Christchurch Named One of New Zealand’s Most Exciting Cities
A Lonely Planet writer has described Christchurch as one of the most exciting cities in New Zealand, pointing to the rapidly evolving SOMO (South of Moorhouse) precinct and the Re:Start project in Cashel Mall as evidence of the city’s renaissance.
The SOMO (South of Moorhouse) precinct – a term coined by local urban guide Cityscape back in September 2011 – includes the areas of Addington and Sydenham. Since the earthquakes of late 2010 and early 2011, this area has evolved into one of the new ‘it’ districts of Christchurch. Iconic Christchurch attractions such as the Dux de Lux restaurant and bar and The Court Theatre, both formerly housed in the atmospheric Gothic revival surrounds of The Arts Centre, have opened new incarnations in the area. Dux Live is a new bar and live music venue in Lincoln Road and The Court Theatre is now staging productions in ‘The Shed’, a slice of industrial chic in Bernard Street. No wonder Lonely Planet writer Brett Atkinson calls SOMO ‘Christchurch’s most dynamic neighbourhood’ and the ‘city’s new hub for live entertainment’.
Other parts of Christchurch City also get the nod from Atkinson, who refers to the Re:Start project in Cashel Mall, with its ‘colourful labyrinth’ of shipping containers housing shops and cafés in the central city. It’s a fascinating place to explore, buzzing with atmosphere and ample evidence of Christchurch creativity. As Atkinson puts it, Christchurch City is ‘emerging as one of NZ’s most exciting cities’ and his advice is: ‘If you’re heading to the South Island of New Zealand, definitely spend a few days in the city.”