1st – 2nd October 2012
After a long journey fuelled by Fergburgers of Queenstown, I arrived in Christchurch with a high degree of expectation and determination to stay in Christchurch to see the city.
It’s a shame that many people on their tours of New Zealand opt to miss out Christchurch completely just because they hear from other people that ‘it’s just not worth seeing.’ Well I beg to differ, Christchurch was one of the biggest tourist draws of the country before the earthquake hit in 2011 killing 185 people. And since the earthquake, tourism have dried up completely. Understandably, there have been a shortage of hostels and you do have to book far in advance in order to stay since many were destroyed by the quake. However, there are still some left that remain outside the Red Zone called so for the city centre that has remained closed to the public to this day due to the very high risk of a building toppling over.
BUT there are still lots to do in Christchurch. And I do agree. Okay, so you can’t visit the infamous Christchurch Cathedral but you can still visit the fantastic scenery in the suburbs and countryside around such as Lyttleton Harbour or Akaroa Harbour that offer great activities such as dolphin swimming and wildlife viewing. You could even jump aboard a tour of the amazing Lord of the Rings scenery that was filmed.
Seeing as I was here for the full day today and half day the next day, I made it my mission to explore Christchurch as much as possible and enjoy walking through.
I did see first hand of the damage scale of the earthquake reflected in the torn buildings. It is devastating to see people’s lives have been uprooted and destroyed by the 6.2 Earthquake.
But the city remained charming for me and I just absolutely loved the Botantic Gardens and the river that ran through offering punting activities. The hostel I stayed in was run by a local family who strived to boost the backpacker tourism and it was such an inspiration to listen to them. Their hostel, ‘Round the World Backpackers’ offered a great intimate stay and I especially loved their hammocks in which I lazed in after a long walk with their resident cat choosing to kip on me while I swayed. Life is good.
So to stop myself waffling any further, here are the pictures I took during my stay in Christchurch. You got to stay in Christchurch…believe me.