The Toy Collector, Christchurch

I’ve seen a few collections of toys in New Zealand but The Toy Collector in Christchurch is the first to have me tapping at my keyboard. I wasn’t a model railway fan before visiting, but the train sets are fantastic, one is a LEGO city including houses, shops, a soccer pitch, and an airport.

LEGO train set at The Toy Collector in Christchurch

LEGO train set at The Toy Collector in Christchurch

LEGO train set at The Toy Collector in Christchurch

LEGO train set at The Toy Collector in Christchurch

The other model train set has a lot of detail too, I spent ages looking at all the individual pieces.

Model train set at The Toy Collector

Model train set at The Toy Collector

Along … Read the rest

Turanga – Christchurch Central Library

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.

Depiction of Tawhaki on the stairs at Turanga - Christchurch Central Library

Depiction of Tawhaki on the stairs at Turanga – Christchurch Central Library

While the library is still home to over 175,000 books there’s a lot of electronic technology here too including a digital touch … Read the rest

Christchurch Street Art

There are 41 photos of Christchurch street art below, the first 9 photos were taken in the seaside suburb of New Brighton, the rest of the photos were taken in the central city. A good website to visit if you’re looking for Christchurch street art is Watch This Space, there are over 100 pieces of street art featured along with a map to help you find them.

The street art festival Street Prints Otautahi (20 December – 31 December) will see new murals painted in New Brighton, Lyttelton and the central city.

Christchurch Street Art

Christchurch Street Art

Christchurch Street Art

Christchurch Street Art

Christchurch Street Art by Carrot Boy & Dove

Christchurch

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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

Curious 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

Curious Christchurch – October 2015

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

Curious Christchurch – December 2014

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

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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