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Only In Christchurch

Don’t miss these awesome photo ops and experiences you’ll only find in the Garden City.

New Regent Street

Quite possibly one of the country’s funkiest streets, this pastel-coloured parade of 1930s Spanish Mission-style architecture oozes effortless cool and is home to some superior eats, drinks and fashion boutiques. It’s also the main tram stop and regular hang out of The Wizards. www.newregentstreet.co.nz

Air Force Museum of New Zealand

This high-flying national treasure is home to one of the world’s premier military aviation collections. Fly the Mosquito simulator (over Norway’s fjords!) and check out restoration projects in action. www.airforcemuseum.co.nz

Re:START Mall

What began as a genius way for small businesses to re-establish themselves in the city via a collection of shipping crate conversions into colourful funky boutiques has gone on to become an iconic, international shopping destination where fashion, food, Kiwi kitsch and live entertainment collide. Find out more here.

Transitional ‘Cardboard’ Cathedral

The cardboard (yes, really!) stand-in for the fallen ChristChurch Cathedral (be sure to check out its ruins in Cathedral Square) has to be one of the more avant-garde churches around (pictured), and incorporates images from its predecessor’s rose window in its epic stained glass wall. www.cardboardcathedral.org.nz

The Beer Library

Forget hitting the books – head down to The Beer Library and check out some primo craft beers instead. Saying you’re “off to the library” never sounded so good. Find out more here

Margaret Mahy Family Playground

This bastion to all things kid cool rocks an epic line-up of activities in the heart of the city, and is named after the famed rainbow wig-wearing children’s author. 177 Armagh Street.

185 Empty Chairs

Art, but not as you know it, the 185 Empty Chairs earthquake memorial features a collection of various white-painted chairs, each representing a life lost during the 2011 earthquake. Visitors are invited to sit in the chair they connect with in this moving tribute. Corner of Cashel and Madras Streets.

Dance-O-Mat

This coin-operated outdoor disco, courtesy of the fine folk at Gap Filler, comes complete with glitter ball, custom-made dance floor and four speakers, and lets you crank the music from your phone or MP3 player for just $2 by simply jacking into the ex-laundromat washing machine – party! 129 Gloucester Street.

Quake City

Capturing the impact of Christchurch’s devastating earthquakes, this multi-sensory attraction pairs sobering video footage, photography, artefacts and survivors’ stories with an educational element. www.canterburymuseum.com/quakecity

Orana Wildlife Park

A zoo where visitors are put in cages! Orana’s Lion Encounter sees guests driven through the lions’ den for lunch as keepers feed the hungry pride clambering over the cage mere whiskers away. www.oranawildlifepark.co.nz

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