Ron LaughlinThe Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide
The February 2011 Christchurch earthquake was a powerful natural event that severely damaged New Zealand's second-largest city, killing 185 people.
The magnitude 6.3 (ML) earthquake struck at12:51pm on Tuesday, 22 February 2011. The earthquake was centred 2 kilometres west of the port town of Lyttleton and 10 kilometres (6 mi) south-east of the centre of Christchurch. It followed nearly six months after the magnitude 7.1 earthquake of 4 September 2010, which caused significant damage to Christchurch and the central Canterbury region, but no direct fatalities.
The cordoned off Red Zone of central Christchuch was finally opened 30 June 2013 after 857 days.

map of the area closed

​newspaper article


​​​​We were in Christchurch to visit a close friend, Tracy Gough, who is one of the major property owners in the Christchurch CBD or perhaps I should say was. It was the first of July and Tracy was able to take us on a drive into portions of the CBD area that had just opened so we could photograph and video for the first time.
I have placed the video here for you to see it as we did for the first time. Then we parked in the area that once Tracy owned buildings but now was just a wide expanse of land used as a parking lot. At the end of the video we pull into the area. Notice the trees. Tracy many years before wanted to bring some green into central Christchurch and planted them there. Now that is all that is standing.
Next we walked deep into the heart of the CBD where they still had it fenced off so we could get more photographs...........
By the way I haven't edited the video so please excuse the expletives. I wanted you to hear Tracy explain what we were seeing. There was much sadness in his voice and his face..........then we went to what was left of his house.............will show that later................
This has been a very sad experience for me. I had refused to come down here until now as I knew it would be heart-rendering....My best to all who have personally suffered through this disaster..........
Thank you Tracy..................

As a tourist coming to this area don't hesitate. Even though the CBD has been destroyed the rest of the city is open for business. Plenty of accommodation and other interesting areas to visit. In fact now you can get a tour through the earthquake zone and see for yourself what happens after a major natural disaster hits...............and see how a city recovers with a smile............
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