Bridge of Remembrance in Christchurch

Bridge of Remembrance In Christchurch

You would never know that the Bridge of Remembrance was once damaged in an earthquake. Located over the Avon River in Christchurch, it stands as a memorial to both World War I & II,  along with the conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, and Vietnam. Structurally damaged in the February earthquake of 2011, when it was repaired, an 8 tonne beam was used to reinforce the arch and 27 metre piles were built so in any future earthquakes it rocks rather than twists. 

The Little Fiddle In Christchurch

The Little Fiddle In Christchurch

I made my way through streets that looked vaguely familiar. Not having a great knowledge of Christchurch’s CBD, anything past the Avon River was really a mystery to me. Yet, occasionally I found a street or location that seemed recognisable. Colombo Street was one, Manchester Street was another and then of course there was Cathedral Square. The rest looked nothing like I remember it.  But, that’s to be expected when you’re rebuilding a city! 

I made my way along streets, down passage-ways and through alleys with a simply delightful gaze in my eye. It was like discovering a whole new city and I was very much enjoying myself. I walked past new buildings that seemed to feature a style of architecture called ‘jigsaw puzzle pieces that don’t fit’ and shops that either had a minimalist vibe or were still under construction. 

Eventually, I came across a junction point for three laneways. Clearly I was approaching the food and beverage sector of the CBD as nearby there was an Italian Restaurant, a Mexican Bar, A place called ‘The Craft Embassy’ and one known as ‘The Little Fiddle’. It was this last one that caught my eye, for no other reason that it was bright red. It was covered in signs that read “Stout & Porter”, “Pedlers of fine Irish Whiskey, Beer and Wine” and “Try our hot and tasty fare.” It did look very enticing, but unfortunately I still had to navigate my way back to my car and negotiate my way through Christchurch traffic and I wasn’t too sure that alcohol would help the matter.

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre Buy 

Finding myself with no place to be, and with a bit of time to spare, I went for an amble around Christchurch. It had been a good five years since I’d visited the city centre and it was with interest that I strolled the streets around Cathedral Square. One of the new buildings I found (although hard to miss) was Te Pae. Te Pae, literally meaning “gathering place” in te reo Māori, is the new Christchurch Convention Centre.

The Arts Centre in Christchurch

The Arts Centre in Christchurch – Buy

These days a section of Hereford Street, Worcester Boulevard and Rolleston Avenue in Christchurch is known as the The Arts Centre. However, back in 1877 when the first building was opened it was known as Canterbury University College. After that, more buildings were added for both Christchurch Boys and Christchurch Girls High Schools until the campus grew so large that the high schools moved and the University took over the entire site. By the 1950’s, the University had grown so large that the University started to make plans to move to a large site. The first shift happened in 1957 when the Fine Arts department relocated. The Engineering department followed in 1959 and by 1975 the entire University had relocated. 

In 1978 the Arts Centre of Christchurch took over the ownership of the site which includes 22 buildings constructed in the Gothic Revival style.

Invercargill City Tramways, Tram No. 15

Invercargill Tramways No 15 – Buy 

These days Tram No 15 spends its day rattling around Christchurch City carrying passengers around the CBD. However, it started life 14,526 kilometres away in the sheds of Philadelphia in 1921. Designed in the USA in 1915, once constructed, thousands of these trams were exported all over the world including nine that were imported into New Zealand. Of those nine, six went to Invercargill and three headed for New Plymouth. Commencing operations on the streets of Invercargill on 20 December 1921, it stayed in service for more than 30 years until 31 May 1952. Sold off to private buyers, Tram No 15 stayed in the wilderness until 2009 when Christchurch City Council went in search of Trams for the tramway extension fleet. Lovingly restored, Invercargill Tramways Tram No 15 now spends its days carrying visitors around Christchurch as they hop-on and off seeing the central city sights.

The Port Hills

The Port Hills – Buy 

Somewhere on the way over the Port Hills, heading towards Lyttelton I stopped. Well, actually I stopped many times so it’s hard to recall the exact place. However, on the way the mist and clouds that were covering the Port Hills were constantly changing and shifting quite quickly so everytime I stopped it looked a little different. On this occasion it reminded me of a scene you see in the Scottish Highlands.

Lyttelton Harbour / Whakaraupō

Here’s a wee video I made showing you the before and after of today’s photo.

Daily Photo

Lyttelton Harbour / Whakaraupō – Buy 

It wasn’t my intention to drive to Lyttelton on Banks Peninsula but then I often end up in places I don’t intend to be. I’d driven up into the Port Hills in Christchurch and had spent the previous few hours wandering some of the tracks in the area. Before heading back to Christchurch and my motel for some lunch, out of interest, I decided to continue on and see what was on the other side. Well, before you know it I’d driven half the way to Lyttelton. From there it only made sense to continue on and see the small port town.

