The heart of Ōtautahi is a colourful patchwork of green open spaces where original pop ups are emerging daily. As summer gets into full swing, the lineup of essential pit stops grows ever longer. We’ve gathered some summertime adventures that can only be experienced on Christchurch’s one-of-a-kind central city turf.
The Arts Centre Sunday Mākete
Upgrade your weekly Sunday ritual and factor in a recurring trip to The Arts Centre Mākete, from 10am – 4pm. Wander up and down the outdoor aisles and you’re bound to strike gold at every stop. Uncover vintage finds and quirky handmade trinkets, natural beauty products, environmentally friendly household products, and original crafts from local artists.
A line up of artisan food producers are onsite to fight off any oncoming hunger pangs. Graze on fresh and wholesome fish and chips from Herba Gourmet, wolf down a Bacon Brothers burger and sweeten the deal with one of The Great Pastry Shop’s flawless patisserie creations. The market is one of the rare places to find Canterbury Cheesemongers these days – so there’s no way you can leave without stocking up.
If you’re in it for the eats, scoop up your Mākete haul and walk a block to the Avon riverside. Newly revamped with seating, views and walkways, it’s the perfect pitstop for a picnic lunch.
The Night Market
Keep up your market streak with a Saturday night trip to Christchurch’s newest Night Market. During the week, you may mistake the corner of Moorhouse and Fitzgerald Ave for just another empty lot. Yet when 5pm rolls around on a Saturday evening, emerging foodies and musicians from across town fill the gravel corner and kick off a festive event.
A small fee of $2.50, and proof of 18+ years of living (sorry kids!), will grant you access to this gritty arena, featuring about 20 budding food producers. Don’t expect to find your usual food truck culprits. Instead, sample something a little unfamiliar – perhaps an Egyptian puffed donut, South Indian savoury pancake or foot long bratwurst.
Pair your lip-smacking eats with a bevy from Eagle Brewing and enjoy the sounds of live bands and singer-songwriters taking over the stage. This is a summertime ‘must do’ for you and your mates.
Friday Night Food Trucks at Cathedral Square
The weekend kicks off with a flavoursome bang as the greatest food trucks from across town roll into Cathedral Square. Friends, lovebirds and families are all perfectly suited to this Friday street food affair.
Decisions are made pretty difficult here, with every cuisine imaginable flying out of truck windows. Will it be Kung Fu Dumpling’s handcrafted momo, or the fresh bao and poké bowls from The Vagabond Chefs?
Once you have settled on a dish, prop yourself up against a tree or lounge across the large green and grassy furniture while musicians and buskers liven up your surroundings.
Stay in the loop with the Friday Street Food Market.
SCAPE Art Tour
As you roll around the central city’s pop up events, make it your holiday mission to tick off every new public art installation located on SCAPE’s handy walkway map (and get your daily recommended fresh air intake at the same time). Stick to the course or create your own self-guided tour and choose from over 20 standout works to visit.
The map outlines two walkways you can take, either the Time in Space Public Art Walkway or SCAPE Public Art Legacy Walkway (a slightly longer option). If the legs ain’t what they used to be or you’re just feeling a little lethargic, SCAPE have even included an ‘Art by Tram’ trail.
Visit Green Spaces
Christchurch Central is upholding its reputation as the Garden City, with accents of green integrated into every aspect of the rebuild.
The newly opened City Promenade is a great 2km walk for families, beginning just outside Christchurch Hospital and finishing up at Margaret Mahy Family Playground. The riverside walk is full of major monuments from start to end, including the poignant Memorial Wall, the Bridge of Remembrance, Kate Sheppard Memorial and more. Make a mental note of Victoria Park as you pass it on the way – it’s a great place to return to with a book and an even better place to cool down with a treat from Ice Cream Charlie.
Located on Tuam Street, Evolution Square is a gathering space in the new Salt District. It’s a place likened to a “central-city living room” with plenty of hot pink and grey bleachers to perch on with gardens flowering all around. Little High Eatery, GRE3N Superfood & Juice Bar and Espresso 245 are just handful of eateries sharing the laneway with Evolution Square and offer great takeaway options to enjoy on a sunny bleacher. Keep an eye out for markets and special events popping up in the space.
This feature is collaboration between Neat Places and ChristchurchNZ #explorechristchurch