Blogs from Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury July 22nd 2018

Arriving just before the weekend gave us some time to spend with family and friends before we fly off to the other side of the world and our Swedish family. Time too, to catch up with the rebuild of Christchurch city central. Whilst to me, it is still ‘cone’ city it is also ‘crane’ city. The tram is back on its tracks, the buildings are being built and the parking wardens are busy. Waiting for a ticket to beprinted, I felt a bit outdated and frustrated when no ticket appeared. Apparently no tickets are printed these days just punch in your car number plate and you can check how much time you have left or even top up from another location. It sure beats that last minute panic to get back before the ticket runs out ... read more
Under wraps
Construction reflections
Eyes on Street art

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury January 26th 2017

We have finally arrived back down south after our 1st flight was cancelled due to bad weather (aka it was blowing 50 b’s). It’s good to back in the motorhome and setting off again for more adventures. After a night in Christchurch to restock we headed off the next morning (Sat 20/1) to walk the Glentunnel Millennium walk (SH77). The walk is across private farmland to an abandoned rail tunnel built in 1874. The track was pretty boggy due to all the rain and fairly overgrown with thistles and blackberries. Only the entrance is visible from here. The tunnel was built by mine owners in order to avoid a 2s 6p per ton toll demanded by the local landowner if the railway crossed his land. The walk ends at the old coal mine closed in 1938 ... read more
Rd to Lake Coleridge - view Rakaia River
The Inlet - Lake Coleridge
Room with a view - Rakaia Gorge Camping Ground

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury October 14th 2016

Leaving our Christchurch base on Friday (7/10) and hopefully leaving our colds behind we head out to Godley Head. Godley head is at the entrance of the Lyttelton Harbour. DOC opened a new campsite here only 2 weeks ago and we had we thought why not. So glad we did make the effort as this place is a bit of a gem. Godley head is the most complete World War II coastal defence site in New Zealand. There are plenty of remnants (concrete bunkers, old chimneys, planning room, engine room …..) to be found on this windy headland. The walking tracks around here are excellent (even with runny noses) with views up and down Lyttelton Harbour, Taylors Mistake, Sumner, Christchurch and right up the coast towards Kaikoura. Some very brave campers tenting here in the cold ... read more
Godley Head (2)
View to camp - Godley Head
Godley Head

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury October 4th 2016

It’s a grey drizzly morning (Thursday 29/9), looks like the bike ride is off the list and option 2 heading to Christchurch is the winner. A slight detour to Rangiora for a walk around the town and lunch down by the Ashley river before heading to Brooklands, which sits on the southern side of the Waimakariri river. It took us a while to realise this was a red zone area from the 2010/2011 earthquakes. All those concrete driveways leading to vast areas of empty land was rather sobering. We are not sure what the plan is for this area but it looks like they have done some recent planting and work on the wetlands reserve here. Final spot for the night is the NZMCA Weedons Park which is between Hornby and Rolleston. Friday and it’s time ... read more
Brooklands
New Brighton
New Brighton Beach

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury September 28th 2016

Arrived in Hamner Springs this morning (Sun 25/9) to light drizzle and the little village surrounded in cloud. I was looking forward to sitting in the hot pools looking out at the white capped mountains. I suppose 1 out of 2 you can’t complain. We managed a quick wander around the small touristy village in the rain before spending the afternoon at the pools. Hamner Springs Hot Pools is expensive but a must if you are there. We opted for a 2 day pass (initial entry & 1 return entry the following day) $38.00 pp. 1 Adult single entry is $22. The place was pretty packed and it was school holidays, we spent most of our time in the 3 sulphur pools (40°c - 42°c) which wasn’t as busy. Monday (26/9) and the rain has stopped. ... read more
Bridge - Waiau River
Conical Hill - Hamner Springs
Driving over the Waiau River Bridge

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury August 30th 2016

Tranz-Alpine Railway from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass We all piled into the bus at the hotel and made our way to the station. Christchurch Station When we got there, our tour director Lu got our tickets for us and then we were able to wander about and get on the train. There is an open carriage, which is where I spent most of my time! Canterbury Plains Rolleston Kirwee Darfield Springfield Waimakariri River Castle Hill Viaduct over Broken River Lake Pearson Cragieburn Bealey Waimakariri River Southern Alps Arthur's Pass ... read more
Christchurch Station-
Christchurch Station
Christchurch Station

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury January 8th 2016

I arrived in New Zealand in Christchurch at 2 in the morning and straight away grabbed my jacket from my backpack. After 3 months of hot Australian summer weather it was nice to be cold. However I was tired and needing a bed to sleep and thank god I had pre booked a hostel earlier, which I had stopped doing whilst in Australia. I got dropped of at the YHA by a group taxi outside the front door and noticed that the 24 hour reception was closed! After banging on the door for a while, it was answered by a cleaner who tried his best to get me checked in and after 15 minutes of checking in, I was given a room key and directions to the room where I would be staying and obviously at ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury January 7th 2016

Hi all, now in the South Island at Lincoln. Had a great time in Taupo with the hot mineral pool. Torrential rain all night and day, so good job wasn't camping. The drive and views down to Wellington I believe would be absolutely amazing.. Unfortunately such heavy rain and low cloud you could only see a few metres in front of you. Good excuse to come back to NZ. Got to Waikanae at 4pm, booked in at an Airbnb, great hosts Jill and Tom. A 20 minute walk to see friends at the retirement village and what a place..and people..Celloists, barristers, retired judges, fishermen - all walks of life, reminded me of being on a cruise ship. They have definitely got their life sorted.. Took the train into Wellington, went up the cable car, more like ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury September 5th 2015

5th September 2015 - Today I took a mini road trip into and over the mountains driving on Dyers Pass... As my family know, I am no good with hill starts and oh my, this hill was huge! What goes up...must come down so they say! So that is what I kept thinking of! Despite all the hills, there was only one place I needed to stop and yes...I rolled back! But hey, it's my first time in an Automatic so I let myself off! For anyone travelling this route, there are many places to stop and take some photos of the amazing scenery. Going up the mountain from Christchurch city, you can see the whole of Christchurch, it's surrounding areas and the beautiful snowy mountains in the background. Once you reach the top, the views ... read more
New Brighton Beach left
New Brighton Beach Pier
New Brighton Beach Right

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury June 25th 2015

I spent a whole week in Kaikoura, working for accommodation at this lovely hostel in town. During winter, Kaikoura is known to be very quiet and empty because the town thrives off the whale watching industry, and the extremely cold water at this time doesn't allow for much of that type of tourism! I was working in a hostel alongside 8 other travellers (one from Sweden, one from China, one from Malaysia, one from the UK, three from Germany and one from France). We all got along so well and spent basically 24/7 together (and I mean that literally because all the workers are put in one room out in the back of the hostel while the paid guests stay in the front). We were expected to work between 2-3 hours a day and in return ... read more
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