At the tail end of 2015 I went on a slightly mad 5 day trip to New Zealand to see my brother in his adoptive home – yes the jet lag was appalling and no I would not recommend this length trip to anybody. Even with such a little amount of time we took a road trip from Christchurch to Queenstown, which ended up being one of my favourite travel experiences to date. Currently in the midst of planning my next 3 week holiday to the Southern Hemisphere, I had a reminiscent glimpse through my photos of the South Island.
At the time Christchurch was a city that left me with mixed feelings, and as far as I know it is still in a state of relative disrepair since the 2011 earthquake. Personally I am fascinated by abandoned spaces which make for captivating photos, eerie remnants of lives so suddenly disrupted. The city has been ingenious though in bringing itself back to life, transforming quake hit areas in to public art projects.
The central shopping area for example has been improvised using sets of shipping containers not unlike the trendy BoxPark in Shoreditch, but far less contrived. There is an edge to Christchurch that many cities worldwide try to replicate in their hipster areas, but here it feels organic. From the coffee culture, to the beautiful parks, giant outdoor chess and guerilla gardens, abundant street art, the Cardboard Cathedral and 183 chair earthquake memorial. There is so much creativity.
Yet I couldn’t shake the feeling that the government should be pumping a lot more money in to restore Christchurch it to its former glory, or upgrade it to version 2.0 if you will. After my brief flirtation with the city we set off on our road trip down to Queenstown. This is the furthest South I have been on earth, to me it seemed right at the edge of everything, completely isolated and otherworldly.
My photos do not do it justice frankly but I will give it a go.