2017 New Zealand Trip - Part 9
Return to Christchurch before leaving South Island
We drove back to Christchurch, following the quieter scenic route rather than State Highway 1 and ended up in New Brighton, having called in at the beach of Sumner, as we were early.
In the South Island, there's an abundance of single track bridges, here is one, much in need of repair on our way to Christchurch. Most of the others we had crossed, were in excellent condition. The glacial rivers were always this blue.
Sumner has a lovely quiet beach in a pleasant, calm bay.
We next headed for New Brighton, eastward around the coast. It was much windier there and there was a lot of work going on. The Pier was being refurbished but at the land side of the pier was a library where you could read and look out over the sea.
There was also an excellent restaurant called "Salt on the Pier" where we dined on superb fish and chips.
We drove around Christchurch to the Airport where we were spending 2 nights at Jucy Snooze, a low price budget room which was actually very good, more like a backpackers hotel.
The next day, we went back into Christchurch which had taken the brunt of an earthquake in 2011.
"At 12.51 p.m. on Tuesday 22 February 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake caused severe damage in Christchurch and Lyttelton, killing 185 people and injuring several thousand.The earthquake’s epicentre was near Lyttelton, just 10 km southeast of Christchurch’s central business district. It occurred nearly six months after the 4 September 2010 earthquake.The earthquake struck at lunchtime, when many people were on the city streets. More than 130 people lost their lives in the collapse of the Canterbury Television and Pyne Gould Corporation buildings. Falling bricks and masonry killed 11 people, and eight died in two city buses crushed by crumbling walls. Rock cliffs collapsed in the Sumner and Redcliffs area, and boulders tumbled down the Port Hills, with five people killed by falling rocks.Although not as powerful as the magnitude 7.1 earthquake on 4 September 2010, this earthquake occurred on a shallow fault line that was close to the city, so the shaking was particularly destructive.The earthquake brought down many buildings damaged the previous September, especially older brick and mortar buildings. Heritage buildings suffered heavy damage, including the Provincial Council Chambers, Lyttelton’s Timeball Station, the Anglican Christchurch Cathedral and the Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. More than half of the buildings in the central business district have since been demolished, including the city’s tallest building, the Hotel Grand Chancellor."
'Christchurch earthquake kills 185', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/page/christchurch-earthquake-kills-185, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 12-Apr-2017
Many billions of NZD have been spent rebuilding the city especially in the business district but the Anglican Cathedral has yet to be restored!
At first when we went in, we could not find the central shopping streets only garages and a large superstore which looked to have survived. We found some containers which had been converted to shops and cafes.
We drove out again and parked near the Botanical Gardens and Museum. We toured the Museum which was good.
When we came out we saw the Christchurch tram and decided to take a tour, only then did we see the extent of the devastation and the rebuilding work which has been, and still is, being done.
Included is a picture of what the Anglican Cathedral used to look like.
Lots of the Business District and Council offices have been rebuilt and improved but the Cathedral is sadly neglected, you can tell where the money is!
The oldest department store is Ballantynes and that survived the earthquake. A lot of new retail buildings have been constructed and shops were due to open before the end of the year.
We flew from Christchurch to Auckland the next morning. Please see the next instalment.