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Christchurch - Twizel

Start of the South Island Road trip

semi-overcast 17 °C
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We made it to the South Island!!! After a very relaxed time at Wellington airport, where some lady asked me where my trousers were from, we boarded our Air NZ flight to Christchurch. We picked up our hire car (and got upgraded to a Toyota Corolla again) and were making our way out of the airport by 10:30am! Today our destination was Twizel, as a half way point between Christchurch and Queenstown and a way to get to Aoraki Mount Cook the next day. Shortly after leaving Christchurch we got to a viewpoint where we pulled over. On a nice day you would be able to see the Southern Alps from there, but unfortunately the weather was not on our side. I did find a familiar place though!
Thankfully as we drove on the clouds cleared and we got some more of that lovely sunshine that we have gotten so used to! Our first stop was Rakaia Gorge, which was much nicer than I expected and definitely worth not going via the main highway.
We went for a walk to get a better view, however about 3/4 of the way there was a section where you had to climb over some tree roots with a fairly steep drop on the other side, so I let Laura go ahead. She got all the way to the second viewpoint - which is supposed to be 1 hr from where we were and she did it in about 30 mins!
We stopped in Geraldine to pick up some jam, and then at a bakery in Fairlie to get some pies for dinner (they were absolutely delicious - well, I know mine was)! We pulled over a few times to take some photos of the view, which was fantastic.
On we went to Lake Tekapo. This is a very popular spot to stop and there were so many people around. But, once we walked a minute or so further, there were very few people! The sunshine made the lake show its famous beautiful blue colour and it was stunning to see.
We also went inside the little church, which had a gorgeous view and was so peaceful (you can't take photos there).
Finally, we got on with our drive to Twizel. Along the way we stopped at a few viewpoints, which was definitely worth it for photos of the blue Lake Pukaki and the snow capped mountains in the background.
We had an early night (again), to be ready for our much anticipated visit to Mt Cook.

Posted by pkaplicz 00:04 Archived in New Zealand Tagged landscapes lake_tekapo road_trip christchurch twizel Comments (0)


rain 18 °C
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Day 1
We travelled to Christchurch on the 16th March, less than 24 hours after the attack on the mosques. We had heard about it in our hostel the previous night and, along with everyone else, were shocked by what had happened. We were greeted with a gorgeous day as we made the drive down, giving a lift to another girl from our hostel too. Taking the scenic route meant that we got some great views too.

We headed into the city itself and to the botanic gardens, as we still had the car so thought we would make use of it. The gardens were absolutely beautiful, and there were lots of people around, including families with children. There was a sort of sombre sense in the air, especially at the world peace bell which hangs in the gardens.

Day 2
This was our one full day in Christchurch, and it was drizzly for most of the day! We walked into the city centre and saw the transitional cathedral, which at the time had lots of media inside and out, so we didn't hang around too long.
We saw the damage that occurred after the earthquakes 8 years ago, and walked past memorials to victims of the earthquake and also the attack. We spent some time in the Quake City exhibition, which gives an insight into the earthquakes that happened, and includes stories from people on the day. This really made it real to us, as being on the other side of the world meant that we knew about the earthquakes, but I certainly didn't understand quite the reality of it. It also highlighted the resilience of the people of Christchurch, and the strength of community here.

Posted by pkaplicz 13:15 Archived in New Zealand Tagged christchurch Comments (0)

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