Christchurch is set on the expansive Canterbury Plains. To the east is the Pacific Ocean and to the west is the snow capped Southern Alps.
Our highlight was seeing Harriet, Dave and Amelia again, who we had met in Waipatiki - our hitchhike heroes. We received really warm welcome and loved catching up with them. Amelia had had a real growth spurt since we first met! They kindly put us up for the night and made us feel truly at home, thank you.
We were treated to a personal guided tour around Christchurch town centre. Following the significant seismic events (and subsequent fires) in 2010 and 2011 the city looked like a recent warzone. Rebuilding is going on and reconstruction of key cultural heritage buildings. Cranes pierce the skyline and many creative projects have been developed to bring new life to the city.
Thankfully the trams are still running
The old Cathedral was severely damaged and is currently a contentious subject amongst citizens and government about whether it can and should be salvaged.
Re:START Mall where retail shops and cafés are housed in shipping containers.
Containers are also used to stabilise old building facias which will be salvaged and used to front new buildings constructed on the old footprints
The 'Transitional Cardboard Cathedral' is a fantastic example of emergency architecture - built from 96 cardboard tubes and pine framing.
Going walkabout amongst Christchurch's street art
Harriett's gorgeous (but rather rich) lollipop cake - couldn't sleep for a few days after that!
Thanks Harriett, Dave and Amelia for looking after us!
Enjoying a final New Zealand beer in Christchurch's ReSTART Mall
Our route through the north and south islands
We now embark on a journey to a new continent - Argentina here we come! We hope you'll join us :)