Just a few minutes drive from the central business district is the suburb of Sumner. This coastal suburb has great beaches such as Summer Beach, which is great for swimming and taking walks. Also popular is Shag Rock, which is a famous landmark, and is a sea stack found at the entrance to the Avon Heathcote estuary. Also on the coast is Te Onepoto or Taylor’s Mistake. This area is named after the captain of a ship that sank here during the 19th century.
West of Christchurch is the suburb of Riccarton where the Riccarton market is held. This popular market has more than 300 vendors and is held each Sunday at Riccarton Racecourse. The market is huge and is a wonderful place to shop and includes fresh food, vegetables, plants as well as furniture, clothing, art and second hand items. The market also caters for children with train rides, jumping castle and a painting stall.
Christchurch Cathedral is an iconic building and the building of it took over 40 years. It is located in the city centre. The cathedral was damaged during the 2011 earthquake and had to be demolished. The Cardboard Cathedral was opened in 2013 and is being used as a place of worship while the Christchurch Cathedral is being rebuilt. The Cardboard Cathedral is worth a visit.
The botanical gardens are a highlight when visiting Christchurch and are found west of the city centre. The gardens have plants that are unique to New Zealand and the highly trained staff makes this garden an important stop when visiting Christchurch. The gardens also feature contemporary art and sculptures. The garden offers a paddling pool, playground, enchanted garden, magnetic observatory and the New Zealand World Peace Bell, and is a great place to kick back and relax, and even enjoy some quick wagering at betting sites while the kids have some fun.
The Canterbury Museum houses New Zealand’s rich history, its culture and art. The Museum has contemporary art, older artwork and ancient artefacts. The museum is a wonderful place for engaging the community and many international local visitors will benefit from visiting the museum and experiencing and understanding the New Zealand culture and history. There are a range of exhibitions, which includes Maori art and artefacts from the Age of Discovery in Antarctica.
185 Empty White Chairs
To remember and commemorate the loss of lives during the earthquake, Pete Majendie, a local artist, created what is known as 185 Empty White Chairs. Each one of the chairs represents a life that was lost and each chair is different, just as each person was different. The memorial used to be located at the site where Oxford Terrace Baptist Church once stood, which was also destroyed by the earthquake. The memorial now stands on the site where St Paul’s Trinity Pacific Presbyterian Church once stood, which was also demolished during the earthquake.
The Isaac Theatre Royal survived the earthquake of 2010 and 2011 and is a theatre built during the 19th century. Many talented musicians and actors have passed through this theatre since the 1800s and is known for its beautiful architecture and design with most of the original work still intact.