Quarter of a million visitors

by Anonymous Author

Canterbury Museum’s special exhibition Quake City has welcomed its 250,000th visitor — exactly eight years on from the first seismic event in Canterbury’s devastating earthquake sequence.

Visitors 249,999 and 250,000 were Jian Zhu, 22, and Erin Jin, 21, from Wellington.

Zhu said he and Jin wanted to learn more about the Canterbury earthquakes after they saw the empty spaces around the central city. The pair had an earthquake experience of their own when the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake rocked Wellington.

Quake City opened in Cashel Street as part of the Re:START container mall on February 15 2013.

It aimed to meet demand from businesses and community groups for an attraction — which told the story of the Canterbury earthquakes and would help bring locals and tourists back to the central city.

More than 50,000 people visited Quake City in its first year, and when the Cashel Street site closed for relocation in June 2017 — more than 190,000 visitors had been through.

The exhibition’s popularity has continued since it opened at its new site on the corner of Durham Street North and Armagh Street; almost 60,000 people have visited since it opened there in September 2017.

Most Quake City visitors are now from overseas, but the exhibition is also popular with locals. In the last year, admission charges have been waived for a weekend twice so that local people can visit for free. During the most recent free weekend in August, 1,850 people came through.