Places of interest in Christchurch
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island with a population of around 390,000. It is located on the west coast between Banks Peninsula and Canterbury Plains. The Maori name for the town is “Ōtautahi”, named after one of its chiefs.
Christchurch was hit by strong earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, destroying large parts of the city, such as the landmark Christchurch Cathedral. But despite the visible traces, the city is once again attracting more and more tourists.
Find out more about the cultural sights in the centre of Christchurch here.
In the Canterbury Museum you can see great exhibitions about Antarctica, contemporary costumes, insects, the history of conflicts between the Maori and Europeans in the region, ornamental art from Asia and more. The museum is located in a building that was built in 1870 in the Gothic style. The free museum is located at the entrance to the Botanical Gardens. The insights into the habits of the indigenous people are very interesting and therefore also arouse the interest of younger visitors.
The Arts Centre is located opposite Hagley Park on the same level as the Canterbury Museum. The venerable-looking building in neo-Gothic style used to belong to the university and is home to a lively collection of art and craft shops, cafés, galleries and cinemas, and there is even a weekly market. The Arts Centre has been closed since the last major earthquake on 22 February 2011
When you visit Christchurch, you should not turn a blind eye to the damage caused by the earthquake and the suffering of its inhabitants. The city has therefore created the Quake City Museum, which provides a deep, surprising and moving insight into the history of the city after the earthquake. Exhibits, multimedia shows and many eyewitness accounts give visitors a feeling for such a catastrophe.
Air force Museum
The Air Force Museum explores the history of New Zealand’s military aviation. At the place where it all began… Admission is free of charge.
185 empty chairs
The artist Peter Majendie set up 185 empty white chairs as a memorial to the 185 victims of the earthquake in February 2011. Each chair in the “185 empty chairs” memorial stands for an individual victim and also visualises their age. Unfortunately, this also includes a baby maxi cosi. A monument that gives you goose bumps.
Cathedral Square is the centre of Christchurch. It is home to Christchurch Cathedral and the tourist centre, as well as all the main shops and a wide range of gastronomic and cultural attractions in the immediate vicinity. During the Christchurch earthquake on 22 February 2011, a large part of Cathedral Square was destroyed.
Built in the 19th century and completely destroyed in 2011. The building was severely damaged by the earthquakes on 4 September 2010 and 22 February 2011. The top of the tower collapsed and the rest of the tower was later demolished. At the end of 2017, it was decided that the cathedral would be rebuilt, but this has not yet begun.
The botanical garden
The Botanic Garden is a very special highlight of the city and is of course also one of the sights in Christchurch. The garden is particularly fascinating with its beautiful trees, flowerbeds and water features. The “English touch” can also be seen here thanks to the typical English lawn.
Here you completely forget that you are in a big city.
Admission is free.