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Published: December 13th 2017
Geo: -43.5316, 172.637
We really didn't know what to expect - Christchurch is described as the most English city of NZ, but what we saw was the power of an earthquake and the resilience of people - plus much beauty and a great evening of Maori culture.
Thanks to our hosts' suggestions, we arrived at the Botanic Gardens by 9 am, walked around - even this early in spring the flowers were great, and trees huge.
Then we caught a 90 min "Restart" tour to highlight the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and months later. The first killed no one, the second over 150, mostly in one building. 90% of the city center was damaged. Our guide was asked, along with many, to leave her home in 10 mins. The city is taking the op to gather like-items together in "precincts," plus make everything completely up to code.
We did a little shopping - for some wool for Jean's souvenir (a blend of merino wool with possum fur!!) and David's (a calendar featuring the All Blacks, showing our hosts' son on the front cover - which they signed for us).
And then we went to a wonderful nature reserve to see all sorts of NZ and Australian animals, quite a few kiwis, keas, etc., before experiencing the Maori welcome and music and dinner.
As usual, a full and wonderful day - actually wonderful weather. Last night we saw the Southern Cross for the first time.
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