New Regent Street

New Regent Street is a boutique shopping and heritage pedestrian mall in Christchurch.

New Regent Street

New Regent Street

The street is located between Gloucester and Armagh Streets with a number of cafés, bars, retail and beauty shops.

New Regent Street opened during the Depression on April 1st 1932 as a beacon of hope for the people of Christchurch. Over a 3 year period the area that was previously a skating rink was transformed into a terraced street with Spanish Mission style architecture and a pastel colour scheme. Harry Francis Willis designed the two rows of shops that lined the street. Over the years some of the shops were amalgamated to form larger shops. Today there are 38 shops on the street.

Following the Second World War, the area became a public road. In 1986 it became a one-way street before becoming a pedestrian mall with a tram line in 1994.

New Regent Street

New Regent Street

New Regent Street

After the Christchurch Earthquakes the buildings were restored and interiors refurbished. New Regent Street reopened on the 20th April 2013, 81 years after its first opening. The street is being marketed as a boutique shopping, entertainment and heritage destination. Since its reopening many businesses have unfortunately come and gone as the heritage precinct struggles to finds its feet during the city’s rebuild.

In November 2013 the tram line reopened bringing more tourists to the area. The tram travels along Gloucester St down New Regent Street across Armagh Street to Cathedral Junction – which is also worth visiting.

Cathedral Junction

Cathedral Junction

At its opening Christchurch Mayor D.G. Sullivan described New Regent Street as “the most beautiful street in New Zealand.” While it may not quite be that, it definitely has a beauty and charm.

Hagley Park

Hagley Park is the largest public park in Christchurch.

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Hagley Park North

The park spans 164.637 hectares and is shaped by the Avon River and surrounding streets. The surrounding streets divide the park into three areas Little Hagley Park, Hagley Park North and Hagley Park South. The Christchurch Botanic Gardens is adjacent to North Hagley Park, with Canterbury Museum and Christ’s College also on what was park land.

The Park was formed in 1855 when the new Provisional Government set the land aside as a public park. It was named Hagley Park after the country estate of Lord Lyttelton, who was the chairman of the Canterbury Association.

Hagley Park North is used for many outdoor concerts and events, such as Christmas in the Park and the Ellerslie Flower Show. It also has rugby fields, the Hagley Golf Club, Croquet Club and Tennis Club. There is also a fitness trail that runs through Hagley Park North.

Fitness Track, Hagley Park North

Fitness Track, Hagley Park North

As well as the Avon River there is Victoria and Albert Lake within Hagley Park North. Victoria Lake was formed in 1897 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign. The 1 acre area of swamp was extended to be the 4 acre lake it is today.

Lake Victoria, Hagley Park North

Lake Victoria, Hagley Park North

Hagley Park South is largely made up of sports fields, including netball courts, rugby fields, hockey fields and the Hagley Oval cricket ground. The Addington Brook is a small stream that runs through Hagley Park South and exits into the Avon River in the Botanic Gardens.

Click here for a map of Hagley Park.

Hagley Park at sunset

Hagley Park at sunset

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

The Christchurch Botanic Gardens is a public garden located in central Christchurch, next to Hagley Park.

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The 21 hectare (52 acre) garden was formed in 1863 when an English oak was planted to celebrate the marriage of Prince Albert and Princess Alexandra of Denmark.

At the Rolleston Ave entrance, next to the Canterbury Museum, is the Armstrong Lawn, which is named after John Armstrong one of the early curators of the Gardens. Located here is the Peacock Fountain, which was imported from England and unveiled in 1911 after a bequest from local businessman John Peacock. The fountain went into storage in 1949 and was restored and moved to its current location in 1996.

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Peacock Fountain

Nearby is the Curator’s Cottage, this Tudor-style house was built in 1920. It is now a Spanish style restaurant and cafe, serving lunch, dinner and tapas 7 days a week.

The iconic Avon River runs through the Botanic Gardens. Visitors can take a guided Edwardian style punting tour on the Avon River through the gardens. The 30 minute tours depart from historic Antigua Boat sheds.

