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Things to do

Contain yourself

Spend a bundle at Re:START, an innovative shopping district that redefines “can-do attitude”. A mall constructed out of steel shipping containers after the earthquakes, it’s home to over 50 businesses and is situated on the block bordered by Oxford Terrace and Cashel, Colombo and Lichfield Streets, 80% of which was destroyed in the disaster.

House of cardboard

Cathedral Square gives visitors poignant insight into the damage inflicted by the earthquake, with the Anglican cathedral that gives the square its name a mere shell of its former self. As a counterpoint, visit the innovative Cardboard Cathedral, constructed as a temporary replacement.

Snow much fun

An hour inland from the CBD is Mt Hutt with its 365ha of slopes for snow bunnies of all ages and abilities. The season generally begins in mid-June and runs for several months. A daily shuttle service operates between Methven and Christchurch.

Memory Banks

Just 84km east of Christchurch on Banks Peninsula, Akaroa is an English and French settlement bursting at the seams with colonial and Maori history. A popular resort in summer, it offers swimming with dolphin tours that are a major drawcard.

Ice capades

Visit the Antarctic without leaving Christchurch by exploring the International Antarctic Centre, featuring a visitor centre known as The Antarctic Attraction that boasts wild little blue penguins on the road to recovery.