A Travellerspoint blog

I'm in love

sunny 26 °C
View Supermoon on KulaRing's travel map.

A warning: this will be a rather long rambling blog post and will be somewhat gushing as I've fallen for this little country, perhaps more than Australia. I could see us living here at some point. Sorry Oz. How fickle in love I am (watch out Rob!)

Last entry ended with a sudden loss of free wifi whilst in Auckland airport awaiting our flight down to Christchurch. After the devastating cut off I went for a wander through the rest of the terminal and came across something that made us both ridiculously happy after a 13 hour flight from LA, a 1500m walk and a 3 hour sit in the terminal...... free showers!!! and they were lush. It was lucky our check in hadn't opened so we still had our full bags and could clean up and change to our heart's content.

Very happy post shower
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Our post shower waiting spot with a view of the runway and landing planes (for the several plane nerds I know)
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This was my first ever flight with JetStar and it was also our first honeymoon upgrade, we were moved to the exit row so had some rather fantastic leg room. It was almost a shame the flight was only an hour long. There are no pictures of this leg room because I'd only get mocked for my short legs not needing it!

On arriving in Christchurch we headed to our home for the night, the Jailhouse, which is a hostel in an old converted prison. All the bedrooms are in the cells which is a new experience us both I believe. Some of the cells have been left as they were when the jail shut to give a view of its pre-backpacker life, maybe as a warning to behave whilst in the hostel?!

Checking into Jailhouse
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A few shots of life inside
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Due to the Auckland airport heavenly shower find, we were able to drop our bags off and head into the city centre in the hopes of finding the city tour bus and using our first honeymoon present (thank you Dave). Walking towards the city I was concerned at no signs of a large "city", there was no heavy mass of buildings anywhere in sight. This may have been obvious to some reading this why, but although I read all the news reports from 2011 of a devastating earthquake in Christchurch that destroyed, or led to the demolition, of 70% of the CBD buildings I guess I never took in the scale of what that means. The city bus tour no longer focuses on the "highlights" of the city, as these highlights are gone and new highlights are planned but not yet built (in most cases, although something's like the container mall which was thrown up in the aftermath as people needed basic shops are there and serve to show the amazingness of the Christchurch resilience). Block after block is just empty space or the occasional propped up building that they are hoping they can salvage. The people are just getting on with the rebuild and they've taken their time so the city creeping back up is a beautiful, modern and earthquake proof thing. Everything they didn't like about the old city that grew as the population did with little forethought is now being changed, they are determined to make the most of the horror from several years ago. I don't have many photos from the bus as none would really show the space or the spirit of the city. The photo below is the Catholic Cathedral, waiting to either be hopefully restored or demolished and rebuilt (the church has promised the funds for either) once a decision is made by the local clergy and some builders become available! The front of the cathedral used to have two copper dome topped towers to either side of the entrance.

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Us looking windswept on the bus and post tour
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Post tour we popped into the Canterbury Musuem, conveniently where the tour ends, which is well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in Christchurch and is free! There are real mummies and dinosaur bits, a recreation of a street from the beginnings of the city and many other cool things.

Me trying out a penny farthing in old Christchurch
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Rob being a penguin.....
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The next day we joined our transport for the remainder of our New Zealand stay, the legendary Kiwi Experience bus. It's supposed to be hop on/hop off but due to their guaranteed first night in a local hostel and cheap activity booking staying aboard the one bus and allowing them to do the hard work is a great lazy choice.

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Thursday was Christchurch to Kaikoura, a very small beach town known for its whale watching. We have to go back to Kaikoura before moving on to the north island in about a week so we are saving the whales until then, instead we went on a hike over some cliffs to a seal colony. Post this hour and half cliff hike and the 10 miles strolled around Christchurch on Wednesday Rob's legs were most definitely feeling the work out, so I rewarded him with beer on the beach. The views were spectacular and it is now time to bore you with photos from that. (photos that look to be purely of rocks are actually of seals, the black blobs are the seals, my phone isn't great for seal photography)

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A final thing for today, before I go and enjoy some sunshine. We stayed in a charming little hostel overlooking the town. Here is Rob with the sign
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Rob will be posting the next blog from Kaiteriteri and Westport where we shall be tonight

Posted by KulaRing 11:11 Archived in New Zealand Tagged christchurch kaikoura nz

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Comments

Love the photos,feeling really quite envious but also very happy for you both. Looking forward to reading Bob's next entry. Love from Mum XXX

by Pamela Kulaszewska

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