Christchurch flat CBD was bounded by four Avenues and had a grid of roads through which the Avon River meandered, with Oxford Terrace on one bank and Cambridge Terrace on another. I'd recently walked Christchurch Manchester Street from Moorhouse Avenue to Bealey Avenue. I wanted to walk down the Avon River from Botanic Gardens in Hagley Park off Rolleston Avenue to my son Jake's rental house along Oxford Terrace near Fitzgerald Avenue, then back upriver along Cambridge Terrace to Hagley Park.
Christchurch Town Hall and dandelion fountain were built slap-bang by Avon River. Oxford Terrace and Cambridge Terrace were no longer continuous streets, but the latter had walkways joining cul de sacs. Both Terraces intersected with busy streets, requiring pedestrians to dodge traffic, made worse by some one-way streets being several lanes wide.
2008. Police Notice on Oak Tree beside Avon River, Hagley Park, Christchurch
Beside Avon River, I parked my car in Botanic Gardens carpark in Hagley Park, near Victoria Lake and Rolleston Avenue. At the beginning of the Avon loop, in which Botanic Gardens, Christ's College and Canterbury Museum resided, on an oak tree I read a police notice asking for witnesses regarding a recent sexual assault in Hagley Park. That notice was before I started the Kate Sheppard Memorial Walk beside the Avon. The Memorial Walk commemorated 100 years of women's suffrage in NZ, 1893-1993.
Beside Avon River, after passing camellias I read a black granite plaque stating: "This memorial marks the spring which the pioneer settlers used. Erected on the 80th anniversary of their landing. 16th Decr 1930." In the 1850s, those settlers arrived in sailing ships at Lyttelton Harbour.
2008. Croquet Club, by Redwoods beside Avon River, Hagley Park, Christchurch
2008. Footbridge over Avon River from Botanic Gardens to the Bandsmen's Memorial, Hagley Park, Christchurch
Beside Avon River, by the Croquet Club I walked past an avenue of redwoods and through a false pine forest with pines from all over the world. Near the Band Rotunda, I snapped a footbridge over the Avon, and snapped a yellow daffodil statue amongst real daffodils under oaks, between the Avon and Christchurch Hospital. Walking the loop around Botanic Gardens took me thirty minutes. Beside the Avon, the rest of my walk would take another two hours.
2008. Daffodil Statue beside Avon River, opposite Botanic Gardens, Christchurch
2008. Punters on Avon River & Lunch Time Walkers, near Christchurch Hospital opposite Botanic Gardens, Christchurch
2008. Antigua Boat Sheds, Cambridge Terrace, Avon River, Christchurch
Beside Avon River, there were many lunchtime walkers and joggers and ducks. Asian tourists were punted up the Avon from the Boat Shed on Cambridge Terrace. Opposite the Boat Shed, the first part of Oxford Terrace, lined with chestnut trees, was busy - fed with traffic from Riccarton Avenue and Hagley Avenue. I dodged across four lanes of traffic at Durham Street South and snapped the Cashel Street War Memorial, commemorating wars from WW1 to Vietnam. Beside the Avon, Oxford Terrace quietened with sedate Coffee Culture shops and restaurants lining Oxford Terrace.
2008. War Memorial, Cashel Street Bridge over Avon River, Oxford Terrace, Christchurch. War Memorial brick steps were cracked by the 22.02.11 quake. Post quakes, the War Memorial was closed for years, then repaired in 2014.
2008. Waterwheel, Old Flour Mill on Avon River, Oxford Terrace, near Hereford Street Bridge, Christchurch
2008. Robert Falcon Scott Statue, before Our City bldg, near Worcester Street Bridge over Avon River, Oxford Terrace, Christchurch. Our City was damaged by the 4 Sept 2010 quake & subsequent quakes. The Scott statue fell in the 22.02.11 quake
Beside Avon River, near Hereford Street Bridge I snapped the waterwheel of an old Flour Mill on an Avon island. On one side of Worcester Street Bridge, I snapped Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott's white marble statue, and on the other side of the bridge I snapped the bronze Kate Sheppard National Memorial to Women's Suffrage.
2008. Kate Sheppard National Memorial to Women's Suffrage, by Our City bldg, Oxford Terrace near Worcester Street Bridge, Christchurch. Our City was damaged by the 4 Sept 2010 quake. It was metal braced and more damaged by subsequent quakes. Clarendon Tower behind was demolished after the 13.06.11 quake
Beside Avon River, I wandered past Gloucester Street Library to Victoria Square, where Queen Victoria's bronze statue commemorated Kiwi soldiers' deaths in the Boer War. While punters went upstream towards Hamish Hay Bridge, I snapped a creamy Maori Carved Pole on Victoria Square.
