April 15, 2016

NZ- City Life

After seeing our whales, we made our way further South toward Christchurch. Having skipped Nelson, we knew that we could slow down a bit and spend two nights in Christchurch before having to fly out. Beerman had fond memories of the city from his previous visit, and I'd always heard nice things. So, of course, we pulled into the Local Top 10 Campground so C-man would have his fill of kid-friendly activities. He was thrilled.

In the morning, we woke up, and made our way into town. We purchased the combo ticket for several attractions, and this was the first one. It was a slow, leisurely glide down the Avon River.

Afterward, we headed down the street to the Botanical Garden, where we had an even slower caterpillar ride (their version of a people mover) through the gardens. The driver/guide was so calm and serene, we joked she could be a part of the Shweddy Balls skit. Beerman was smart enough to pack us a picnic lunch, and we ate it while on the ride.

When done with this, we moved on to our third attraction, the tram.

We got off at New Regent Street and decided to make our way to a large kids' playground, Margaret Mahy. Even though it was a school day, it was packed with children. We've noticed there is a lot of recess and play time here for children - something I really admired. And C-man was thrilled to find a zipline and a boy who was willing to race him on the one next to him.

After the park, we walked a few blocks, passing a whole lot of empty nothingness, to see the cardboard church. This is the church that replaced the cathedral temporarily until it could be rebuit post-earthquake.

This one.

It seems that it, too, is doomed to be torn down. After years of trying to figure out how to rebuild it, they've decided it has to come down. Just like 80% of the city, which has all needed to come down or has been taken down in an effort to re-start the entire city from scratch. There really wasn't much to see in Christchurch as a result, and we learned that the sheer volume of construction prohibits tour buses from even coming right now.

Our one bright spot was when we boarded the tram with the wizard. Apparently he's a local legend, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity for a photo.

As a tourist, for the next year or so, I'd say you can skip Christchurch. There isn't anything to really see. But it was a good, slow way to spend the day at a trip's end.


Mary Z said...

The town in Hawkes Bay, North Island, was totally rebuilt in the 1920s after an earthquake. It's the largest collection of original Art Deco buildings in the world. Really neat! It'll be interesting to see what they do with Christchurch.

Mary Z said...

The museum near the airport for the Antarctic Expeditions is really neat, too. We stayed at a YMCA hostel (hotel) across from the Botanical Gardens.