Recently on Instagram, I said that, “lately I always arrive in Christchurch during a disaster” of some sort. My most recent trip, just a couple of weeks ago when the Port Hills were ablaze or as one media outlet put it “Christchurch is engulfed in fire”. Not really but this isn’t a fake news post. I was in Christchurch to see how the city had rebuilt, 6 years after the earthquake that devastated the city.
Flying in on Thursday night, we flew along the fire. Just looking down the whole hill was just black we couldn’t see any flames. Many people on the plane and myself included, speculated the fire had been extinguished. This was quickly extinguished (Pun fully intended) when we landed and got online.
I wasn’t here for the fire however, it just happened to be raging at the time. I was actually here to look around the city and see how it has rebuilt itself. Six years on from the quakes that shook the city and finally the city was starting to look like a city again.
Christchurch’s eastern suburbs which were red zoned, have now been cleared and is now a large park.
After 6 years, Christchurch still has many empty lots that now hold the now famous pop up spaces.
The central city has exploded in a construction boom. The downside is trying to navigate is a nightmare.
Since the earthquake, a few buildings have been demolished and left as empty basements and others are still being demolished.
The Christ Church Cathedral now has a permanent wall around it and looks worse than ever.
Christchurch has taken huge steps forward but with buildings still being demolished and some eyesores still existing, the city isn’t back to normal yet. The entire CBD is effectively a construction site and the building rate is astounding. Navigating the city is still a nightmare and it will be a while before the fence and the cones disappear and Christchurch returns being a normal city again.
Bonus: Christchurch city gardens
If you ever get a chance to walk around Christchurch’s Botanical gardens, you absolutely should.