City & Mairehau
In the wake of natural disaster, the city centre is experiencing a cultural rebirth inspired by a tangible sense of community
Like the rest of Christchurch, the City & Mairehau area suffered significant damage in the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Today, the city centre is in a period of transition, emerging gracefully from the aftermath with new creative energy. When you make your home here, you can become part of the efforts to rebuild.
After your classes, learn more about what happened at the Canterbury Museum’s Quake City exhibit, or explore galleries filled with Maori carvings and artefacts from the age of Antarctic exploration. Then, you can browse the Jonathan Smart Gallery’s contemporary artworks, or catch a performance at the Isaac Theatre Royal nearby.
Next, check out some of the City & Mairehau area’s post-quake innovations. Browse Re:START mall’s pop-up boutiques and trendy coffee shops, housed in a collection of brightly coloured former shipping containers. Next, check out the triangular Cardboard Cathedral – a beautiful temporary structure built in just 11 months, partly using cardboard tubes. Admire the brightly coloured stained glass windows, or head inside to enjoy a live music recital.
Later, you can stay on-trend with a trip to The Palms Shopping Centre, home to more than 100 high street stores, or search for vintage treasures among Shabby Chic Market’s Sunday stalls. With so much to see and do, regular refuelling is essential. Satisfy your cravings for gourmet coffee at Black Betty Café, or get your sugar fix with one of Strawberry Fare’s award-winning desserts.