There was a time when busy Cashel Street was the thumping heart of Christchurch; the devastating destruction of the 2011 earthquake, however, left the once bustling downtown in pieces. Aching for a center of commerce and activity to boost the morale of residents, the iconic Re:Start Mall opened for business only eight months after the quake. With colorful shipping containers in lieu of buildings, the structure got Christchurch outdoors and smiling again.
Today, the city mall (also known as Cashel Street Mall) is a pedestrian thoroughfare of shopping, cafes, and top-grade people watching. Browse the department stores of high-end fashion or kick back with an afternoon tea in the open-air square to enjoy the spirit of downtown Christchurch as it literally emerges from the rubble.
For a fascinating multimedia attraction, tour the Quake City exhibit in the mall, where you’ll hear stories of the Christchurch earthquakes and in many ways feel you were there.
Re:Start Mall is located on Cashel Street in downtown Christchurch. It is within walking distance of the Botanical Gardens and many downtown attractions. Parking is available, and the closest bus stop is on Colombo St. (between Tuam St. and Lichfield St.) which is less than a block away from the attraction.
The mall is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 5:30pm, and until 5pm on the weekend. The Quake City exhibit costs NZD 20 per adult, and is open from 10am–5pm daily.
Did you know? While there is talk of replacing the Re:Start Mall with a more permanent downtown fixture, many are hoping the malls stays the same since it has grown to be an iconic attraction.