A Travellerspoint blog

Quake City & The Springs

RTW - New Zealand, South Island

all seasons in one day 13 °C
View Round The World Trip on kmmk17's travel map.


The two weeks I had planned in New Zealand were almost exactly as that of Australia - arriving in the coldest part, staying for about 10 days with relatives, followed by a few days in a warmer part.

Having left Sydney for New Zealand, I was met at the airport by my Aunty and her family, spending a week and a half taking a break from hectic sightseeing again and giving me time to catch up on sleep (and washing), which was just as well, as the weather in Christchurch was very much as it was in Mount Gambier - being generally cold but mostly fine.

Beginning by taking a rest day, on the second full day I went into Christchurch to explore what remains following the earthquake damage two years previously. Although it meant that much of the centre had been destroyed, being a Geography student, the aftermath was still very interesting.

Re:START Mall

Re:START Mall

I took a visit to the recently opened Quake City exhibition, with many relics from the quake. There were also fascinating videos of CCTV footage, and interviews with locals.

Christchurch Cathedral

Christchurch Cathedral

Luckily a few weeks previously, the city centre had finally been reopened, and I was therefore able to get up close to the damaged cathedral. Witnessing the half damaged shell of the historic building, I then walked towards the temporary Cardboard Cathedral, before going back towards the city centre and the portacabins that were being used as shops.

Cardboard Cathedral

Cardboard Cathedral

One of the most enjoyable parts of my trip was the visit up to Hanmer Springs, which the eight of us in this extended family took for three days.

Despite the miserable weather on the first day - being around 7 days and foggy with light rain, we spent the day in the Spa, where there were a variety of thermal pools reaching up as high as 42˚C.

Family photo in the Thermal Pools

Family photo in the Thermal Pools

Amazingly, on the second day of the trip the weather had completely cleared up and we were treated to spectacular views of the surrounding mountains in the blazing sun, which we later climbed as a group.

NZ Mountains

NZ Mountains

Being able to spend the trip with a youthful group also meant there were a lot of laughs that would simply not have happened had I gone alone.

These included beating the cousins at Uno whilst laughing at some of the misfortunate confusions in conversation that come with the New Zealand accents ("Yes, I had someone sitting on my deck" for instance); and going on "Pussy Patrol" looking for cats after finding free WiFi outside the village library.

After much relaxation, I then spent the last days with my cousins, who by now were on school holidays, and visited the beach at Sumner, marking my furthest journey south yet, before enjoying a last family meal, where I discovered I could in fact enjoy Pizza!

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in New Zealand Tagged hills city family relax rtw

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