Blogs from Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch November 21st 2023

Tour Day 43, Cruise Day 43 – Christchurch by Double-Decker Bus (3.5 hours) - Cross the port hills to the village of Sumner and head into the city center of Christchurch. Here you'll board an open-air kiwi double-decker bus (weather permitting) for a fun and informative 45-minute tour of Christchurch. You'll discover why Christchurch is known as 'the Garden City' and is considered one of the most English cities outside of England. Learn about Christchurch's fascinating history from pioneering days through modern times. View some of the areas affected by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and learn how Christchurch is now preserving some of its iconic heritage buildings. Your guide will share aspects of the exciting vision and plan to rebuild and restore the inner city, and will interweave the experience with stories and up-to-date information ... read more
Christchurch by Double-Decker Bus (3.5 hours)
Christchurch by Double-Decker Bus (3.5 hours)
Christchurch by Double-Decker Bus (3.5 hours)

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch December 9th 2022

NOTE: We arrived home late on Friday the 9th of December, but only just finishing the last of the blog entries on the 21st. Unfortunately our run of lovely weather came to an end today. It rained most of the night and was still grey and drizzly this morning. Over breakfast we decided that we wouldn’t attempt any other sightseeing around Greymouth in the rain. The couple of things that we had thought about visiting, before setting out for Christchurch, were outdoors so we decided that they would be too unpleasant in the wet. We also had to consider that we would be on the go all day with no access to a motel room to get clean and dry before our flight home to Melbourne tonight at 9.00pm! After Bernie packed the car up in ... read more
Otira Viaduct lookout
View along the Arthurs Pass road
Lupins at the Cave Stream Scenic Reserve

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch November 27th 2022

We went on our last overseas holiday after one of our longest ever breaks from overseas travel. We have departed on our second overseas trip this year after one of the shortest gaps ever between our overseas holidays. After being at home for just 24 days, late this evening we boarded flight JQ 173 bound for New Zealand. Well, actually, we were due to board our plane late this evening, but … Kerry dropped us off at Tullamarine about 9.00pm and we breezed through Jetstar’s self check-in. It is very quiet at Tullamarine late in the day! Screening and immigration was deserted so we made our way through in record time … even though I was selected for the full body scan and Bernie’s bag was taken aside for extra scrutiny after it passed through the ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch November 23rd 2022

We woke up to a lovely morning in Christchurch, had a chilled breakfast in the motel and then headed towards the town centre. We took the scenic route through Hagley Park, the biggest park in Christchurch with the Avon river running through it. At the far end we came out by the old buildings of Christchurch College. Luckily the amazing Tram system runs right past the college, we bought our day passes and hopped on. We stayed on the tram into town, past the Cathedral and got off by Quake City, a museum to the Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Seeing the cathedral was a true reminder of how devastating the Quake of February 2011 really was. Listening to the tour guides on the Tram and looking around museum showed us how truly terrible the time ... read more
2. The College Clocktower
3. Christchurch College
4. Inside Tram

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch October 27th 2022

Wha a day! We were docking as we woke this morning. After a leisurely breakfast up in the cafe we prepared ourselves and went ashore - today was so much better organised than yesterday. We were able to just walk off. We weren‘t able walk to town though, it is a working dock and we had to be bussed off. So we caught the complimentary shuttle to the local bus stop for a local bus to take us to the base station of a gondola. But no, the buses went on strike at 10am and at 9:50 the bus rolled up, the driver opened her door and said “I’m sorry, I can’t take you anywhere. We‘ll be back at work at 1pm.“ There was an American couple from California also wanting to go to the gondola, ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 29th 2022

All good things come to an end,or so a famous saying goes.And the 50th Anniversary Tour of the Top of the South Island is no different. We awoke to a rather overcast day in Christchurch with a cool autumnal feel about the weather. However before we arose to get the day underway our minds went to our next holiday in 2024 and hopefully a resurrection of the postponed BBA of 2020 when we had planned to travel again to Europe taking in islands of the Mediterranean,mainland Europe and Great Britain and Ireland.Now that COVID around the world seems to be becoming an illness that if you catch it, you mostly get over it relatively quickly,and you can protect yourself by being vaccinated and as countries open their borders to traveller's that we might just be able ... read more
Colombo Street,Christchurch looking south
Cranes at the ready to take off the damaged roof of the Cathedral
Huge mural depicting what used to be there before the earthquakes

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 28th 2022

We have just a short 50minute drive down to Greymouth today before we give the Corolla back and join the Trans Alpine train to head to Christchurch. So getting up and having breakfast didn’t seem a priority to us. The day wasn’t quite as good as it has been for the last few days with more cloud overhead and out to sea although there was promise that it might clear once the sun could poke through. Breakfast was very relaxing in the restaurant looking out at the Tasman Sea. We had either been too late for our downstairs neighbours from the campervan or too early as we didn’t see them. The resort complex is sited on both sides of the highway with an underpass for guests to go to and from their units and the restaurant/bar. ... read more
Pancake rocks
Classic view of Pancake rocks
Greymouth stop bank

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 10th 2022

The cloud that had started to roll over the hills on Banks Peninsula yesterday were forecast to spread over the city overnight and the prediction was correct.However,the cloud is also forecast to clear as the day wears on and afternoon should be sunny with 20C. So we took a dollar each way and dressed our top for summer and bottom for autumn and hoped for the best that we wouldn’t get too warm if the sun came out as predicted or too cool if the cloud cover remained all day. It was another free ride into the city and we alighted the #28 at the modern, clean and well organised bus interchange. Tauranga city could learn a lot from Christchurch as the Tauranga bus interchange is quite frankly a disgrace with undesirable people loitering requiring at ... read more
Facade of the Post Office looking well restored
Reconstruction of the Cathedral is underway
Autumn tints on the Avon River

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 8th 2022

I was mulling over what to call this blog given that our travels over next 3 weeks are not set up like the usual BBA(Benvie Budget Adventure) and nor are we overseas somewhere exotic to New Zealand, where the earlier BBA blogs have all been set. So as we have just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary and we are going to be taking in the sights of the top of the South Island, New Zealand, ‘The 50th Anniversary Top of the South Tour ‘was so named. We were very well organised this morning for our departure to Tauranga Airport and our 11am flight to Christchurch. Not at all like 11 months ago when we also travelled to the South Island for a 3 week tour around the south of the South Island. What with having to ... read more
Bealey Avenue,Christchurch
A dozen Bluff oysters at The Bealey,Christchurch

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch January 19th 2022

Five months after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, centred near Darfield, Christchurch, an even more damaging quake struck on 22 February 2011. That shallow, 6.3 magnitude quake, just 10 kilometres from the centre of Christchurch, caused the greatest ground acceleration ever recorded in New Zealand. The earthquake claimed the lives of 185 people of and injured many more. Following the devastating earthquake as part of the city redevelopment a new waterfront has been created along the Ōtākaro/Avon River to make it easier to access river front businesses and green spaces. Whariki Mats welcome you to this walkway and along it’s path. The traditional weaving designs have been adapted using stone pavers.Each whāriki is an arrangement of natural stone pavers of varying shades and colours. The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial was designed as two distinct areas either side ... read more




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