When first constructed in the 1930s, New Regent Street was famously lauded as “the most beautiful street in New Zealand.” Today, after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, the street has rebuilt its colorful façade—built in a Spanish Mission style—where colorful, two-story buildings host retailers, restaurants, coffee shops, and cafés. When the street was first built in the Great Depression, only 3 of the original 40 buildings were occupied by lease-paying tenants, due to the economic hardships of the time and the tenants’ inability to pay rent. Gradually, an increasing number of businesses were established, and the street was reconstructed as a pedestrian mall in 1994. When the fateful Christchurch earthquakes struck, New Regent Street was one of the first places to rebuild and reopen its doors—though many repairs were only temporary and are in need of a permanent fix. Either way, it remains as one of downtown Christchurch’s most popular venues for shopping, with the pastel colored, lightly hued buildings contributing an architectural charm.
New Regent Street is in central Christchurch and is easily accessible by foot. It’s a 10 minute walk from the metro central bus station, and is also accessible by riding the tram, which runs from 10am-5pm daily, with expanded hours in summer.