Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island and unfortunately, has become known in recent years for it's devastating earth quakes. In 2011, the city was rocked by a quake of a 6.3 magnitude and killed 185 people from over 20 different countries. Christchurch's infrastructure had been weakened previously and aftershocks made it even more difficult to rebuild. Four years later, rubble remains but the city has made huge efforts with urban regeneration plans. Innovative businesses and buildings have popped up as the city rebuilds and colorful street art is around every corner, showing the resiliency and creativity of the community.
Walking around Christchurch was a bit eery with the crumbled concrete from it's leveled buildings and you could feel the vibe of a quiet city still tip-toeing in transition, post-devastation.
But mostly, it was inspiring to see their commitment to keeping their art and culture alive. If there's one city in New Zealand worth dropping a few dollars in, it's Christchurch. I'd recommend supporting their local economy by hitting up Re:Start, a food truck/shopping area built from shipping containers. Go for a kebab from Dimitri's Souvlaki followed by real fruit ice cream from Berry Healthy. And take some novelty candy from Johnson's Grocery for the road. Good food for a good cause.