We have arranged an exciting alternative programme with partners and others accompanying someone to the convention in mind. This is not made any easier by strict trading rules on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but there will still be plenty of options for things to see and do. The earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 changed the face of Christchurch forever, giving us many exciting new buildings. But you will also see many scars and much that is still a work in progress.
One of the places to see (though not necessarily in the gathering dusk) will be the ‘Cardboard Cathedral’ built soon after the 2010 quakes to serve in place of the badly damaged Christ Church Cathedral.
The beautifully restored Spanish-style facades of the New Regent St shops (with optional tram) are another attraction.
Another place to see on Good Friday is the Margaret Mahy playground. For those who knew Christchurch, this is on the site of the Centennial Pool.
Saturday morning features a guided tour through Turanga, the new central library, noted for its architecture and many modern innovations. See what the lead architect, Carsten Auer, meant when he said, “Libraries have moved on from being repositories of books to being multi-media and social hubs”.
Seven days a week the new indoors Riverside Market offers fresh farm produce together with vibrant boutique shops and cafes, and it’s just a short walk from there to the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial alongside the Avon River.
Woolston’s faithfully replicated old tannery buildings have been transformed into a charismatic shopping arcade with a great variety of boutique shops and even second hand shops for clothes, gifts, books, food, a brewery, cinema, and many crafts and artisans.
Sunday’s tour reaches Little River on Banks Peninsula. The town has retained its historic railway station, now home to a craft shop, and the Little River Café and Store also houses a gallery featuring works from local and other NZ artists. “A must stop. Great coffee and really good food not to mention a gallery where I can’t resist buying something each time I visit — Review
Good Friday – discover the new central city
As it is a statutory holiday we will host an informal tour of the CBD with many stops enabling people to walk and explore. Things to see include:
• Transitional Cathedral
• 185 White Chairs memorial
• Margaret Mahy Playground
• Spanish-style New Regent Street
• Cathedral Square and repair work on the Christ Church
• Turanga, the new city library
• En route some of the city’s street art
• The half-restored Arts Centre
• Botanical Gardens with optional very good guided tour
($20) in an open ‘caterpillar’ bus
• Lunch and coffee stops as required
Saturday – views over Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps with a touch of heritage and shops
• Guided tour of Turanga, the new central library
• Coffee at the new Riverside Market
• Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial alongside the
Avon River (short walk required)
• Ride the Heritage Tram ($25) around the central city
• Gondola ride up the Port Hills ($30) for panoramic views of
the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps. (We will have
20% discount vouchers from Christchurch Attractions. If
used when purchasing the total Gardens/ Tram/Gondola
package this brings the cost down to $60.)
• Re-created historic Victorian tannery buildings, now a
modern shopping arcade with a great variety of boutique
shops, brewery, cinema, many crafts and artisans at work.
• Lunch and coffee stops as required Alternatively, stay in the
city and visit:
• Quake City
• Art Gallery
• New Justice Precinct
• High Street
• Bus Interchange
Sunday - a country exploration to Little River via Lyttelton and Banks Peninsula returning to Riccarton
• Bus to Sumner
• Summit Road
• Governors Bay
• Gebbies Pass passing local farmland and Lake Ellesmere
• Little River
• Historic railway station
• Craft shop
• Art Gallery
• Café for lunch
• Birdlings Flat
• Tai Tapu
• Riccarton Bush
• Historic Riccarton House
• Deans Cottage, oldest Canterbury Plains building
• Easy walk through a unique Kahikatea forest remnant
• River walks
Inside the Bus Interchange, the new hub for Christchurch’s public transport system.
The Justice and Emergency Services Precinct covers a whole city block, housing all the justice sector agencies and the city's civil defence and emergency management functions. Covering 42,000m2 it is the workplace for about 2000 people. A walk through this area is one of many things to see in the central city for those not riding the Gondola or visiting The Tannery.
Another Saturday alternative, the High St pedestrian precinct, is almost all new buildings, home to banks and a host of retail shops.
No market on Sundays, but historic Riccarton House is still a fascinating place to visit. Behind it on the short walk to the even more historic Riccarton Bush is Deans Cottage, the oldest extant building on the Canterbury Plains. Since being predator fenced the understory has returned to the bush and the birdlife flourishes. “In the heart of Christchurch is a wild forest, home to over 400 mighty kahikatea trees with their impressive buttress roots” DoC website.