8 reasons to visit The Colombo in Christchurch

While Christchurch has its fair share of large malls and chain stores, it also has a few excellent retail and entertainment ‘destinations’ – collections of like-minded, mainly locally owned businesses. With food, retail, homewares, fashion and entertainment under one roof, everything the heart desires can be found in The Colombo. Below are a selection of stores on offer but there’s much more to explore.

Words: Cheree Morrison Photos: Jane Ussher


Come for the mini food court and stay for the shopping. This is a popular quick lunch option – Pot Sticker Dumpling has a bit of a cult following in Christchurch, while the Tiki Taco serves up fresh Mexican fare to diners needing to dash. For those with less exotic tastes, perhaps the Serious Sandwich is a better fit.


Abode co-owner Sharne Wilkie-Grut knows what brings people into her store. While she likes to believe it’s the gorgeous European kitchen and homewares products, or the on-trend styling and warm smile behind the counter, she has to give fair share of the credit to two-year-old George. The French bulldog is often found perched on the counter, enticing dog lovers in with his big eyes, then quietly convincing them to peruse the goods on the shelf. Be prepared to be greeted with a cuddle from him, and leave with a new piece of jewellery, a gift for Mum and a kitchen item you never knew you needed.

(03) 365 2446, facebook.com/abodenz


Warning, do not approach the counter of J’aime les Macaron if hungry. It’s just as much art gallery as bakery – there’s a rainbow of bright macarons with bold flavours (buttered popcorn, or salted caramel anyone?) and an array of dazzling desserts. Looking to impress dinner party guests? Pick up some of their bombe Alaska – there’s no way that anyone will believe it’s homemade, but they’ll be too busy drifting away to dessert heaven to argue.

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(03) 366 9108, jaimelesmacarons.co.nz

Hello Sunday Cafe


  • Don’t forget to cross the carpark to Hello Sunday Café  for a pre-shopping brunch or coffee refuel (or be really naughty and indulge in a peanut butter chocolate doughnut).
  • If reluctant shoppers need a reward, visit The Beer Library for Christchurch’s most extensive range of craft beers.
  • Looking for a novel gift? Visit The Painted Room – the range of upcycled homewares and furniture is unlike anything seen elsewhere.

363 Colombo Street, Sydenham. thecolombo.co.nz

This is an extract from the 2018 edition of the Insider’s Guide to New Zealand. For more on interesting and unusual things to do around the country, pick up a copy of the Insider’s Guide, on sale now or available online here.

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