The face of Cashel Street is ever-changing—from the heart of Christchurch’s once-bustling downtown to its post-earthquake Re:START mall. Today the city mall, also known as Cashel Street Mall, is rebounding as a thriving pedestrian thoroughfare offering shopping, a farmers market, and top-grade people watching.
Following the destruction of the devastating 2011 earthquake, this hot spot remains a hub for city residents and visitors alike. Browse the high-end department stores or kick back with an afternoon tea and enjoy the spirit of downtown Christchurch as it literally emerges from the rubble. Ballantynes is still the stalwart on the Colombo Street corner, and the restored Bridge of Remembrance graces the western end of the shopping street at the river. You can find a few remnants of the Re:START mall, which temporarily erected colorful shipping containers in lieu of destroyed buildings from October 2011 to April 2017, between Colombo Street and Oxford Terrace.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Cashel Street is a must-see for all first-time visitors to Christchurch.
- The Riverside Market offers a boutique food shopping experience, including baked goods, produce, fish, and meats.
- The nearby Quake City multimedia exhibit provides an in-depth appreciation of Christchurch’s fall and rebuild.
How to Get There
Cashel Street is centrally located in downtown Christchurch, within walking distance of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and other attractions. Parking is available, and the closest bus stop is on Colombo Street (between Tuam and Lichfield Streets), which is less than a block away. The Christchurch Tramway stops nearby.
When to Get There
Cashel Street remains a top Christchurch destination throughout the week and on weekends. Riverside Market, which overlooks the Avon River, provides food shopping seven days a week. The Quake City exhibit at the Canterbury Museum is open from 10am to 5pm daily.
Christchurch: Past and Future
Unfortunately, many of the beautiful heritage buildings along Cashel Street were demolished after the 2011 quake. The Re:START Mall—which innovatively used more than 60 shipping containers—opened for business just eight months later. As temporary fixtures make way for more permanent structures like the Riverside Market complex, this downtown destination continues to grow into one of Christchurch’s most popular attractions.