Curator's Cottage

Curator’s Cottage

Woodland Bridge crossing the Avon River

Woodland Bridge crossing the Avon River

The Central Rose Garden was built in 1909. The rectangular garden is based on the rose garden owned by the Duchess of Sutherland in Herefordshire, England.

A highlight is the Garden’s six indoor conservatories, which are open daily from 10:15 am to 4 pm.

Cuningham House, which houses the tropical plant collection opened in 1923 and is named after Charles Cunningham, who bequest funds to the Gardens.

Townsend House has the cool greenhouse flowering plants collection. The original Townsend House opened in 1914, following funds from the estate of Annie Townsend. The current Townsend House opened in 1955.

Cherub statues, Townsend House

Cherub statues, Townsend House

Garrick House, which houses over 500 species of cacti is named after Henry Garrick who donated a collection of cacti to the Gardens. Next door to Garrick House is Gilpin House, which is named after Huia Gilpin, a former director of the Council’s Parks and Recreation department. Gilpin House has the orchid collection. Both Garrick and Gilpin House opened in 1960.

The Gardens’ alpine plant collection is housed in Foweraker House. This building opened in 1967 and is named after Jean Foweraker, who donated many plants to the Gardens.

The Fern House opened in 1955 houses a large collection native New Zealand ferns.

Garrick House

Garrick House

Fern House

Fern House

A more recent feature to the Gardens is the World Peace Bell, which was installed in the Gardens in 2006. There are fewer than 25 of these around the world. The bell is made from coins and medals from over 100 countries and symbolises a nation’s commitment to world peace.

World Peace Bell

World Peace Bell

The gardens are open daily from 7 am. The gates close 9 pm November to February, 8:30 pm March, 6:30 pm April to September, and 8:30 pm October. The cafe and visitor centre is open 8:30 am to 5 pm.

There are entrances on Rolleston Avenue, Riccarton Avenue and Armagh Street. There are public carparks at Riccarton Avenue and Armagh Streets with free parking up to 180 minutes. Note: The Armagh St is currently closed for repair.

Re:Start container mall

The Re:START container mall was formed following the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake to bring business and people back into the city centre.

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Re:START

This outdoor mall consisting of temporary buildings made from colourful shipping containers is located on the Cashell Street part of what was City Mall.

City Mall was an outdoor pedestrian mall, which opened following the closure of parts of Cashell and High Street to vehicle traffic in 1982. City Mall was badly damaged during the Christchurch earthquakes.

The Re:START mall opened in October 2011 with 27 businesses and now has over 50 businesses today. It is open Monday to Friday 10 am to 5:30 pm. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 10 am – 5 pm.

At the end of the mall, on the corner of Cashell and Columbo streets, anchoring the complex is Ballantynes. Established is 1854, Ballantynes is New Zealand’s first department store and was one of the first major retailers to reopen in the city centre following the earthquake.

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Re:START

Re:START

Cardboard Cathedral

The ChristChurch Transitional Cathedral, also known as the Cardboard Cathedral, is the temporary cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch.

ChristChurch Transitional Cathederal

ChristChurch Transitional Cathedral

The Transitional Cathedral, which is located at 234 Hereford Street, at the southern end of Latimer Square, opened in August 2013 after the original ChristChurch Cathedral was badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.

It is open daily from 9 am. During the summer months (November to March) the Cathedral will close at 7 pm, unless there is a later evening service. In the winter months the Cathedral will close at 5 pm or following a later evening service.

Latimer Square looking towards the Cathedral

Latimer Square looking towards the Cathedral

The Cathedral was designed pro bono by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. It is built using timber, steel and recycled cardboard tubes.

The A-frame roof consists of 86 cardboard tubes. The roof is covered with translucent corrugated polycarbonate panels. There are two inch gaps between each tube, which allows light to flow through the translucent roof.

Ban was approached to design the Cathedral after the Diocese saw photographs of previous works. Ban had designed a cardboard tube cathedral in Japan for the Takatori Catholic Church following the 1995 Great Hanshin (Kobe) earthquake. It was deconstructed in 2006 and donated to the Taomi Village in Taiwan, which suffered an earthquake in 1999.

