After a few days in Auckland, we spent a month starting mid January in Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand. As it lies in the heart of the Canterbury plane, our initial impressions of flat dullness contrasted with our expectations of rich scenic views associated with New Zealand travel. Christchurch was heavily damaged by two earthquakes, one in 2010, and the other a few months later on 22 February 2011. After nearly two years of sorting out the damage, recovery is now in full swing with new buildings and openings of renovated areas. We were happy that some of the original container restaurants and coffee shops still exist as thriving memories.
The location for day trips was ideal. The local buses took us to Lyttleton, New Brighton and South Beach, Sumner and Taylors Mistake. We booked a bus day trip for the three hour ride to explore Akaroa, . Renting a car for a few days took us down to Oamaru and up to Arthurs Pass and across the divide to Otira. Lots of interesting sights and experiences as we discovered neighborhoods of Merivale, Papanui, Riccarton, Hagley Park. Clearly, my photos don’t do justice but provide nice reminders.
We left Christchurch on the Northern Coast Railway taking us to Picton for the ferry crossing to Wellington. We purchased our tickets in advance through TripAdvisor. A new experience but it all ran smoothly. We stopped by the station a few days before which insured we had seats that faced forward. This line was affected by the Kaikoura earthquake of 2016 and had only returned to service a few weeks before. Photos of sea lions on the beach taken from a moving train did not turn out.
From the Christchurch Canterbury Museum I learned there were many tremors everyday around New Zealand, none strong enough for me to feel. Happy about that.