Blogs from Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch May 11th 2021

The weather forecast today for Lake Tekapo is ominous with snow predicted down to 600 metres and Tekapo township sits at around 700 metres. So the thought that there could be driving difficulties through Burkes Pass, also at 700 metres, was at the front of our mind as we started to pack up and get ready to hit the road. We filled the Corolla at the local Challenge petrol station which had us still trying to work out how petrol in a number of the places we have passed through, is cheaper than what we pay in Tauranga despite the fact that the commodity has to be trucked from whatever South Island port it arrives into before it can be pumped into our car. The weather overhead for now was partly cloudy and the temperature still ... read more
Top of a hill just outside Fairlie with the southerly front in the distance
Rakaia Gorge
The braided Rakaia River after the bridge and gorge

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch April 17th 2021

Planning a holiday, when you are independent travellers, can often take longer than the holiday trip itself and the upcoming Grand South Island Tour fits this absolutely. Mind you planning is always mixed with anticipation and this is really what makes travel such a wonderful experience. We love the anticipation and honestly can’t get enough of it. Not that this trip will take us to exotic places with names one has difficulty in pronouncing. Rather it will be a trip down memory lane in many respects but with some places added in that we have never visited before or just previously passed through. Now that is an awful admission for us, as for many years we had told people, who were interested in our travels that ,yes, we had seen all New Zealand had to offer ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 16th 2020

After checking out of the Sudima Hotel, near Christchurch Airport, we were away in our faithful RAV 4 (thank you Rodney) headed to Nelson. The staff at the Sudima are first class, always friendly and very helpful. Wayne had been there for the four nights prior and Vicki met him there on Thursday. The roads in New Zealand, if this one is anything to go by, are organized not overly busy and motorists who are generally cruising along enjoying the scenery. Our first stop is at Hanmer Springs around 2 hours North of Christchurch. A really pretty almost alpine like village filled with touristy shops, cafes and friendly locals. There was a market in town as well as a big gathering of Ducati motor bikes, more about them later. After a coffee and a walk around ... read more
Christchurch Cathedral
Christchurch Cathedral
Streetscape Christchurch City

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 14th 2020

This was probably a pretty city prior to the quake, but there is now sadly lots of areas which time and money have not allowed to be rebuilt. It is happening slowly but there are lots of car parking places which are essentially where buildings were and still have not been redeveloped since the devastating earthquake of 2011. Both the Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals were severely damaged and still have not been rebuilt. The Anglican Cathedral has suffered from too much political interference which has cost money and delayed whatever the plans are. The Catholic rebuild has been thwarted by the Church buying a plot of land which has now been colonised by rare birds so they are not allowed to build on it! Regent street, which is a pretty street of shops with balconied buildings ... read more
Markets around ruined Cathedral
By the River Avon
Regent Street

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch February 7th 2020

Ještě než se definitivně rozloučíme s Novým Zélandem, prohlédneme si největší město Jižního ostrova nacházející se v regionu Canterbury, Christchurch. Od té doby, co se město stalo obětí ničivého zemětřesení (zhruba před devíti lety), prošlo úžasnou změnou. Většina budov byla zničena nebo značně poškozena, ale i tak tu stojí původní kostel (i když s velkými podpěrami), už jen část "kontejnerového městečka" (dopravní kontejnery sloužily dříve jako tržnice) a nádherná botanická zahrada. Jinak má město velmi výrazně moderní ráz. Christchurch umí mít své kouzlo a být romantickým místem. Na řece Avon si můžete pronajmout pramici i s pikolíkem, který Vás na ní proveze nebo naskočit na historickou tramvaj. Na břehu řeky v parku si můžete posedět, třeba i na upraveném trávníku, nikdo Vám za to nevynadá j... read more
Můžete naskočit na jednu z historických tramvají
Christchurch je město 21. století
Hovězí steaky umí opravdu skvěle

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch December 14th 2019

When traveling around New Zealand, if you could choose what creature to be you’d definitely be a bird. Firstly because ,until humans arrived in NZ (about 1000 years ago), there were no land mammals which meant that the birds had no predators; despite the introduction of various animals, which have all later been regretted, they are still ruling the roost - if you’ll pardon the pun. Secondly, and more importantly, due to the New Zealand road system a journey that would be 70km as the crow flies suddenly becomes over 300km is when you have to follow the one and only highway heading south. This introduces the next stage of our journey: to the untamed, South-West of New Zealand and Milford Sound. The 6 hour drive from Queenstown took us through all four seasons: sunshine breaking ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch November 22nd 2019

We completed our time in NZ with a road trip from Dunedin to Queenstown, Haast, the West Coast and Kumasi then over Arthur’s pass back to Christchurch airport where we are waiting for our flight to Tahiti. A most spectacular journey with marvellous and varied scenery. During the last ice age most of island except for a few of the highest peaks were covered in ice thousands of feet thick. Evidence of glaciation is everywhere. Most scientists agree that the ice started melting 18-20,000 years ago due to global warming.... read more
Pedro House of Lamb delivers
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch November 9th 2019

Christchurch is still rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Eighty percent of the building in downtown Christchurch were destroyed or suffered structural damage resulting in them having to be demolished. Much of the commercial and retail areas are active again but the cathedral remains as a stark reminder of the fact that New Zealand sits at the intersection of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates and as a result is subject to frequent earthquakes. Reconstruction of the cathedral is scheduled to begin in 2020 and take almost a decade to complete.... read more
Christchurch cathedral .
Gore bay
Kaikoura

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 25th 2019

The women painting the hoarding were wearing headscarves. Practical, maybe, keeping off the sun. But so too were the volunteers working in the Transitional “cardboard” Cathedral. And women in business suits out for their morning coffee. And women pushing prams and out with their friends. Scarves that would usually simply ‘accessorise’ an outfit were now draped over heads, regardless of the wearers’ ethnicity. One week on from a mass shooting that horrified the world, Christchurch was coming together again, as it had done in the aftermath of the seemingly never-ending spate of earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, the prime minister’s words, “We are one. They are us,” very much alive. This wasn’t some kind of ghoulish rubber-necking on my part, though I was painfully conscious of the potential accusation. Since planning my visa-driven long weekend away ... read more
Friday prayers one week on
icons of Christchurch past and present

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch February 22nd 2019

We arrived at our hotel in Christchurch around 5 pm and walked to the city through it’s beautiful Botanical Gardens. Kiwis are welcoming and friendly people and we chatted with a few that told us about their corner of the world. Christchurch is still very much rebuilding from the destructive eathquacks that devastated the city between 2011-2013... New buildings can’t be built more than 7 stories high. On our way back to our hotel we walked through the Lantern festival.... Tomorrow we head to Queenstown via Mt Cook! ... read more
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