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Should we skip Christchurch?

San Jose, California
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Should we skip Christchurch?

Hi,

We have 4 adults flying into Auckland and traveling our way south to end in Christchurch. We will be flying out of Christchurch to head back to the states.

Due to the earthquakes early this year, I was wonder if we should cut down our time in Christchurch and only arrive just in time to leave or are there still plenty of attractions in the city?

I've read some articles regarding the damages, but couldn't found out if the many of the attractions there are still available to visit. Specifically the Art Centre, botanical gardens and other nature reserves.

What is the progress on the restoration of the Cathedral? That was definitely on our list to see, but it sounds like it'll be a while before it is restored.

Any advice on activities and attractions in Christchurch in early December? I heard Akaroa is nice. Should we go there instead?

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: Should we skip Christchurch?

Restoration work has not started due to the enormous amount of demolition lwork still ongoing. The arts centre remains within the cordon but the botanic gardens are open as is punting in the park, Willowbank and other attractions outside the city centre. However you would be wise to limit your stay to just 1 or 2 nights at this time.

Christchurch, New...
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2. Re: Should we skip Christchurch?

Christchurch Cathedral is still in the cordon - you can just see it from peering thru the fence two blocks away. Agree with Zhuhai to just limit to 1-2 nights here at the moment.

The museum reopened just a few weeks ago, which is right next to the botanic gardens. Art Gallery despite being a moden building and withstood the quakes, isn't yet open due to it being used by City Council staff as temporary offices and an apartment building next to it needing to be demolished.

Auckland, New...
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3. Re: Should we skip Christchurch?

There's tons to do in CHC. So here, in no particular order, is a list of the Top 12 things still to do in Christchurch, earthquakes notwithstanding:

1: Punting on the Avon. Is there anything more quintessentially “English” than punting? Sink back into the velvet cushions of your boat as the Edwardian punter gently glides you down the lazy but pretty Avon River that runs through the centre of this very “English” city. They start at Antigua Boat Sheds, 2 Cambridge Tce. 03-366-5885. Daily 10-4 (winters) 9-6 (summer).

2: Or row your own boat – hire boats, kayaks or canoes also from Antigua Boat Sheds. It's an adventurous way to see the beautiful Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park.

3: Tanks for the memory. Fancy the idea of driving a 52 tonne Main Battle Tank? At Tanks For Everything you can take your choice out of a range of warrior wheels – from a genuine US Army Jeep to a British Centurion MBT or 42 tonnes of classic cold-war Russian armour, the T55AMT. And for the adrenalin super-buzz you can use these ultimate in Bad Boys Toys to crush a car!

4: Visit Akaroa the nearest thing in NZ to a French settlement. Pretty drive of about 2hrs. Akaroa contains so many precious old buildings that the whole village has been declared an historic place by the NZ Historic Places Trust. The village was untouched by the earthquakes so you can still enjoy the cafes and shopping.

5: While you’re out there, cruise Akaroa Harbour aboard the Black Cat, which - because it started in 1985 - claims to be the first eco-tourism operator in the country. Cruise usually includes a close encounter with Hector's, the world's smallest dolphin, and glimpses of the White Flippered Blue Penguin, the smallest penguin in the world.

6: If you're into losing money the fast way, the Christchurch Casino has opened again. Personally, I never could get any joy from watching my hard-earned dosh go down the neck of machines and tables where you know the odds make turkeys out of the players. But, hey, it's not the only viewpoint on the issue and if you enjoy a flutter then have fun.

7: Get a good look at things Antarctic without getting frostbite: The International Antarctic Visitor Centre in Orchard Rd near the airport brings the Southern Continent to the public through sound and light shows, interactive exhibits and audio-visuals. Experience the awesome beauty and grandeur of Antarctica in an entertaining and informative way.

8: Stroll around the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, founded in 1863 and now featuring one of the finest collections of exotic and native plants found in New Zealand. Towering trees, many over 120 years old, dominate the gardens, forming a backdrop to the extensive themed plant collections and sweeping lawns enclosed by a loop of the Avon River.

9: Don’t just get out of it, get high with a balloon safari from Up, Up and Away - floating silently (except for the occasional roar from the gas burner) above the patchwork quilt of the Canterbury Plains.

10: Ever had the urge to drive a harness racing horse – charging along full pelt at 50kph behind a champion pacer? Horsepower, operating from a famous Avonhead training stables, has designed dual seat sulkies and you get to drive.

11: To market, to market. Visit one (or more) of the weekend markets:

Cathedral Square market – no longer, of course, in Cathedral Square, but now at YMCA carpark, Cashel St / Rolleston Ave. Fri/Sat 9-3.

Christchurch Artisan Market, Riccarton House, 16 Kahu St. Sun 11-3. Ready-to-eat food stalls, art and crafts, live music and the fully licensed Riccarton House Bistro Beer Garden.

Christchurch Farmers Market, Riccarton House, 16 Kahu St. Sat 9-12.

Lyttelton Farmers Market, Lyttelton Main School, Oxford Street, Sat 10-1.

The Riccarton Market, Riccarton Racecourse, Sun 9-2.

12: Eat out at one of Christchurch’s restaurants. Sadly some of my favourite watering holes now lie in ruins in the red zone and the promenade of eateries fronting the river along Oxford St are similarly momentarily unavailable, but there are still some posh nosh spots to be savoured. Spagalimis, 50 On The Park at the George Hotel, Cathays at Hornby for cheap Chinese, Chinwag Eathai Victoria, Cook.n With Gas, Corianders for Indian, Edesia out at Addington, JC’s Place Chinese Restaurant at Riccarton, JDV at Merivale, and if you’re out that way and prefer Thai try Merry Thai, Nobanno in Colombo St, Pescatore another highly rated George Hotel option, Rotherhams of Riccarton, Servantis in Burnside, Thai Smile, The Grand Chinese Seafood Restaurant.

And finally, of course, you can just stop and stare in dumb-founded horror at the destruction visited on this beautiful city. If you previously visited Christchurch and got to love its style, its history, its self assurance then you be made of stone if you are not reduced to tears just looking at it.

On my own website I would have given you links to all those places, but they don't copy and paste - and I'm not allowed to give you a link to my own site - and I haven't the time to reconstruct them but I'm sure Professor Google will find them for you.

Auckland, New...
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4. Re: Should we skip Christchurch?

Oops - I'm wrong - somehow the links came over.

Auckland, New...
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5. Re: Should we skip Christchurch?

Ohhh. Nah - on closer look they are just links to this website's own stuff.

6. Re: Should we skip Christchurch?

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