Good to see Christchurch reviving .. more and more open

Pre quake New regent Street
Pre quake New Regent Street

It’s great to see Christchurch, New Zealand,  reviving with more and more of the post-quake city open.

1932 was a big year in Christchurch – Captain Cook’s statue was unveiled; there was a bitter train strike; the McDougal Art Gallery was opened; and New Regent Street opened – a double row of Spanish Mission style shops that were a huge change from the usual Gothic Revival and Queen Anne styles that most of the earlier inner city buildings had been built in.

Now, post quakes,(2010/11) Captain Cook’s statue is still standing in Victoria Square, the McDougal is still open in the Botanic Gardens, there are no strikes , and fabulously, New Regent Street has re-opened.

As New Zealand’s only street built at one time, in one style, it was considered a theatrical oddity among the staid buildings that surrounded it. Now, those buildings are mostly gone but this colourful street is once again open and although not all shops are open, yet, this is once again a tourist, and locals, destination hotspot.

One shop that opens this Saturday (27th April) is also a quake survivor – BEADZ UNLIMITED – formerly at the Arts Centre which is closed for quake strengthening and  repairs and, appropriately, one of their many products are the commemorative series which includes the original, the “broken cathedral,” and now also features the Basilica, the Arts Centre and other Christchurch favourites.

Rowena Watson started Beadz many years ago and it has grown from a market stall to being New Zealand’s first bead shop. A talented designer, she also designs many of her original beads and creates beautiful jewellery. So whether you want to make your own souvenir of Christchurch, New Zealand, or buy a gift, tourists and locals will always find something here.

BEADZ upstairs windows are original 1931
BEADZ upstairs windows are original 1931

See here for other shops open (or opening) in colourful New Regent Street and use this map to find out what’s open  in Christchurch.

Paver repairs nearly completed early April
Paver repairs nearly completed early April
Rendezvous Hotel at the md of New Regent Street open too.
Rendezvous Hotel at the end of New Regent Street opens too.
Captain Cook shares Victoria Square with Queen Vic ... of course:  2 min's walk from New Regent St
Captain Cook shares Victoria Square with Queen Vic … of course. Only  2 min’s walk from New Regent St
Site of Beadz in the Arts Centre
Site of the old Beadz in Christchurch’s  Arts Centre
Meet you for a coffee?
Meet you for a coffee?

Christchurch has lots to offer

On one of my regular trips to Christchurch last week – using my preferred rental car company New Zealand Rent a Car – it was good to see even more progress in the city.

Every time I’m there I’m happy to see the cordon has been reduced and the the city full of people.

One of the exciting new developments is to see New Regent Street is on the verge of re-opening. This pleases me as this historic will be the first shopping precinct to RE-OPEN in the city centre.

Existing Businesses Reopening ( So, welcome home to you all)

Moko Cafe

Young’s Jewellers

Cafe Stir

Coffee Lovers

Hot Damn! Lingerie

NEW Businesses to the Street ( Welcome to the city centre)

Beadz Unlimited (relocating from the quake damaged Arts Centre)

The Last Word

Prestige Fudge

MC for Nails

Polished Diamonds

Mrs Higgins Cookies

Caffeine Laboratory

Hairdresser (not yet named)  

My next blog will be about New Regent Street in detail but wanted to give all locals and travellers a "heads up" about this exciting news. This is me checking out the progress!

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The owner of Beadz Unlimited discusses the signs for her double width shop

While  in Christchurch I recommend you use this online map  – What’s Open provides the most comprehensive guide to What’s Open in Christchurch, NZ. Very handy!

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