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New Zealand: Christchurch Vs. Campbell, CA, a First Impression

Chrisctchurch from the top of the Gondola

With its single-family homes on small plots of land intermixed with office buildings, Christchurch reminds me of Campbell, CA, without the air pollution, cars, and litter. It’s a flat, walkable town with more green areas and bird song than Campbell. Christchurch Botanic Garden is huge and offers a unique dining experience among the birds of the garden. I highly recommend stopping for a bite to eat at the ilex café and sitting outside if the weather permits.

Christchurch earthquake damaged cathedral
Christchurch earthquake damaged cathedral

The town itself sprawls, as do all New Zealand cities. Devastated in the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch is still recovering. The city got rid of the organically built container mall that sprouted up after the quake in an effort on business’ parts to keep the economy rolling. While a tentative agreement has been reached to rebuild the Anglican Cathedral, it doesn’t look like much movement has been made in the construction.

Black billed gulls and chicks
Black billed gulls and chicks

Mother Nature has claimed some parts of the city as her own. One lot contains Black-billed gulls roosting in the ruins of a missing building. There are plenty of things to do in Christchurch, but perhaps the best is just walking through the city renewal projects and enjoying the gardens and what nature has to offer.

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New Zealand: Photos from Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Chaffinch that stole from our plate

These photos from the Christchurch Botanic Garden include several of the birds there, some who were at our table at ilex cafe. There are also flowers and pictures of the grounds and sculptures, including the Archer Lawn. Our photos from Jenny Gillies exhibition are on another page.

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New Zealand: Flower Costume Exhibition Photos at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens

A flower costume outside Jenny Gillies Christchurch exhibition

Christchurch is known as the Garden City in New Zealand. It is one of the more expansive botanic gardens we visited. The ilex cafe is a great place to eat, especially if you sit outside and enjoy the birds. You can punt down the Avon, and enjoy the nearby museum. They also host special exhibitions, like this one featuring the flower costumes of Jenny Gillies in its Enchanted Garden exhibition.

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