Play Me

Christchurch Airport – Buy 

I took this photo during an unscheduled eight hour stop in Christchurch. I was only flying from Dunedin to Wellington!

It all started with a noise that didn’t sound quite right. Clearly this is not something you want to be thinking having just taken off on an A320 Airbus heading to 30,000 feet. The next thing that happened was the captain and cabin crew informed us that there was a problem with the landing gear and our flight to Wellington would be making an unscheduled stop in Christchurch. As I sat there watching the coast and listening to a plane that seemed to be rattling more than a car I once owned.

The chaos all started with a series of announcements. All of them simple enough but when strung together created bedlam for a good hour at the Air New Zealand domestic check-in desk. The first announcement came as the plane parked outside the terminal in Christchurch. Hoping it would be a shortstop I was relatively pleased to hear that we would be transferred to a waiting plane, our luggage transferred and all we would have to do is wait for a boarding call. Clearly this meant I would have a few minutes to spare, so like a few other passengers I went in search of coffee.

Clutching my beverage, I spent the time in Relay’s Bookstore looking over the Top 50 reads. The No 1 ranked book was The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck however oddly it was also ranked as No 14. Another book titled Everything Is F*cked also had a double ranking of both 2 and 16. Similar titles were also placed at 3 and 5, 6 and 15, 9 and 20 while most of the numbers from 30 to 50 were empty. I wasn’t quite sure if these placings reflected the quality of the books or an employee’s incompetence when suddenly the next announcement was made.

Over the loudspeaker all the other passengers and myself were told that our flight to Wellington had now been cancelled and we would all have to collect our luggage and rebook. This started a stampede of passengers that is rarely seen. In an instant arms and legs went flying as people headed for the check-in desk. Carry on baggage was flung over shoulders, battle plans were made as families spilt up to collect luggage, while others blocked the escalator looking for loved ones. Having made it to the bottom of the stairs I was pleased to find myself near the front of the pack. I collected my luggage in record time and headed for the appointed counter at the far end of the terminal. Now I don’t want to brag but upon arrival I joined a queue of people that only had two people in front of me. Feeling chuffed I happily waited secure in the knowledge that I would soon be back in the air and off once more to Wellington.

Then, the third announcement came. We were now told to head over to the domestic check-in desk. I turned and looked in horror as my third place in the queue had now slipped to somewhere in the 50’s!  Annoyed, I joined the line. The fourth announcement informed me that those travellers who had the Air NZ App would be automatically rebooked and now didn’t have to queue at all! Still feeling somewhat annoyed, I left the line and waited for my update. I waited and waited and waited. Half an hour later, no update had come through.

I head back to the Air NZ counter, making my way past all manner of travellers to inquire about my automatic rebooking. I approached an Air NZ staff member and proceeded to tell my story to which she informed me that I’d have to re-join the line. It was somewhere between the words ‘re-join’ and ‘line’ that my expression changed. This line that I was once third in, snaked off into the distance down the terminal. Feeling sorry for me, she took my details and after much typing printed out a boarding pass. My new flight was now scheduled to board in 7 hours!! Feeling somewhat dumb stuck I headed for a bar.

The Crossing In Christchurch

Coffee Culture at The Crossing – Buy 

Feeling both restless and hungry, I left the areas around Manchester and Cashel Street. As I edged back towards Cathedral Square, I became drawn to a walkway named Cashfields Lane. A narrow thoroughfare that’s closely surrounded by shops that opens to a retail and hospitality complex known as The Crossing. Ignoring the surrounding fashion outlets, my search for food took me past eatery’s such as Zeeks, Coffee Culture and Joyful Express before settling on the authentic Korean street food at The Chicken.

Riverside Market In Christchurch

Riverside Market – Buy 

I couldn’t remember the last time I was in Christchurch. I’d driven through it plenty of times however I had no idea when I was last in the city centre. So, it was with some interest that I left my car on Park Terrace near Hagley Park, walked the short distance up Worcester Street until I reached the Avon River. Exactly what I was doing or where I was going, I wasn’t too sure however a short time later I found myself entering the Riverside Market. Opening in 2019, the Riverside Market overlooks the river and is filled with boutique retailers, restaurants, cafes & bars. It has 30 independent food outlets and 40 fresh food stalls covering 3500 square metres and attracts over 10,000 a day. It really is a wonderful place!

Christchurch’s Hagley Park In Spring

Hagley Park in Spring Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I find myself reading a lot of poetry in spring. Personally, I think poetry lends itself very well to photography. There’s a closeness in the imagery that words create and what can be captured through the lens of the camera.
This week I’ve been reading several works by the bonnie scot Robbie Burns when I came across this line “Now spring has clad the grove in green.” It brought to mind this photo of Hagley Park in Christchurch. My friend and I were there to see a Bob Dylan concert and with some time to fill in the afternoon, we went exploring on foot before calling in to a local bar for a pre concert drink.