A day in the ever-evolving city

Christchurch city is vibrant and innovate, filled with exciting new restaurants and bars, creative and original projects, and ideas which challenge the way we experience and live in a modern city. From permanent structures to those only temporary, spend a day exploring all that the new Christchurch has to offer.

In the ever changing landscape of Christchurch, there’s one thing that seems to remain a constant. Around every corner, there’s inspiration to be found in the form of street art, pop ups and gap fillers, exciting new architecture and fantastic bars and restaurants.

Re:START mall on Colombo Street is a buzzing hive of both residents and visitors, flocking to the shopping strip for food truck feasts, fantastic retail and outdoor entertainment. High fashion boutiques, quirky and artistically made New Zealand themed homeware, and an old fashioned sweet shop can be found in the precinct. With a selection of local and international cuisine, including wood fire pizza and sauce covered souvlakis, you could spend a vast portion of the day navigating the brightly coloured avenues.

Venturing beyond high street, the city is buzzing with the new projects which go up by the day. Dotted amongst these are spectacular murals of electric, vibrant colour, many almost unbelievably done with spray paint. A portrait of a young girl’s face near cathedral square looks like it has been there for years. An aerial image of a ballerina bending over, her figure encircled by a white tutu is a masterpiece fitting for the theatre it resides on. Graphic patterns in effervescent colour patterns transform grey walls into art. 

The Transitional Cardboard Cathedral sits like a mountain sitting tall on the city plains. The cathedral gets in name from the material it is constructed with; designed by award winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the large tubular columns of cardboard support the magnificent structure, and the printed windows depict images from the rose window, a defining feature of the original cathedral.

A short walk from the Cardboard Cathedral is High Street, a popular hospitality hub with a superb collection food and drink options. C1 café is a must do. Order a burger, and have it delivered to your table via a Jetsons style pneumatic tube system.

Across the Road, Smash Palace originally had its home on the corner of Victoria Street. Forget about the usual hassles of relocation: the bar is constructed in an old bus, so when it came time to move, it was simply driven down the road to its new home. Innovation is the name of the game for what’s cool in Christchurch, and Johnny Moore and the team have it in spades from their simple burger and chips menu to their motorbike Thursday’s, where enthusiast can drive their bikes right in to the bar.

What better way to end the day than down a buzzing, inner city lane packed with cool, contemporary cuisine. Strangers Lane is just that, and the atmosphere of people spilled out in to the lane from each bar gives the whole place a vibrant, energetic vibe. Orleans is the place to go for southern American style fare –from hot wings, to curly fries, this is comfort food done at its best.