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csturdiv
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Christchurch, NZ

Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:54 pm

Friday night as I was watching Friday night rugby, I was looking at the Qantas app that I recently installed and then used it, on an impulse, to book a weekend trip to Christchurch in August. Any suggestion on things to do an see in the city? Was looking at Tripadvisor but was some other input too.
An American expat from the ORD area living and working in SYD
 
fbgdavidson
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:31 pm

There really isn't much in Christchurch itself. Reminded me of quite a full provincial towns back in the UK!

You're best off renting a car and going for a drive. Take a drive over the Arthur's Pass to the west side of the island, or head north towards Hamner Springs and Rotorua.
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n729pa
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:09 pm

there's plenty to do.....

1) Take a train Tranzalpine I think it's called to Greymouth and back (all day trip through the Alps and scenic countryside) ...approx. NZD110 return (in 2014)
2) There's a NZRAF museum a short bus ride out of town
3) Go to a Crusaders match! (wrong time of year perhaps)
4) Various city tours, including one on an old London Routemaster bus, quite interesting trip around the area and up into the hills where the cable car/view point is)

Have a look on your Qantas app for Activities page, that will give you a few more ideas of day trips/tours etc

I spent 3-4 days there back in 2014, I was quite shocked to see the level of damage there after the earthquake in 2011, but they need and welcome tourists down there. Train very popular and a good way to get out and see the countryside, suppose to be one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. Bit limited in the town of things to do, a few museums etc., but a lot of the city has been pulled down so expect to see lots of empty vacant lots awaiting rebuilds.

fbgdavidson.....Rotorua from Christchurch?? Really? Wrong Island.
 
sw733
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:54 pm

n729pa wrote:
1) Take a train Tranzalpine I think it's called to Greymouth and back (all day trip through the Alps and scenic countryside) ...approx. NZD110 return (in 2014).


I would almost recommend hiring a car and doing the drive instead. I've done both, and the road is a ton of fun to drive. Heck, if possible, you can always hire a car one-way and take the train the other.
 
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csturdiv
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:06 pm

Thanks for the ideas, maybe the train might be an idea. I cannot explain it, but I do not like driving down here. Maybe it is 30 years or so of driving in the left side of the car on the right side of the street and then trying to drive in the right seat on the left side of the road. I last drove in Sydney in January 2016. (and I thought Chicago traffic was bad, but Sydney traffic and Sydney drivers are no comparison!) My US drivers license expires in 2018 and I am not sure if I am going to go for an AU license after I get my permanent residency visa.
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coolian2
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:32 pm

Bring a jacket is the first order.

Then, there's a perfectly fun bar scene in the evenings (personally I recommend Pomeroys). If you were staying longer the market at Riccarton on a Sunday is excellent and delicious.

Also do NOT drive. Why? Because you start on the train, go down to the dining car, get yourself a cup of tea to enjoy the Canterbury Plains, and once you start into the pretty areas, go back and get something alcoholic to drink. Pretty sure it's hard to enjoy the view with a glass of wine if you're driving it.
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coolian2
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:36 pm

One other thing - normally I would stay at hotels. But if you can, stay at Chester St Backpackers. I can pay for hotels fine, but when I'm in Christchurch, I go there first. Given my dad in his 80s thought it was way better than a hotel, it's easily the best place to stay. Also the managers live on site and are full of quirky local knowledge.
Bollocks.
 
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csturdiv
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:43 pm

Now you are speaking my language! I will check out Pomeroys, that is within walking distance of my hotel. And New Zealand does have a great craft beer scene, and just by looking at the tap handles when I clicked on the pub in Google Maps, I will be hitting it! And sipping a great red wine while enjoying the scenery on the train sounds like a good idea. It might make some of my pictures a little "fuzzy" but it sounds like a plan. I was recently in Queenstown and took a tour to Milford Sound and the scenery that we drove past was amazing to see.
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coolian2
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:17 am

csturdiv wrote:
Now you are speaking my language! I will check out Pomeroys, that is within walking distance of my hotel. And New Zealand does have a great craft beer scene, and just by looking at the tap handles when I clicked on the pub in Google Maps, I will be hitting it! And sipping a great red wine while enjoying the scenery on the train sounds like a good idea. It might make some of my pictures a little "fuzzy" but it sounds like a plan. I was recently in Queenstown and took a tour to Milford Sound and the scenery that we drove past was amazing to see.

Shoot we got a man after my own heart! I wonder what weekend you're down there and could clink a few glasses!
Bollocks.
 
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:21 pm

Really recommend a drive to Akaroa which is a small French town about 1 hours drive east of Christchurch through some breath taking scenery. Akaroa itself is a stunning little place and well worth spending a weekend there. If you love photography then you'll be in paradise from both land and sea. You'll drive over two big hills with some very tight turns but the views from the top is worth it. On the way to Akaroa (or returning) I recommend a stop in Little River and grab a bite/drink from the cafe there. Little River is about half way between Christchurch and Akaroa. I did the trip to Akaroa as part of a mini South Island motorbike trip and on a motorbike the ride was incredible. There is a really good area beside a harbour to stop and get some scenic photos. You can park on the grass well of the road also which is handy.

Arthers Pass between Christchurch and Greymouth is also incredible. I did it again as part of the motorbike trip and really enjoyed it. With driving it gives you the choice of creating your own itinerary and stopping when and where you want as there are many stunning areas to see and some parts you can't see via the train. One area to stop at is the Otira Gorge about 15-20mins past Arthers Pass village enroute to Greymouth. When you see the views in person you'll understand why its worthy of a good long stop. Photos don't do it any justice!

Christchurch itself is basically rebuilding but there are some good things to see. One thing I recommend is the 185 empty white chairs memorial for every victim of the 2011 earthquake. Its a scene that brings impact at how the earthquake has affected a country/city especially when you see the empty kids chairs and baby capsule
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fbgdavidson
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:12 pm

n729pa wrote:
fbgdavidson.....Rotorua from Christchurch?? Really? Wrong Island.


Ha! Typo....Rotoroa...the northern part of the South Island is beautiful.
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csturdiv
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:26 am

coolian2 wrote:
Shoot we got a man after my own heart! I wonder what weekend you're down there and could clink a few glasses!


Mid August. I decided to do the train day trip. Will prebook soon, once I get back from Maui in early May.
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ZK-NBT
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:55 am

fbgdavidson wrote:
n729pa wrote:
fbgdavidson.....Rotorua from Christchurch?? Really? Wrong Island.


Ha! Typo....Rotoroa...the northern part of the South Island is beautiful.


Perhaps you mean Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park in the north of the South Island. Rotorua is towards the middle of the north island.
 
fbgdavidson
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:03 pm

ZK-NBT wrote:
fbgdavidson wrote:
n729pa wrote:
fbgdavidson.....Rotorua from Christchurch?? Really? Wrong Island.


Ha! Typo....Rotoroa...the northern part of the South Island is beautiful.


Perhaps you mean Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park in the north of the South Island. Rotorua is towards the middle of the north island.


Image
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ZK-NBT
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Re: Christchurch, NZ

Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:00 pm

Interesting I can't say I was aware of rotoroa.

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