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Going back to visit Christchurch after 32 years?

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Going back to visit Christchurch after 32 years?

I am retiring in September and have always wanted to go back to the South Island--Christchurch in particular and the surrounding areas. I last spent time (1 month) in the Christchurch area in 1985 when I was young, in US Air Force and fell in love with the country. It was early spring (September) and the beauty of the blossoming trees, the countryside, the charm of the Cathedral Square and "wizard"...well you get the idea.

I'm in the initial stages of planning a return visit in early to mid October--this time with my wife and mentally-handicapped adult son, but after reading some of the posts on the forum, I'm starting to doubt whether all the reasons I want to return may not be there or not the same--possibly making my "bucket list" vacation time in NZ a regret.

I'm thinking of planning our stay on the South Island for about a week then either going to Sydney for a week (or visa-versa) then back to the US. We love exploring and doing things on our own unless an organized tour would be advised for some things that aren't to be missed. Hotels/motels in quiet locations are preferred; camping is a no-go for the wife who loves interesting things, sights, scenic beauty and simple gift shops. She likes easy-moderate short hikes and bicycle riding for outdoor activities if it isn't too cold (sorry, just telling it like it is) She's a princess ;-) and I've been telling her how much I've always wanted to go back and take her and my son there.

So, NZ experts...what do you think? I really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions--thank you in advance. I feel like I'm trying to make a decision on something that needs some current local expertise.

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South Island
South Island
New Zealand
Christchurch
Christchurch
Canterbury Region, New Zealand
Sydney
Sydney
New South Wales, Australia
Te Anau
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11. Re: Going back to visit Christchurch after 32 years?

David, lucky you volunteered : otherwise you might have been dragged off kicking and screaming 😩 Might have got an even bigger compo cheque though 😂

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12. Re: Going back to visit Christchurch after 32 years?

zhuhai2007--thanks for adding that additional information. Very helpful.

To all of you, thanks so much for the contributions. You are why Trip Advisor is such a great tool. I am grateful for good folks like yourselves!

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13. Re: Going back to visit Christchurch after 32 years?

If you stay away from Cathedral Square and stick to the west side of the Avon River in the central city much of your memory of Christchurch will be retained and even improved. There are still a good few heritage buildings, such as the Arts Centre, the museum, OGB, and others and many, if not most of the rebuilt buildings are a great improvement on what they replaced so I feel you will enjoy exploring further, especially since a lot more will have been completed by the time of your visit in October.

Just stay well away from Cathedral Square if you want to retain the memory of its previous charm.

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Christchurch, New Zealand
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Christchurch
Canterbury Region, New Zealand
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14. Re: Going back to visit Christchurch after 32 years?

The big winners in the Cathedral fiasco have been the lawyers! If the Anglicans (I'm not one) had had their way it would have been down to 3 meters and a new cathedral in place by now and thousands of pigeon would have been homeless. A significant proportion of us are totally opposed to tax and rate payer $ being spent restoring a rather bland stone out house.

Every week lately another few hundred office workers return to the CBD. The decision to greatly compress the office and retail precinct has paid off and there is quite a buzz that wasn't there prior to the quakes. Work has also started on the new pool complex not far away.

The new library is also started. It is adjacent to the ruins and will bring people back to the square.

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15. Re: Going back to visit Christchurch after 32 years?

unfortunately this is what happens all over.The Cathedral was an icon to Christchurch and people visited there just to see it.Surely some old things can be restored for the gradkids and future generations to come not just take the easy way our.

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Christchurch
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Canterbury Region, New Zealand
16. Re: Going back to visit Christchurch after 32 years?

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