Destination of the Week: Christchurch, New Zealand

After getting over the sticker shock of purchasing a plane ticket to this far away island, get pumped because this earthquake-ravaged city has been reborn and is ready for visitors. Three years ago two large earthquakes destroyed most of what the city had to offer, and although it hasn’t been completely rebuilt, residents have found very innovative ways to make it a must-see destination. The Gap Filler Program was created in response to the 2010 earthquake and expanded after the second one in 2011 with the goal of filling empty spaces in the city with “cool and creative projects, to make for a more interesting and vibrant city.” Some of their coolest projects have been the creation of an open air dance floor with music and lights and a nine-hole mini-golf course. You can also find an array of temporary gardens planted near ravished buildings thanks to the Greening the Rubble campaign. A bit like FDR’s New Deal, eh? Every city has a must-see, including Christchurch, and this one’s just so happens to reflect its name: The Christchurch Cathedral. This 19th century cathedral was completely ravaged by the earthquakes, but the city brought in a Japanese architect to create a transitional church nearby. The coolest part? The beautifully sloped roof is made out of cardboard tubes. When you’re done with a day of sight-seeing and picture taking, head over to Revival, the appropriately named bar that was created inside of shipping containers for a drink with your new friends from down under.

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