Arrivals & Departures From one of New Zealand’s oldest cities to its newest: Christchurch regenerates

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

See the largest economic undertaking in New Zealand's history in action as the city continues to rebuild following the 2011 earthquake.

Christchurch is spending $NZ100 million a week as it rebuilds following 2011’s devastating earthquake - the largest economic undertaking in New Zealand's history.

The central city rebuild is estimated to reach $NZ40 billion, while the Otakaro/Avon River precinct is the largest programme to restore an urban river in New Zealand, boasting a city promenade, terraces and green space incorporating walking and cycling paths.

“With new accommodation and hospitality opening all the time, the city is a fascinating place to visit right now,” Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Vic Allen said.

“We are unveiling an impressive newly built environment centred around our river, parks and gardens, drawing on the city’s rich cultural and natural heritage and designed with people at its heart.”

Significant openings in recent months include the Terraces waterfront promenade, the Piano Centre for Music and Arts, and the co-working space Innovation Precinct.

The city's new i-SITE Visitor Centre in the historic Arts Centre opened in December last year, while the complex also includes the reopened Rutherford's Den, where visitors can learn about the work of New Zealand scientist Ernest Rutherford, who is known as the father of nuclear physics.

Historic venues returned to their former glory include Mona Vale Homestead, now a popular stop for garden lovers, river punting and high tea.

The historic neo-Gothic stone Sign of the Takahe building is soon to reopen, while its sister building Sign of the Kiwi has been restored as a cafe.

Three new hotels will add 600 rooms to the city in the coming year: the Crowne Plaza Christchurch, the Novotel Christchurch Airport and the Distinction Hotel Christchurch.

A new $NZ55 million dollar cruise-ship berth will be built at nearby Lyttelton, bringing cruise ships back to Christchurch in time for the 2019–2020 cruise season.

The new berth will be the first custom-built cruise-ship facility for Christchurch and will be able to accommodate some of the largest cruise liners from around the world.

(Top picture: The restored 1908 Isaac Theatre Royal. Picture by Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism.)

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