Spontaneous trips usually end up being the best ones. It was a random weekend in the middle of Autumn and YHA Backpackers had just awarded me a night's stay at any of their hostels around New Zealand. Christchurch was at the top of our list so we planned a whole weekend around it. It wasn't a trip with a jam packed itinerary either. We got to savour every activity the way they should be. Below, are the highlights!
THINGS TO SEE & DO
Lyttleton Point - 360 Views
Can I get a "WOW"?? On a clear day you will be able to see miles across the city. There is just nothing like it. I honestly feel so blessed to be living in New Zealand! At the top of the point there is a cafe so if you want a lunch with a view - this is your go to.
It was hard to find the ultimate Kodak spot because there were so many breathtaking corners but as usual, I trekked my way through some bushes and got a few snaps.
Tip: Every attraction will have their recommended photo spots and usually you will find a million tourists surrounding those spaces. However if you're a photo geek like me and want a shot without people in your background, find a secluded area and avoid the tourist spots. Adventure + an awesome backdrop!
How to get to Lyttleton Point - Christchurch Gondola
$28 for an adult, $12 for a child. This is an experience of its own. As you climb the mountains in your little carriage you get greeted by the entire landscape of Christchurch. And if I'm not mistaken, there were also a sheep or two on the hills. This is New Zealand after all.
Antigua Boat Sheds
Take the morning off and go punting if you like to sit back & relax while someone else does all the work. The Avon River runs through the Botanic Gardens simply creating the ultimate sight seeing experience.
And because fashion is related to anything and everything...it is highly important we dress the part for the experience aha.
Nothing screams a perfect river stroll more than a straw hat and a striped blazer. These uniforms used to belong to Christchurch's school kids. I would have been a lot more enthusiastic for school if I got to wear this everyday.
Heads up: this is a highly Instagrammable place.
My gal pal and I picked an old fashioned wooden row boat, added some blankets and straw hats to fit in with Christchurch's old ways and off we went. Sadly my rowing skills aren't the best and ended up having to row forwards. Yes people were staring but at least we were moving! Later on, we did row into a bush though. Wasn't our finest hour but we had never laughed so hard! Memories to keep for a lifetime!
PC: Thanks to Crystal Mitcalfe for being an amazing travel bud and taking awesome photos me!
My favourite were the small boutiques inside 'The Colombo'. Just a 20 minute walk from town center's department store, Ballantynes. It's not a huge place, but every store has a neat decor to it. We spent ages there and we only went to three stores!
Christchurch Art Gallery
Waiting for Crystal to wake up from her nap I strolled the streets of Christchurch and came upon this sign. To this day I remember how comforted I felt seeing this. There can be multiple ways to interpret art, but I see this neon sign as a reminder of hope in the city. The first time I visited Christchurch I was 16. I remember how the weekend markets and street buskers filled the streets with excitement and life. This time I visited, it had seemed deserted. Post the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch has never felt the same. Something leaning towards anxiety and sadness lingered in the cold Autumn air.
Martin Creed, Work no 2314.
WHERE TO STAY
Peppers Clearwater Resort
This 4-star resort situated just 10 minutes from the airport definitely falls under the luxe category. I remember when Crystal and I checked in to our room we were in awe. A suite on the waterfront facing yards of green. It was the perfect start to our getaway. We stayed in the Lakefront Suite and below shows our balcony and patio.
The soft smell of home-made bread as we entered into our suite helped us settle in right away. Never have I been to a hotel or resort where they have prepared fresh baked bread for their guests upon arrival - it was so fresh it was literally still in the bread maker in our kitchen. What a way to warm up the space on a cold, rainy day.
Fuji Instax Mini 90 - my favourite travel accessory
It's not a trip without some good ol' polaroid snaps. I particularly like this model over the others because you can fix it onto a tripod and use the self time. So much better including everyone in one pic!
Breakfast in Bed
Most people dine by the restaurant lake. But why bother making the effort to get dressed when you can have a killer breakfast-in-bed while glancing at the view from your balcony?
So there ya have it...how to see Christchurch in just two days. Would love to hear your thoughts or even suggestions on must-sees I missed out on!