The amount of wind overnight was enough to knockout power to our lodge. A little scary when you feel like the roof is going to blow off the building or a tree might come flying through the window.
Today we express from Rangitata to Christchurch where you have the day to explore Christchurch further.
Arrived into Christhirch airport at 8:20a and went to the info desk to see if I could catch an earlier flight back home but to no avail. However, I did find out that I could lock up my luggage (at luggage solutions: close at 18:30p and reopen at 4:30A). There are showers in the airport and there is a lounge where people can checkin for $5 and stay overnight. Now that I had a plan, I decided to tour the city. I took the 29 bus (you can also take the 3 bus to the city center. They leave roughly every 30 min from airport) to the city center. I got dropped off close to cathedral square and took the tram ($15 adult, ride and hop on/off as much as you’d like that day). First, I took the entire tram ride. Then on the second loop, I took the stop for the botanical garden. Wow, this place is huge. I ESP loved the rose garden (I have a soft spot in my heart for roses – my dad used to leave a rose on my dash everytime I would drive back to college after a home visit. I thought it was the sweetest thing). Def check out the New Zealand section as well as you’ll come across the native wildlife as well as the fern! After the bot tour, I checked out the Canterbury museum that is right next door to the gardens. There’s two floors and it starts from the Maori history and finishes in present day with earthquake history too. One of the most interesting exhibits was the Antarctica display. Definitely worth checking out! After that, I took a walk around Regents St famous for its mirror image shopping architecture. Lastly, stop by a cheese monger shop and tried various New Zealand cheeses. Went looking for wine (they were not licensed) and stumbled upon the container mall. It’s called that bc all the shops/stores are in these freight container looking setups. Neat place to walk around and browse. Finally, having a glass of wine at Fiddlesticks, cute restaurant and bar close to my bus stop. Christchurch is definitely a cute lil city that was unfortunately challenged with its most recent earthquake. But it’s rebuilding and if you have a layover for 4-6h, leave the airport and check it out. I’m glad I made the trek into the city!! Tonight I will stay in the airport and catch my Sunday morning flight home. What are the chances that the Waitakere United soccer team is in the same line for food?? They almost missed their flight home!
It’s been a fantastic trip. I give high praises to my tour group and company Stray Journeys. Although I didn’t get a chance to see the North Island, the mere stunning beauty of the South Island as well as the hospitality of the people truly make New Zealand one of my favorite places in the world. Stay quaint. Stay natural.