New Zealand: A Short Survey of Christchurch

While we’re mostly headed to Christchurch to see our friend Checkers Penguin, we certainly want to make sure that we see some of the sites there before we head to Dunedin.

Outdoor Activities

Godley Head hike goes along the coast and has stops at a World War II era bunker. The real draws are the views, and the possibility of spotting penguins, whales, and dolphins. At 13.5 kilometers, the walk itself isn’t difficult, just long.

The Christchurch Botanic Gardens are free and in the city. There are guided tours for a fee, but word has it that this is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the flora of New Zealand.

Indoor Activities

The International Antarctic Center is in Christchurch because the city has served as the jumping off point for many Antarctic missions and explorations. There are penguins and a storm experience. I’m not sure we want to be cold, but it looks like a great place to visit.

The Air Force Museum of New Zealand would tie us back to our trip to Hawaii where we visited the museum near the U.S.S. Arizona. Neither of us is into military history, but planes are cool.

Transportation Styles

The Gondola is listed as Christchurch’s most popular activity. It takes you up to a view point, which looks out to the New Zealand Alps. This can be combined with a Grand Tour that includes the Botanical Gardens, punting on the Avon, a tram ticket, and bus tour of the city. Another option is a hop on hop off Double Decker Bus.

Culture and Food

The Ko Tane Maori Experience explores the culture of the Maori. With performances and dinner, it’s sure to be lively and fun. The Tramway Restaurant Dinner would be a unique experience as 36 guests get a four-course dinner in style while rolling through the inner city. The Caffeine Laboratory: Good coffee, good atmosphere, good food – this looks like an important stop on our Christchurch tour.

If you have some hints and tips about New Zealand travel, feel free to leave them in the comments.

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