Sights of Christchurch, New Zealand
According to 800Zipcodes, Christchurch is New Zealand’s oldest and second largest city. The city is located on the southernmost island. Due to the abundance of nature, parks and public gardens, Christchurch is sometimes referred to as the Garden City. The center of the city has many historic buildings, mostly built in the neo-Gothic style. Christchurch was hit by a major earthquake in 2010 and 2011. This last quake did a lot of damage to the famous Christ Church Cathedral on Cathedral Square. Renovation and reconstruction was no longer possible. Fortunately, Christchurch has many more cultural and historical attractions. Some examples are the Air Force Museum New Zealand, the Canterbury Museum and the 185 Empty White Chairs.
Top 10 Christchurch attractions
#1. International Antarctic Centre
The International Antarctic Center is home to Italy, the United States and New Zealand when it comes to Antarctic explorations. The center is open to visitors, revealing a great deal of information about the South Pole in the process. You can obtain this information by viewing various interesting exhibitions about Antarctica, which are often interactive. In addition, the International Antarctic Center near Christchurch houses a large warehouse in which no less than 400 tons of fresh snow is stored. You can admire caves, conquer slopes and experience the real South Pole experience.
#2. Christchurch Botanical Gardens
The Christchurch Botanic Gardens was founded in 1863. On July 9 of that year, a tree was planted in honor of a royal wedding. The botanical garden is located near the Avon River and covers an area of more than 20 hectares. You can visit the rosarium where you can admire no fewer than 250 different types of roses. The Christchurch Botanic Gardens also has a heather garden, rock garden and herb garden. The garden also contains various greenhouses with special plant species that you can visit. As a bird lover, you have also come to the right place in this special park. In the Christchurch Botanic Gardens you will also find various special bird species from different continents.
#3. Canterbury Museum
Just outside Hagley Park in Christchurch you will find the Canterbury Museum. Here you will learn everything about the history, present and future of New Zealand and Canterbury. This information is disseminated through various exhibitions. The museum is housed in a historic building which is worth a visit in itself. In the museum you can see exhibitions about the Maoris and you can also view various artifacts. Life at the South Pole is also highlighted, as are various other New Zealand cultures.
#4. Christchurch Gondola
The Christchurch Gondola is a true experience if you are not afraid of heights. With this gondola you go 445 meters into the air. You do get a fantastic view of Banks Peninsula, Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains. Of course, from this height you also get a great overview of the city of Christchurch itself. You’ll find the Christchurch Gondola just outside the city on Mount Cavendish.
#5. 185 Empty White Chairs
185 Empty White Chairs is a memorial and monument opposite the once existing Canterbury Television building. This monument was built to commemorate the victims of the earthquake in 2011. As many as 185 people were killed when the Canterbury Television building collapsed. The field opposite the now demolished building can be seen with 185 white chairs. Some of them are even accompanied by a pram. Each chair symbolizes a dead man, woman or child. 185 Empty White Chairs in Christchurch is an impressive and moving landmark that also includes Cardboard Cathedral.
#6. Cardboard Cathedral
Cardboard Cathedral is located near the 185 Empty Chairs memorial. The church is made of cardboard and is supposed to replace the collapsed Christchurch Cathedral. You can also view the inside of the church, which was designed by Shigeru Ban. There you will be amazed by the space that you do not immediately notice on the outside. The Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch is not only special because it is made of cardboard, but also because it is earthquake resistant.
#7. Quake City
Quake City is an educational attraction if you don’t want to miss anything about the origin and course of the earthquakes that Christchurch experienced in 2010 and 2011. It is a large-scale exhibition where you get a unique look behind the scenes through images and stories. You will learn how devastating the natural disaster has been, how the relief efforts on the spot started at the time and what consequences the earthquakes had for Canterbury and Christchurch. The exhibition space is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can find Quake City on Durham Street North in Christchurch.
#8. North Hagley Park
North Hagley Park is nearly 165 acres. The park is characterized by its large green plains, but also by the many trees that have been laid out in a park-like way. Hagley Park in Christchurch is located on the banks of the Avon River. The river crosses the park in the northern part. Many botanical gardens are located in North Hagley Park. Here you can see various special plant species, as well as many bird species from the Netherlands and abroad. The park used to mainly serve as a venue for horse racing. Now it is a place where both tourists and locals gather to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
#9. Air Force Museum New Zealand
The Air Force Museum New Zealand can be found on the former RNZAF base in Wigram. On the outside area of the base you can admire about 30 old aircraft that fought during the Second World War. The museum can also be visited from the inside. Here you can watch various films that tell you everything about the New Zealand Air Force. In addition to antique fighter planes, you can also admire various objects and utensils from this time in the Air Force Museum. This museum is definitely worth a visit during your visit to Christchurch.
#10. Christchurch Art Gallery
The Christchurch Art Gallery is a striking museum also known as Te Puna o Waiwhetu. You can find the Art Gallery in the center of Christchurch near Worcester Boulevard. The building itself is worth seeing. It consists of robust steel constructions and curved glass plates. The building was severely damaged by the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, but has since been renovated. You can expect exhibitions of New Zealand art, but you will also find work by Dutch greats. A good example of this are the works of Gerard Dou. Eye-catching exhibitions are regularly featured at the Christchurch Art Gallery.