Photos over Cathedral Square in Christchurch – 2014 & 2016

On 22 February 2011 a large earthquake and aftershocks caused significant damage in Christchurch and tragically took the lives of 185 people and left thousands injured. The city centre and eastern suburbs of Christchurch sustained the most damage, and five years on the city is still rebuilding.

In November 2014 I took photos over Cathedral Square from our room on the 11th floor of the Novotel Hotel. Two years on, I took photos of the same areas to show how the rebuild is progressing.

November 2014 - Demolition and rebuilding in progress, Camelot Hotel on Cathedral Square still closed

November 2014 – Demolition and rebuilding in progress, Camelot Hotel on Cathedral Square still closed

The … Read the rest

What’s New & Curious in Christchurch – November 2016

Pet friendly Fino Hotel & Suites, 87 Kilmore Street
The newly refurbished Fino Hotel & Suites has two dedicated pet friendly suites for house trained pets under 50kg. They supply a bed, water bowl, and for those taking man’s best friend, a map of local dog parks. See Pet Friendly Suites for more information. (PS. Scenic Hotel Te Pania in Napier is dog friendly too).

Fino Hotel & Suites, Christchurch

Fino Hotel & Suites, Christchurch

Play Pong at the intersection of Lichfield & Colombo Streets (outside the Bus Exchange)
Local company SmartCross are responsible for the devices with touchscreens that are attached to the traffic … Read the rest

She Universe, Governors Bay

We lived in Christchurch for a couple of years and often on summer weekends we’d drive to Governors Bay and veer right to Governors Bay Hotel for a beer in the garden. On this sunny spring day we veered left to She Universe Cafe & Chocolaterie. There are a few unusual aspects to She Universe, one is the splendid view it shares with the hotel, another is the spiritual element of their chocolate enterprise.

Hot chocolate with a view at She Universe

Hot chocolate with a view at She Universe

She stands for Spiritual Human Evolution. The staff at She Universe practice a moving meditation called ‘The Form’ … Read the rest

What’s New & Curious in Christchurch?

It feels like the Christchurch inner city rebuild is starting to take shape. The Re:START container shopping centre now feels like the temporary shopping solution it was always meant to be and construction is going on all around its edges. The new bus interchange is fully operational and its facilities for cyclists (more below) help lay the foundations for a very bike friendly city, the city’s flat terrain is a bonus as well.

Isaac Theatre Royal

Isaac Theatre Royal

The restored Isaac Theatre Royal has been open nearly a year and takes pride of place on Gloucester Street, the calendar is stacked with … Read the rest

Whole House Reuse – Exhibition & Charitable Auction

Christchurch based Rekindle is a social enterprise that has rescued wood from earthquake damaged houses and turned it into furniture, childrens toys and artworks.

Glassware and jewellery made by Frances Woodhead on display at Canterbury Museum

Glassware and jewellery made by Frances Woodhead on display at Canterbury Museum

In 2013 Rekindle took on the ambitious project of reusing a whole red zoned house. Number 19 Admirals Way, New Brighton was a 1920’s California bungalow that was home to six families between 1925-2011. With the blessing of the last home owners the bungalow was deconstructed by hand, the materials were catalogued and photographed and filled six garages. Unsurprisingly the project wasn’t without … Read the rest

More Curious Christchurch

Crack’d for Christchurch
In a similar vein to Rekindle who rescued and reused timber from residential demolition sites, a group called Crack’d for Christchurch used donated broken china to create a beautiful mosaic chair and ottoman. The chair named Flora weighs over two tonnes, and is matched with Otto the ottoman, it took more than a year to complete this stunning project. Flora and Otto are in The Green Room at 599 Colombo Street and furnish a flower filled garden created by Greening the Rubble.

The Green Room, 599 Colombo Street

The Green Room, 599 Colombo Street

Beautiful work Crack'd for Christchurch & Greening the Rubble

Beautiful work Crack’d for Christchurch & Greening the

Read the rest

Curious Christchurch – Unusual Eats & Drinks

Vespa Bar, 225 High Street
Vespa themed Vespa Bar celebrated one year in their new High Street location in November 2014. Vespa adjoins the Stranges Lane development that opened in August. We called in to Vespa Bar for morning coffee and were served by a very friendly staff member, reason enough for us to go back on our next trip to Christchurch. Reason two could be the 2 for 1 cocktails Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 4pm (stay up-to-date with promotions on Facebook).

Vespa Bar, Christchurch

Vespa Bar, Christchurch

Vespa inspired cocktails include Helmet Head, and Jump Start. Express lunches are served … Read the rest

Super speedy dinner delivery at C1 Espresso in Christchurch

Mike was travelling solo in Christchurch and thecuriouskiwi mission he chose to accept was to have dinner delivered via pneumatic tube at C1 Espresso. Initially delivery speed was up to 140km/h, surely the fastest dinner delivery in town, maybe even the world? Delivery speed has since been reduced to prevent food carnage.

The greens in your fast food may come from C1's gardens

The greens in your fast food may come from C1’s gardens

We first saw (and sent a cannister flying) around a pneumatic conveyor system at The Faraday Centre in Napier. The systems were once used in New Zealand department stores to transfer cash between divisions.

Eventually the … Read the rest

Stay in a Guard’s Van at Waipara Sleepers

We were surprised to find that a stay in a former guard’s van at Waipara Sleepers cost only $65 a night. Throwing caution to the wind we booked two nights, how bad could it be? It wasn’t bad at all, but we do think some facilities could do with attention. Waipara Sleepers is advertised as unique budget accommodation though and I think they’re on the right track (toot toot).

Our guard's van at Waipara Sleepers

Our guard’s van at Waipara Sleepers

Our guard’s van had a little TV, a small basin, and all you need to make tea and toast. The carriage was divided in half … Read the rest

Curious Christchurch

New Regent Street – Shop Eight & Rekindle
New Regent Street in the central city re-opened in April 2013 after many of the Spanish Mission Revival style buildings were refurbished. I had a flat white at Shop Eight and admired their striking furniture made from waste wood by Rekindle.

Refurbished New Regent Street

Refurbished New Regent Street

Rekindle have since opened a shop at 35 New Regent Street to showcase what waste wood can turn in to – little house earrings, offcut cufflinks, childrens toys, and more of the furniture I admired. A link to Rekindle’s online store – if you were a fan … Read the rest