24 Hours in Christchurch- By Rosie Wheat
With just 24 hours to squeeze as much out of this city as possible, I head out the hostel early, and am instantly weaving around traffic cones and dodging the diggers. Since the earthquakes of 2010/11, where 185 people were killed and 10,000 buildings demolished, the city has slowly started to rebuild itself.
Some parts are like a dystopian movie set, with its abandoned buildings and hollowed cathedrals, but I love it. There’s a creative undercurrent in this city, with art sculptures and mind-blowing graffiti round every corner. Christchurch has got a bad rep for being ‘a bit of a building site’, but I was impressed with the ingenuity used to create a colourful pop-up city.
After a days’ walking and meeting locals, I can just about scramble a list together of what not to miss:
Breakfast: C1 Espresso
Start the day at C1, a quirky post office-turned cafe that sends its food shooting down the old mail tubes. C1 Espresso website
Retail therapy: ReStart Market
Well-known clothes brands are wedged inside colourful shipping containers, as well as pop-up coffee shops, juice bars and food stalls.
Lunch: Cosy Cafe
Delicious sandwiches, giant muffins and great coffee in the centre of ReStart market. There’s even a money-back guarantee on their famous Apricot Tart!
Allen Maddox No Mail Today 1978. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Punao Waiwhetu, purchased 2015
Culture: Christchurch Art Gallery
The gallery has reopened stronger than ever, showcasing some of New Zealand’s most provocative and talented artists. Free tours are available twice a day. Gallery website
Sight-seeing: River Avon punting
Escape the sounds of the pneumatic drills and head to the historic Antigua Boat Shed (you can’t miss it!) Glide along the river through botanical gardens, guided by an Edwardian-dressed punter. Christchurch punting website
Dinner: King of Snake
Sadly I didn’t get to eat here, but I asked three different locals and was told this was the place to go. King of Snake website
Sleep: The Jailhouse
Ever spent the night in a prison cell? You can at the Jailhouse, an 1880’s Gothic prison now converted into a fun hostel. Read my review here