Walking out of Christchurch Airport into a hail shower led me to follow my own rainy day travel tip and head for a library. It was October 12 and opening day at Turanga – Christchurch’s new central library on Cathedral Square.
Turanga is described as ‘a unique bicultural interpretation of a ‘storehouse of knowledge’, and Maori design and art works feature throughout the five storey building.
While the library is still home to over 175,000 books there’s a lot of electronic technology here too including a digital touch screen wall on the ground floor. The wall can take you on a virtual tour of Christchurch’s history, you can also send a digital postcard from it which 750 people did in the opening month.
Adding to the technology theme, classes and courses are offered on level 4 including Music Production, Video Editing, and Introduction to 3D Design and Printing.
It was great to see so much for children in the library and the Imagination Station (all things LEGO) has moved to the library permanently and there is also a PlayStation gaming area.
Adults requiring coffee and lunch have two options – Foundation Cafe on the ground floor or the smaller Foundation Espresso Bar on level 1.
I was a little underwhelmed by the Roof Gardens but it’s good to have an open space to get some fresh air four levels up from the street.
One of the seating areas on level 1 will give a bird’s-eye view of the ChristChurch Cathedral rebuild once work gets underway.
So that’s an overview of Turanga, a recommended rainy day stop in Christchurch, or any day really, there’s all those books and a vast magazine collection. Turanga is open 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.
PS. Another new opening in Christchurch and also a good rainy day spot is EntX, a 7 screen cinema complex with a dozen or so eateries. Find EntX on the corner of Colombo and Lichfield Streets and opposite the Bus Exchange (5 minutes walk from Turanga).