So this was our last full day in New Zealand and if you are planning to visit New Zealand anytime soon, I recommend spending an entire day exploring Christchurch. (also, I know the boy is wearing an Israeli shirt. This was a souvenir from Israel/Palestine and it is not in any way political or religious). It is the second largest city in the country but it is not as crowded as Auckland or Wellington and much of the city is still recovering from the Canterbury earthquake maybe forso don’t be surprised when you see many construction sites and most buildings there are not tall or finished yet due to earthquake hazards. Nevertheless there are still many things to do here so here is how you should spend it:
- Ballantyne, High Street, Manchester Street
- Christchurch Tramway
- Bridge of Remembrance
- Christchurch Cathedral and the new and magnificent Turanga Library
- New Regent Street
- Lunch at the many restaurants around the city
- Christchurch Art Gallery
- Botanic Gardens
- Canterbury Museum
- Victoria Square
First of all, buy tickets to get on the Christchurch Tramway. For every paying adult, three children up to the age of fourteen can ride free. You can get on and get off at any of the seventeen stops. The first tram departs at Cathedral Junction at ten in the morning from April to September and at nine from October to March. We took a taxi from Christchurch TOP 10 Holiday Park to Ballantynes, which is an old department store and walked around Manchester Street and High Street before finally arriving at Cathedral Junction.
We went one round around the city before getting off at the Bridge of Remembrance (tram stop four). The conductor will tell you about the history of the city, the names of various locations and future development programs.
After that we took the tram back to Cathedral Square.
I didn’t recognize any of the books available at the library but it’s a good place to go to anyway because of the views and it’s an interesting library.
So then we looked for a place to have lunch, cutting across New Regent Street along the way. It has Spanish-style architecture and has many boutiques and cafes.
Okay, here is the important part. Set aside enough time to find lunch as there are limited options in Christchurch. We spent half an hour walking around the city looking for a good place to have lunch. Eventually we found a Japanese restaurant in a mall. And New Zealand ramen is actually better than ramen in Singapore!
So after lunch we went back to Cathedral Junction and took the tram to the Christchurch i-SITE (tram stop 11) to visit the arts centre, botanic gardens and museum.
We didn’t view the art pieces in the arts centre but we did go and take pictures of the building.
If you only have time to visit one place in Christchurch, though, you must visit the Canterbury Museum. It was located just next to the Botanic Garden. We didn’t want to come in at first because it didn’t look so interesting, but my mom insisted that we should just see it first. It turned out that the museum was so good and there were many interesting stuffs, and we spent hours here, and we would like to spend more time but it was late and we had to catch the tram before the service ended. By the way, the entrance was free.
The museum showcases many exhibitions, including Maori artifacts, colonial items, a replica of an old street in Christchurch, an Egyptian mummy, dinosaur fossils, gemstones, Antarctic rocks and animal specimens. it can keep both children and adults entertained throughout the day.
We continued to the other exhibition site which was the old Christchurch Street.
So as you can see they showcase a variety of exhibitions and displays thus this is a place you must visit. Our final stop of the day was Victoria Square (tram stop sixteen).
We got on the last tram ride of the day back to Cathedral Junction and then took a taxi to Northlands Mall.
So that was our eleventh and final full day in Christchurch. Tomorrow we’ll talk about Britz Christchurch, Christchurch Airport and conclude our trip. Also, since you’ve made it this far, remember that Chinese family from Scotland? We had met them in Carters Beach, Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown and now, Christchurch! Turns out, they’ve been to Mount Cook, Dunedin, Oamaru and Fairlie, which sounds like a dreadful driving itinerary. But hey, at least the man’s told us a few interesting stories about life in a campervan with five women. Once again, like and comment about which country you want us to travel to next. Christmas is coming so Merry Christmas and be grateful if you are in a snowy place because it’s 34 degrees Celsius here!(about 94 in Fahrenheit) Oh well…