Victoria Square, Christchurch

Victoria Square, Christchurch

Victoria Square was at first, Market Square. Maori people came to this area on the banks of the Avon River to market their produce. A 20-foot high totem was erected on the square in 1994. It was carved by artist Riki Manuel. It memorializes the presence of the first people.

Victoria Square was the commercial dynamo of early Christchurch. It held the Post Office, various markets, the Police Station, Women's Prison, an animal pound, store houses and Immigration Barracks. In May of 1903 the statue of Queen Victoria was unveiled in Market Square and the square became Victoria Square.

In March 1852 a simple bridge was erected over the Avon River. It was called the Market Place Bridge. It was replaced in 1864 by a bridge of iron and stone which still stands today. It was named Victoria Bridge. In 1989 it was renamed Hamish Hay Bridge.

Near the statue of Queen Victoria is Mana Motuhake, carved by Fayne Robinson. It honors the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, which settled British and Maori governance of New Zealand. It consists of two upright canoe hulls (waka) holding carved figures mounted on a stone plinth.

Other monuments include the Floral Clock, using 7,000 plants each spring and autumn and the H.L. Bowker Fountain, designed by Victor Dean in 1931. Finally there is the marble statue of Captain James Cook, made by William Trethewey, commemorating his three voyages to New Zealand.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Christchurch. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Victoria Square on Map

Sight Name: Victoria Square
Sight Location: Christchurch, New Zealand (See walking tours in Christchurch)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Christchurch, New Zealand

Create Your Own Walk in Christchurch

Create Your Own Walk in Christchurch

Creating your own self-guided walk in Christchurch is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Statues and Memorials Tour

Statues and Memorials Tour

Although Christchurch is not very large, it has a wealth of public art heritage. Although ravaged by a powerful earthquake in 2011, which caused severe damage to many local attractions, Christchurch nonetheless has retained much of its charm and has a lot to offer visitors in terms of sightseeing. Indeed, there is no shortage of beautiful buildings, parks, gardens and other places of interest...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Christchurch Introduction Walking Tour

Christchurch Introduction Walking Tour

Captain James Cook was not the first person to discover New Zealand. There is evidence that the Christchurch area was visited by groups of moa-hunting people as early as 1250 AD.

They were followed by the Waitaha from the east coast of the North Island in the 16th century. In a series of wars Waitaha were displaced by the Ngati Mamoe, who in turn were conquered by the Ngai Tahu. The Europeans...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles