Time to explore the South island! From Wellington on, I couldn’t stop staring through the window of the plane, especially the contrast between mount Tapuae-O-Ueneku and the blue turquoise sea around Kaikoura.
I had booked a hostel that was not really in the centre but with a very special story: it’s an old prison! The staff of the Jailhouse accomodation was super welcoming, with nice play on words. Don’t worry – not scary at al even if some cells have kept their original writings on walls, the rooms are actually quite comfy!
What to do in Christchurch?
- Punting on the Avon river : we walked 20mins from the hostel through South Hagley Park to reach the Avon river. I was sick so I skipped the ‘cruise’ but to be honest it looked pretty romantic
- Botanical gardens: the Avon surrounds the Christchurch Botanical Gardens. The Gardens are very large with a wide variety of native and exotic species, from roses to ferns and from rhododendrons to lilies. A very pleasant walk wandering between the ponds and the giant trees.
- Christchurch cathedral: the consequences of the 2011 earthquake (that killed185 people) are unfortunately still visible: the spire and the upper portion of the tower have been totally destroyed.
- Canterbury Museum: the museum was unfortunately closing when we arrived but the building is nevertheless stunningly beautiful
- Christchurch Gondola: we rented a car from Christchurch airport to explore the South Island. We drove 20mins to reach the Mount Cavendish, but you can also take bus 28 from the centre for about 40 minutes. The ticket is quite expensive (28$ return) but the views from up there are just incredible. You can of course also climb up (or maybe better: go down!) via the Bridal path and the Crater Rim walkway. We only had time for about one hour of exploring around the top station but we already got to have spectacular views.
Eating & drinking in Christchurch
- Little High Eatery: an awesome place if you don’t want what you want to eat or if you don’t want to eat the same dish as your boyfriend! Little High Eatery is a fancy food hall with 8 different stalls : pizza, burger, curry, Venezuelan-style barbecue, sushi, dumplings, Mexican and a coffee place. You order, you (desperately) try to find a seat somewhere, the ‘disc’ you received beeps when your food is ready: bon appétit!
- Smash Palace: hipster beer garden where you order your craft beers and burgers from an old school bus
- Dux central: another place hosting different types of bars: a brew bar, a cocktail bar and a wine bar!
- Addington Coffee Co-op: an another hipster place redistributing 70% of their profits back to the local community and to producers and communities overseas but the drinks and the cookies were damn good!
Time to drive to our next stop: Kaikoura!