We spent our last full day in New Zealand walking around Christchurch. This was Christchurch a week before the major earthquake that hit on 22nd February, 10 days after we left. The quake itself was not as severe as one that had hit the city the previous year in September, and they’d had another one on Boxing Day 2010 as well.

I think as you look through these pictures, the poignant ones are of the cathedral and the flower festival that had only just begun on the day we visited. It’ll be a long time before a similar event will be held there.

We liked the Botanical Gardens a lot, wonderful to stroll through them and enjoy an early autumnal day. We popped into an exhibition of Sir Walter Scott’s fateful polar expedition that had left from Christchurch 100 years before.

You can also see the photos here, rather than as a slideshow.

From Hokitika back to Christchurch

Hokitika was a revelation. I hadn’t intended staying here, thinking that Greymouth would have more choice; but there was an “iron man” competition taking place whilst we were there with the bike competition part of it taking the competitors back to Christchurch over Arthur’s Pass the day. So all accommodation was booked-up.
So, although the apartment we stayed in was not perhaps as good as some of the others we’d stayed in, the location on the beach, and the timing – just after the beach sculpture festival, more than made up for it. We were really surprised to see so much good arts and craft in the town which although a bit linear and built on a grid pattern, did have a charm all of its own, and the sea and sunset were magnificent.

NZ – Back to Christchurch at EveryTrail

Jenny volunteered to drive us back to Canterbury so I decided to snap away through the window of the car, capturing the traverse of the Southern Alps and the journey through Arthur’s Pass. It was really interesting seeing the lush forest vegetation give way to high cold vegetation and then to rain shadow and desert on the way down towards the Canterbury Plain.

So we completed our circle. We stopped once again in Darfield and arrived back in Christchurch in time for tea!

You can see the photos here, rather than as a slideshow.