2008. Christchurch Town Hall, Punters on Avon River, Flowering Cabbage Tree & Maori Carved Wooden Pole, Victoria Square. Christchurch Town Hall was severely damaged by the 22.02.11 quake and closed in the forbidden, quake trashed CBD
2008. Rotunda Restaurant, Cambridge Terrace by Avon River, seen from Oxford Terrace, Christchurch. Manchester Street Bridge behind. Together with the rest of quake trashed Christchurch CBD, the restaurant was cordon closed after the 22.02.11 quake. Post quakes, Rotunda Restaurant was demolished, but the copper, domed roof was saved
2008. Lamp Standards in front of the Rotunda Restaurant, Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch
2008. Poplar Crescent (not a road) celebrating Poplars by Avon River, Rotunda Restaurant, Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch
2008. Christchurch City Council Swimming Pool on Oxford Terrace, seen from Cambridge Terrace. Pool was closed in the forbidden CBD cordon after the 22.02.11 quake
2008. Edmonds Clock Tower, Oxford Terrace, near Madras Street Bridge & Oxford Tce Baptist Church, Christchurch. Oxford Tce Baptist Church was severely damaged by the 22.02.11 quake & demolished. Edmonds Clock Tower was dismantled & restored in 2012
Beside Avon River, along Oxford Terrace I passed the old Band Rotunda / Restaurant, and crossed Manchester Street while walking towards the council pool. I snapped Edmonds Clock Tower near Oxford Terrace Baptist Church. Beside the Avon, was the 9/11 Firefighters Memorial with twisted girders from the Twin Towers before Madras Street Bridge and Kilmore Street Bridge.
2008. 9/11 Firemen's Memorial, Oxford Terrace, by Madras Street Bridge & Kilmore Street Bridge by a bend on Avon River, Christchurch. The bridge was damaged in the 22.02.11 quake
I crossed busy Barbadoes Street and was glad to see a couple of whitebait fishermen sitting beside the Avon with their nets in the water. Oxford Terrace became more peaceful after the hurly-burly of central Christchurch. Beside the Avon grew many willows, and near Jake's rental house I snapped an electricity sub-station with XX brick pattern, then crossed the Avon on busy Fitzgerald Avenue Bridge to Cambridge Terrace.
2008. Fishing by Avon River & Electricity Sub Station, Oxford Terrace near Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch. The Electricity Sub Station was damaged in the 22.02.11 quake
Beside Avon River, while admiring the site of the old Canterbury Rowing Club, where the first amateur sports club was started in NZ in 1861 (boat sheds and clubhouse were demolished in 1996 to make way for Fitzgerald Avenue Bridge), a rain shower speeded up my walking pace. While raindrops plopped holes in the water, two kayakers paddled up the Avon.
2008. Maori Carved Wooden Poles, Cambridge Terrace near Barbadoes Street Cemetery, Christchurch
2008. Colombo Street Bridge over Avon River & Town Hall seen from Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch. Town Hall was severely damaged by the 22.02.11 quake & was closed for years. Colombo Street Bridge was cordon closed for 28 months then repaired
Beside Avon River, I wetly passed Barbadoes Street Cemetery, while Cambridge Terrace formed cul de sacs linked by paths. At the Town Hall I took a short cut via Kilmore Street, Cranmer Square and Armagh Street to Rolleston Avenue, and crossed a bridge over the Avon back to Hagley Park.
2008. Cranmer Square near Avon River, Christchurch. Cranmer Court behind the trees was severely damaged by the 04.09.10 and 22.02.11 quakes, stone gables fallen & corner turrets collapsed. It was demolished post 13.06.11 & Xmas quakes
When I drove about Christchurch CBD I was hardly aware of the many road bridges crossing Avon River. After my 2.5 hours walk beside Avon River, I'd either walked over or passed six foot bridges and thirteen vehicle bridges over Avon River.
2008. Bridge over Avon River entering Hagley Park, Park Tce / Rolleston Ave / Armagh St cnr, Christchurch
Coda: As Avon River ran through Christchurch CBD, during the 2010-2011 earthquakes Avon River waters, above & below ground, caused severe liquefaction damages to Christchurch CBD.
Christchurch CBD was quake trashed and fence cordon closed for 28 months. Cops & soldiers guarded cordon checkpoints into the forbidden CBD.
Many of the photographed bldgs in this post were quake damaged, some were demolished.
Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.
See Punting on the Avon Christchurch NZ