigger and smaller malls, some of them come with a cinema, all of them have a food court. Not really spectacular or special – but if you need to stock up during traveling or get you backpack late from the airline, Christchurch has many options for shopping.
Enjoy The Beautiful Botanical Garden
My personal highlight of Christchurch was the botanical garden. It is located behind the hospital and is super big. Lukas and I both went for a run in the garden and didn’t even meet once in 1,5 hours. That is how huge it is. The plants are amazing and the setup of the garden is so too. You can really get lost in all the small winding paths – or stroll along the big promenades forever. The best thing about the botanical gardens is that they always seem to be free. Don’t miss out on this one, it’s probably the best botanical garden I’ve ever seen.
Check Out The View From Summit Road
If you head on out of the city direction mountains, you will hit the summit road at some point. It is a long road along the mountains – that you can drive in either direction. Just below it is a fine little bike/hiking trail. It leads through high grass and over rocky bits – and from it, you have an amazing view over the whole city until the ocean.
Also published on Medium.