Winston Aldworth 's Opinion

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: Back to Christchurch

It's a remarkable time to be in Christchurch. Photo / Supplied
It's a remarkable time to be in Christchurch. Photo / Supplied

Is it ghoulish to visit the quake-levelled centre of Christchurch?


The rebuilding of our shaken southern city makes for intriguing viewing, and tourist money rings a till just the same as any other sector. On a recent visit, we sat sipping flat whites in Cashel Mall watching as a wrecking ball whacked the seventh storey off a building less than 100 metres away - you just don't see that sort of thing anywhere else.

The locals were easy to spot: familiar with the muntedness, they chewed the fat or walked along ignoring the building being smashed to pieces. Visitors gawped with slack-jawed fascination.

TripAdvisor says that the number of Australians using their website to research a visit to Christchurch has gone up more than 250 per cent in the past year. Those numbers came a week or so after Christchurch bagged sixth place on Lonely Planet's list of the top 10 cities to visit in 2013, something that would have been unlikely in the pre-quake days.

Smart locals are making the most of it; Cashel Mall is one of the more memorable shopping and cafe areas you'll wander through.

So get on a bus tour or a cycle tour, or just grab your camera and walk the fenceline. It's a remarkable time to be in Christchurch.

* In the next couple of weeks, we're visiting Christchurch and we'd love to share your top tips for the shaken city. Email us at

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Winston Aldworth

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2015, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 30 Nov 2015 12:18:46 Processing Time: 843ms