Red Zone cordon returning
Tourists are streaming into Cathedral Square for a chance to see Christchurch's broken heart before the cordon is reinstated tomorrow.
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) partially reopened the square over the Christmas and New Year period but it will close again tomorrow as demolition in the area resumes.
Newly-weds Leanne and Paul Screen from the UK said seeing the damage first-hand was ''pretty shocking''.
''Obviously a lot of buildings that were damaged have already been pulled down so progress is happening but it's still pretty shocking and sad,'' Paul Screen said.
Leanne Screen, who works in construction, said she liked seeing ''signs of rejuvenation''.
''When you come into the square there are signs telling you about the central city plan and I think that's really nice because you want to know there is a plan for the future.''
Mary Wheatley, from Melbourne, was visiting New Zealand with her 18-year-old daughter Kelly and her partner Nick Leith. She last visited Christchurch 22 years ago.
''I remember what a pretty city Christchurch was and I have been totally shocked by just how badly affected it is."
"You see it on the news for the first few days [after the February 2011] earthquake but then you don't hear about it at all and it's hard to understand just how widespread the damage is,'' she said.
Wheatley said she hoped tourists continued to visit the city.
''I'm really glad we've come here and I hope other people do too...Christchurch has suffered enough without losing its visitors.''
The cordon, at the intersection of Gloucester and Colombo Streets, will be reinstated tomorrow.
- © Fairfax NZ News