Christchurch's Cardboard Cathedral
You'll undoubtedly start and finish your South Island journey in Christchurch, which is home to wonderful galleries, restaurants and cafes, along with a novel earthquake-art reconstruction scene. After the disastrous 2011 earthquake, which damaged much of the city center, many projects were launched as memorials or bright symbols of rebuilding. One of the more iconic ones is the Cardboard Cathedral, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who is known as a "disaster architect." Made of cardboard tubes and shipping containers, the church was a temporary replacement for the damaged St. John's the Baptist Church, but has remained ever since.
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis