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Two Days in The Garden City - A Christchurch mini-break with Bella Vista


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Thinking of heading to Christchurch? Here's a rundown as to how to spend two days in the celebrated Garden City with Christchurch Bella Vista Motel & Apartments.

Upon arrival at Christchurch Airport, make sure you pick up a rental car to make the most of the region and the city.It takes about 30 minutes to drive from the airport to the central city.  Bella Vista Christchurch is on Bealey Avenue well placed to explore both the City and surrounds.  There are many attractions within walking distance and Bella Vista offers free on-site car parking.

In the evening you could check out events at the Isaac Theatre Royal and catch a touring musician, comedian or performer.  This heritage venue reopened in late 2014 and the rebuild of the interior stayed true to what it looked like prior to the infamous 2011 earthquake.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens comprise of 30 hectares and are an enjoyable way to spend some time amongst the native and exotic plants.  There are plenty of walks through the gardens which are bordered by the Avon River and Hagley Park.  Spring is a great time to take in the Daffodil Woodland in full bloom.  Also check out the Visitor Centre which opened in 2014 and is a visually interesting multipurpose space inspired by glasshouses.

Punting on the Avon is next up.  You can follow the river through the Botanic Gardens or through the City.  The 30 minute round trip on a locally made wooden punt comes with commentary from an Edwardian themed punter.  The Botanic Gardens route launches from the Antigua Boat Sheds, 2 Cambridge Terrace, which have been beside the Avon River since 1882.  The sheds, which are Category 1 historic buildings, survived a fire in 1907, as well as the 2010/11 earthquakes.  Inside you will find some old time memorabilia including a line-up of blazers that have been collected over time from local high schools.  This is also the place to hire a kayak, row boat, or Canadian canoe if you want to navigate the river yourself.
 

                      Punting on the Avon River

 

The afternoon may be a good time to drive out to the suburb of Woolston for some lunch and retail therapy.  The Tannery, 3 Garlands Road, is a boutique shopping and dining destination.  With a focus on recyclable and renewable materials, brickwork that was damaged in the February 22, 2011 earthquake has been restored as a façade on the rebuilt buildings.  There is an emphasis on local products here.  Try the award-winning Cassels & Sons craft beer at The Brewery.  If wine is more your thing, neighbouring Gustav’s Kitchen & Wine Bar has one of the largest wine lists in the Country. 

The Woolston area has a connection to the arts.  Kiwi reggae band Salmonella Dub recorded an album here; other musicians have used The Tannery for album launches.

Then head for the Port Hills and take a gondola (cable car) ride, 10 Bridle Path Road, to the top.  From almost 500 metres above sea level, you will see Canterbury laid out before your eyes.  Look out at the Southern Alps, Banks Peninsula, Lake Ellesmere, Lyttelton Harbour, Pegasus Bay, the Pacific Ocean and Kaikoura Peninsula.

For an evening meal make your way towards the area around Victoria and Madras streets and Worcester Boulevard  and within that area you will find plenty of dining and bar options for a night out.

After a good nights sleep at the Bella Vista ease into the day with a walk through The Commons, on the corner of Kilmore and Durham Streets.  The vacant lot is a hub of transitional activity and home to the Downtown Farmers Market.

A car trip to New Brighton is interesting.  The New Brighton Pier is the biggest ocean pier in Australasia.  After that, the Southern Pegasus Bay track takes you along most of the shoreline in both directions and offers up many photograph opportunities.
 

                                            New Brighton Pier

 

The Beach Cafe, on the corner of Beach and Broadpark roads is a buzzing neighbourhood that is a great spot to refuel. 

Back in the CBD, the transitional work is worth a look.   The Transitional Cardboard Cathedral constructed on the site of the former St John’s Latimer Square Anglican Church and the ReStart Mall, made from shipping containers are two examples of the innovative ways Christchurch is moving forward.

Then take a look at the Christchurch Art Gallery in Worcester Boulevard where the city’s latest public artwork has been installed.  The 46 metre long work was created for the city by the prestigious British artist Martin Creed and tells one and all, in neon letters more than metre tall, that everything is going to be alright.

With 23 motel or apartment units, Bella Vista Christchurch is a four star Qualmark endorsed motel offering quality and convenience. We look forward to your stay!