The summer months are the perfect time to visit and explore Christchurch, and as the central city fills up with more and more new places to eat, drink, shop, relax and be entertained, it is certainly worth a visit.
Riverside Market, Avon River, Cashel Mall
Perhaps the most significant (and long awaited) addition to the central city is the freshly opened Riverside Markets.
Riverside Market outdoor seatingThis is a custom built indoor food market space, located at the end of Cashel Mall near the Bridge of Remembrance, filled with local food vendors, restaurants and bars.
Cluck Cluck Slurp, RiversideAmong the already very popular dining options are Castro’s tapas restaurant upstairs, Shaka Bros (from the popular Bacon Bros), Ben and Jerry’s, Cluck Cluck Slurp (roast chicken), Fritz’s Weiners, Costa’s Souvlaki and many more.
You can also do your produce shopping with everything from wholefoods to bakery goods, locally made cheeses, Mediterranean goodies, fresh fish and vegan desserts. It can get quite busy from mid morning onwards, so if you prefer not to be jostling the crowds, plan your visit a little earlier or later in the day.
Since opening it has been consistently popular with locals and tourists, and brings a great influx of people to this part of the city to then enjoy the sunshine along the riverbank sitting on the steps, jump on the tram for a circuit of the city, or wander down Cashel Mall to enjoy the many options for shopping.
Parking is available in the Lichfield Street carpark, which is a one minute walk from Riverside.
The City Promenade, along the Avon, Central City
Along the Avon River from the Hospital right through to the Margaret Mahy Playground, runs the City Promenade, which is designed to enable a leisurely walk, cycle or scooter ride through some of the most attractive parts of the city, as well as seeing some of the changes in progress (like the construction of the Convention Centre which is heading towards the final phases).
In the process of walking or scootering along the promenade, you will see the wall of remembrance for those lives lost in the earthquakes, wander past the Riverside Market, see the Convention Centre in progress, head through Victoria Square past the Town Hall and then in the final section head towards the award winning Margaret Mahy Playground past New Regent Street.
Beside that last section of the Promenade, you might also notice a white fenced area with many seagulls flying in and out. This is a nesting colony of the highly endangered black billed seagulls, who have chosen to breed in this former office tower site for the last two seasons. There are mesh windows along the fences so you can see what is happening inside the colony without disturbing the birds unecessarily.
Manchester Street, One Central
Manchester Street has undergone many changes in the last few years, and is now one of the main bus routes into and out of the central city, including many mega bus stops.
Along one side of Manchester Street we have the normal cityscape, while on the other, land that was bought by the government post quake is now being used for inner city apartments, along with innovative uses of green space including food trucks, a heritage themed mini-golf course featuring items from pre-quake Christchurch on each hole, the giant #chchswing (for adults and children), giant spray cans and half basketball court, two community owned parking areas called the Good Spot, grassed areas for events to be held, and the ‘detour snake run’ which provides a different surface for cyclists, skateboarders and scooter riders to enjoy.
You will also find plenty of e-scooters waiting to be used in this area, either Lime or Beam or Flamingo (the three options available in Christchurch).
This part of the city particularly comes alive in the weekends when families are enjoying the neighbouring playground, but is also a relaxing space to enjoy during the week.
Welder, Welles Street
Welder is a new inner city initiative bringing businesses with a focus on health and wellbeing together into one precinct, in amongst inner city apartments and businesses.
The development has repurposed six authentic, character buildings dating back as far as 1880. These industrial workshops share in their unique mix of materials and eccentric features that today are irreplaceable.
Check out the Welder website for the full list and head down for a relaxing day of exploring (perhaps with some yoga or a float tank session thrown in!)
Upper High Street and St Asaph
If you have been enjoying the Manchester Street area and want to keep exploring, head on up to High Street past the Dux Dine, Smash Palace and C1Espresso.
You’ll see Little High Eatery, the free larger than life video game on the Vodafone building, then the new Lanes and businesses open in the last block of High Street in the historic Duncan building.
Grab a coffee at Black and White Coffee Cartel or a delicious gelato from Utopia Ice.
Or head right up to the corner of High and St Asaph and explore all the food options in the Boxed Quarter.