Well, it seems that traveling to New Zealand is become an annual thing for us. We never tire of visiting here and it suits Jill as it is a few degrees cooler than home in summer.
We arrived in Christchurch on Saturday, January 8th, and stayed overnight near the centre of town. It is easy to see the damage from the recent earthquakes and unfortunately, most of it seems to have occurred to the beautiful old heritage buildings. All public buildings seem to have a notice stuck on the front door that describes its condition and the extent of access allowed. This is quite a pretty city and we noticed that the tourist tramline has been extended since we were last here.
On Sunday we drove down to the little town of Akoroa on the Banks Peninsula, SW of Christchurch. It is the site where a number of French settlers arrived in the mid 1800’s and the village tries to maintain some of that flavor, even though it is clearly a little New Zealand town. It has a lovely waterfront, some very cute little cottages and some great paces to eat on the street overlooking the harbor. The scenery around the peninsular is spectacular.
Today, Monday, saw us driving to the own of Twizel. We drove through the town .of Ashburton and then through Geraldine where we stopped for lunch. After the green valleys of this area, it was up and over the Burke’s Pass and across the open dry plains of the Mackenzie Country. We stopped for a quick photo at the famous Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, but it was very hard to take a decent photo with the Asian Tourists lining up for a photo and posing in silly positions for their friends.
We were fortunate to see a reasonable view of Mount Cook across Lake Pukaki, before reaching our hotel at Twizel; an old construction town for local hydro power station infrastructure. it is now used by people who are fishing, hunting, smoking and traveling in nearby alpine regions.