ChristChurch Transitional Cathderal

ChristChurch Transitional Cathderal

Located just a few blocks from the Transitional Cathedral is the ruins of the original ChristChurch Cathedral and Cathedral Square. This Cathedral was constructed between 1864 and 1904.

The Anglican Church has decided to demolish the Cathedral and replace it with a new Cathedral. This decision has caused some controversy.

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ChristChurch Cathedral ruins, July 2015

ChristChurch Cathedral ruins, July 2015

Christchurch Rebuild Tour

Christchurch Rebuild Tour, is a guided bus tour of Christchurch city’s progress to rebuild following the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

Site of recently demolished police station

Site of recently demolished police station

At 4:35 am on Saturday 4th September 2010 a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Canterbury region. The epicentre of the quake was located 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Christchurch, near Darfield. The earthquake caused power cuts and widespread damage particularly to Christchurch. There were no deaths as a result of the earthquake, but  one person died of a heart attack.

Tragically on Tuesday 22 February 2011 at 12:51 pm a 6.3 earthquake struck. This quake was centred 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) west of Lyttelton and 10 kilometres (6 miles) south-east of Christchurch city centre. 185 people from more than 20 countries were killed, making it the second deadliest natural disaster in New Zealand history.

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The tour, which departs from outside the Canterbury Museum (Rolleston Ave) daily at 11:00 am, lasts approximately 90 minutes. There is a driver and onboard guide from the Canterbury Museum that does an informative commentary accompanied by video and photographs. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (0800 500 929) or from the i-SITE Visitor Centre, next to the Museum.

No tour is exactly the same as where the bus travels depends on traffic conditions and works that do. The bus may make stops were passengers can disembark with the guide.

The Rebuild Tour bus

The Rebuild Tour bus

Our tour made two stops. The first stop was at the site of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. It was the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Christchurch. The buildings were designed by architect Francis Petre and completed in 1905. The Cathedral closed following the September earthquake. The parish moved St Mary’s Pro Cathedral (373 Manchester Street).

During the February earthquake the two bells towers at the front of the building collapsed along with much of the front façade. The dome, which had received major cracking was later removed, and the rear of the Cathedral was demolished. Also during the February quake the statue of Virgin Mary located in the north tower rotated 180 degrees to look out the window. The statue became a symbol of survival following quake.

In May this year it was announced the diocese has plans to attempt to preserve the nave as part of a rebuild.

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Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

The next stop was at the 185 Empty White Chairs installation on the site of the former St Paul’s Trinity Pacific Presbyterian Church on the corner of Madras and Cashel streets.

The memorial designed by artist Pete Majendie was previously located on the site of the former Oxford Terrace Baptist Church. Each white painted chair represents one of the lives lost in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The installation sits on 185 square metres of ready made lawn.

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185 White Chairs

185 White Empty Chairs

Christchurch Gondola

Christchurch Gondola, is a cable car that offers 360 degree views of Christchurch region.

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Christchurch Gondola, which is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, is approximately 15 minutes drive from Christchurch central. The base is located at 10 Bridle Path Road, Heathcote Valley. There is plenty of parking available.

Alternatively they offer a return shuttle van from outside Canterbury Museum (Rolleston Ave) for $10 adult and $5 child (5-15 years). The van departs museum at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm. Shuttle returns from the Gondola at 10:05 am, 11:05 am, 12:35 pm, 1:35 pm, 2:35 pm, 3:35 pm and 4.35 pm.

The cable spans 862 metres to the top of Mt. Cavendish. The journey takes approximately 10 minutes offering views of Christchurch city, Canterbury plains, the Southern Alps and the Banks Peninsula Hills. A lookout deck at the top also offers views of Lyttelton township, port and harbour.

Also at the summit there is Red Rock Café, a gift shop and the Time Tunnel, an automated ride that takes visitors on a journey from 12 million years ago, passing through a volcano, native forest, a voyage onboard a ship to the early settlements of Christchurch.

Christchurch city

Christchurch city

Lyttelton township, harbour and port

Lyttelton township, harbour and port

Christchurch Gondola

Christchurch Gondola