Christchurch, New Zealand… 

I was tempted to bitch about Quantas for a few paragraphs . . . but figure no one needs that amount of negativity in their lives . . . So in short – we weren’t sat together for 1 flight – the nine hour flight . . . then had no bassinet for the second part of the flight . . . and arrived in NZ to find ourselves missing one pushchair (later tracked down in Sydney & then delivered to us 2 days after arrival). But it was all fine in the end … no pain, no gain 😂

Our Airbnb house is gorgeous… great living / kitchen / dining room opening out to the garden where G found her special ‘prize’ (surprise).


We figured with possible jet lag etc it would be good to have something to entertain G…. whilst requiring little to no input from us!!

The weather lulled us in to a false sense of security . . . we arrived to glorious sunshine and spent the next day mainly at home roasting! We then woke to rain & a cool breeze the following day and it felt much more like home!  Since then – we’ve had sunshine – then buckets of rain – we have learnt to be ready for a change of season between one hour and the next!

The daily sun cream battle with G is killing me!! It takes 2 minutes . . . or it could . . . but currently takes hours (ok slight exaggeration – but it feels like hours!) of cajoling and sobbing (sometimes G, sometimes me).  I think I’m going to stop trying to get her to understand and agree – I will just accept two minutes of wailing rather than 30+ minutes of on/off wailing and chasing – just too exhausting!

Right – on with what we’ve been doing, other than battle mini versions of ourselves….  We’ve actually ended up seeing more of Christchurch and doing more than we thought we would . . . the 13 hour time difference from the UK has been just about been absorbed . . . though G occasionally tells us she is ‘a little bit tired’… and occasionally her foot stomping ‘NO’ tells us she is more than a little bit tired!! F is coping fine . . . same as the UK really . . . I still fantasise about sleeping more than 4 hours in a row. However he kindly provides me with 2 or 3 ‘quiet times’ every night which is how I get to write my waffle!  And occasionally joins Mummy & Daddy for red wine & cards. . .

So – what have we done with our 3 days?

Day One . . .

We strolled around Re:START – awesome shopping area made up of shipping containers. Really funky and cool vibe (yeah – what?! We fitted right in!). I could have spent the whole holiday budget there I think . . . but we bought nothing as our backpacks and our Ford Focus are already at capacity!!

We wandered up to the cardboard cathedral . . . which was closed . . . so we wandered back again 😂😂

Day Two . . .

We went on the Christchurch Gondola (what I would call a cable car!) to the top of Port Hills. Pretty spectacular 360 views from the top!

Despite trying to eat mainly at home to save the budget for fun things . . . We had lunch at the top of the mountain as time was knocking on….

Day Three . . .
The Tram 🚋 is brilliant! Various tram cars dating from early 1900s do a loop of the city in 50 minutes. Friendly informative drivers tell you about areas as you pass them (or hop off & on) – it wasn’t a scripted blurb – and the various drivers we had were clearly proud of the bounce back Christchurch was achieving!

We found it hard to comprehend that 70% of the centre had been lost in or because of the 2011 earthquake. There is soooo much construction happening and many fabulous looking buildings have been designed . . . some being built, others still on paper. . . many soon to be described as ‘iconic’.

Also loved the way that the destroyed areas… even if they weren’t going to be worked on for years…. had street art, or plants or sculptures integrated in to them rather than looking like desolation it looked positive and full of hope.


One of the stops we ‘hopped off’ at was the Art Gallery – not entirely sure what inspired us to, as we are generally not very good at Art Museums and the like (philistines!)  – maybe it was when the driver said the word ‘free’. 😂😂. So glad we did – really funky gallery with ‘artsy’ foam shapes for children to build and play with in the entrance . . .

. . and some cool exhibits…. and lots of weird shit that I didn’t get . . .

. . . but enjoyed anyway! (Yes 50% of our time was spent in the entrance hall!!)

For our leaving day…. we thought we’d try and wear G out before starting the journey to Oamaru – in hope of a nap…. the longer the better. The Margaret Mahy Playground seemed just the ticket! How fantastic is this free park???!

 

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