My first 2 days in New Zealand have been spent in Christchurch. What a beautiful city. I’ve spent a lot of time walking around and seeing where I end up and its been amazing. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling I have of getting up, not worrying about anything and just taking every step as it comes. Obviously I know not every day is going to be like this, but so far so good. I managed to get a decent sleep on my first night which I imagine would have helped. Hopefully I’ve beaten the jetlag but time will tell.
Staying in a Hostel
Spending a night in a dorm room with random people that you have no clue about can sound daunting and I admit at first I was a bit nervous about it. My stay in the Jailhouse Accommodation in Addington, Christchurch settled my thoughts about it though. The staff were especially friendly and everyone says hi to each other. The hostel itself is a renovated prison hence the name but the layout has been left pretty much the same as back in the prison days. I checked in and got my ‘cell/room’ number and bed number and that was me ready to go.
Exploring in Christchurch
As I walked around aimlessly, I came across a few pretty interesting places. First up was the Canterbury Museum. I’ve not been to many museums so this was pretty cool, learning a little about the Maori culture and the history of the Canterbury Region of the South Island. I’ve been to even fewer Art Galleries but I managed to find my way into the Christchurch Art Gallery – it was free entry so why not? I actually enjoyed it as well and the work of New Zealand artist, Tony De Lautour, caught my eye. Early Saturday morning, I came across the Botanic Gardens and thinking a wee morning stroll would be lovely, I entered. I was not disappointed, plenty to see and the Gardens are huge so I was on the go in there for a few hours.
I also found a museum called ‘Quake City’. It is based mostly on the massive Christchurch earthquake of 2011 and it explains into detail about the phenomena of earthquakes. It was a very touching experience hearing stories of the survivors and seeing the chaos that this ‘quake caused. After I had been there I realised how much devastation the earthquake had actually caused. There are still buildings and areas of the city being worked on – 7 years later! There is also a memorial on the banks of the Avon River to those who lost their lives and suffered in the disaster of 2011. I never managed to visit the memorial but I will when I come back. However I did manage to visit the Bridge of Remembrance, built to honour those who fell during The Great War – WW1.
For both days I just walked everywhere, covering altogether 26.8km and just under 40,000 steps! Its a fair distance to travel but worth it. There are ALOT of cyclists in this city with every road and path having a dedicated lane for cycling. I noticed wee machines telling the cyclists how many had been past that area in the day – at one of them it had reached 400 cyclists. In the city centre there are also the trams, proper old school looking ones too. I dare say if I had been smart or knew about the trams at first or that I could rent a bike I wouldn’t have had to walk as much but I regardless I survived.
I’m jumping on the Kiwi Experience bus tomorrow so I’ll be off to new and exciting places but towards the end I’ve got a couple more days in Christchurch that I’m looking forward to – there is still so much I haven’t done.
Thanks for reading!