Christchurch is the third largest city in New Zealand and the largest on the Soutch island. In 2010 and then in 2011 Christchurch was hit by two massive earthquakes, the second of which led to mass destruction and several deaths. The demolition/rebuild work is still going on 3 years later and the economic damage dome to New Zealand is estimated to take 50-100 years to recover from.
Arriving in the city there is construction work going on everywhere even in the outskirts. Its difficult to turn a corner without seeing traffic cones, metal fences or orange tape over some part of your surroundings. With all the plaques and memorials and with very few buildings that were left standing you can get a feel for how the city used to be, vibrant, artsy and bustling but unfortuneatley at least currently it is a shadow of its former self.
Cathedral square has plaques with pictures showing what it looked like before the quake but now most of the building have been demolished or are half destroyed like the main cathedral. The cardboard cathedral was quite amazing how it was nothing like any cathedral i had ever been to but still felt as if i was in a place of worship. Other than that there wasnt very much to see in Christchurch other than a nice botanical garden. The city feels a bit like a ghost town but there are signs of improvement and I wish them all the best with the rebuild project to bring back Christchurch better than ever.
From now i will be leaving New Zealand, easily the most beautiful country i have ever been to and have a 13 hour stopover back in Sydney followed by a flight to Tokyo and the 'Land of the Rising Sun'!