Christchurch, located on the east coast of the South Island, is one of New Zealand’s biggest cities and the gateway to the magnificent wine regions that dot the South Island.
The city has experienced a number of significant earthquakes and aftershocks in recent times. The first and largest was a 7.2 magnitude quake 40km from the city on September 4, 2010. While some buildings were damaged, fortunately, no lives were lost.
The most damaging earthquake arrived five months later – a 6.3 magnitude quake on February 22, 2011, which killed 181 people and significantly damaged the city’s buildings and infrastructure. A number of aftershocks have continued to rattle the city as residents as authorities look to rebuild. The Christchurch City Council has developed a Central City Plan to help guide the rebuild, which is expected to take 10 – 20 years.
As the city recovers and its residents move on with their lives, tourists and wine lovers should feel welcomed and encouraged to come to Canterbury and the South Island – and should not be put off by the recent earthquakes in the area.
Part of the central city of Christchurch is still cordoned off to the general public to ensure people's safety. However, this cordon is gradually receding as more of the city is deemed safe and open for business