Once a lively, sunny hub of New Zealand; Christchurch was a beautiful city. Sadly in 2011 Christchurch was hit by an incredible Earthquake which devastated the beautiful city. Measuring a 6.3 on the Richter Scale the city was torn apart, families were broken and memories were lost. This earthquake and the devastation that came with it made headlines around the world and although incredible support came with these headlines, so did the future stigma and downfall.
Christchurch is currently being rebuilt, slowly but surely, the city is returning even more fresh, modern and interesting than before however, visitors still avoid Christchurch.
Throughout my travels of New Zealand no one really said anything about the place and if they did it wasn’t positive, in fact most people hadn’t visited it at all.
Returning to New Zealand from Australia my first stop was Christchurch and although only for a day, it is a city I recommend everyone experiencing.
So what did I do for a day in Christchurch?
Take a wander around Christchurch and spot the incredible, beautiful Street Art popping up all over the place.
All over the city beautiful works of Graffiti Art are popping up all over the place. On new buildings, old abandoned ruins and/or building sites. Each one more spectacular, detailed and unique than the last.
If you don’t do anything else in Christchurch, take a wander around the city and see how much Street Art you can spot.
Here’s just a small peak at some of the beautiful pieces I saw:
The attention to detail is incredible. The scale and size of the art is insane.
I would love to know the story behind each piece of art. To truly understand what the artist was trying to get across when creating each piece.
I mean even on a construction site, against an old abandoned building these Elephants seem to hop right at you. This is probably my favourite…. but then again, Elephants are my favourite animals.
Such a bold character in such a broken part of the town.
I find it incredible that there is so much street art around the city but yet, they hadn’t utilised it. From what I could tell there are no Street Art walking tours, or really any information about it at all online which is a shame; I would love to know more about each piece of artwork, the artist and if it is something that Christchurch commissioned?
What do you think?
The more you wander around, the more I began to think Christchurch is going to be New Zealand’s answer to Melbourne.
Wandering around Christchurch is developing a new bold style, mixed with the old buildings – many of which ruined/abandoned – and architecture, pop up shops and quirky coffee shops up obscure side streets littered with street art; It’s easy to see the direction the city is going.
Arriving into Christchurch at a ridiculous time in the morning I immediately googled coffee shops in town. Thankfully, the incredible, Back Betty Cafe was open. The most amazing muesli bowl, cosy setting and nice strong coffee – and table service! I would highly recommend this coffee shop. The whole time I was (wasting until i could check in to my hotel) there the queue was out the door, endless floods of people waiting to get breakfast.
Yes, I stole this from my snapchat. Should have really taken a more exciting photo but at this point I had been awake for 24hrs.
Outside of good coffee shops the city has a beautiful old styled tram. You can jump on this and take a commentated tour of the city and ruins, hear the history and the future plans.
Head over to the Re:Start Mall for some wicked smoothies, coffee, food trucks or a little bit of shopping – To be honest I expected a little more from this mall, maybe it was a little too hyped up from the people I spoke to about it. Still pretty cool and worth a visit.
Take in the broken buildings and ruins from the impact of the Earthquake. It is not hard to spot, the evidence is all around and it is heartbreaking to see, but important not to forget. The main symbol of the destruction left in the town is the Church, it’s impossible to miss and really gives you an understanding, of how destructive the earthquake was.
Pictures just don’t do this justice – the artistic work on the side is representing the steeple which broke off in the earthquake.
Aside from the damage and devastation, Christchurch has evidence of beauty everywhere. Explore the city and take it in. The riverbank in Autumn is colourful, warm and inviting, with a beautiful arched memorial leading onto the main street for the tram and Re:Start Mall.
The worst thing I have found on my travels are people assuming somewhere is not worth visiting because of the tragedy that happened in 2011. Even the tour operators and those that live in New Zealand avoid Christchurch, which I find sad.
I would recommend Christchurch to everyone, just a day will do. But it is worth it to see and if you are planning to explore New Zealand more from here it is the perfect place to start, with so much beautiful scenery surrounding the city, it is a great gateway to the South Island.
Have you been to Christchurch, New Zealand?
If so, what did you think?