Christchurch is slowly rebuilding after not one but two devastating earthquakes in 2011. The places where buildings once stood now house pop up street art galleries, mini golf courses or bars and shops in shipping containers. The city also has an incredible line up of festivals and cultural events to make up for the lack of more traditional entertainment.

There are also poignant reminders of what Christchurch lost. The Cardboard Cathedral was hurriedly constructed to replace the city’s original cathedral which was destroyed in the earthquakes. Work to repair the previous cathedral, with its impressive spire, is only just beginning after years of debate over whether to create a new design or rebuild it to the old plan. The human scale of the disaster can be seen in the memorial “185 chairs”. An array of white chairs represent the people who lost their lives in 2011. The idea is simple but deeply moving.

Christchurch is still the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island and the perfect gateway to further explore the fantastic scenery and activities in this part of the country. Hike over spectacular mountains, try out a bungee jumping or relax in a world-class winery.

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Read more on Christchurch below with flight options, current weather, maps, and activities to try while you are there.

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