A short stop in Christchurch

This is another post about our trip to New Zealand in January—February! This one has a bunch of photos and not as much written content. 😊 My last post on New Zealand was about the city of Wellington. I also wrote about what I packed in my 38L backpack!

We only stayed for one night in Christchurch but I think I will want to go back and visit again for another day or two. When it comes to travelling, I generally accept that I won’t see every corner of the world… there is just too much to see.

So while I may never see all of Christchurch, I think staying there for just one night wasn’t quite enough. It also happened to be Waitangi Day on the day we left—this is a public holiday observed by New Zealanders as 6 February marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. We didn’t get to do much before we left, apart from have breakfast and coffee at a coffee shop since most stores didn’t open until later on.

Our flight from Wellington to Christchurch was over somewhat quickly; it was only about an hour in duration, and on a somewhat small plane which had bit of turbulence, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Once we landed in Christchurch, we picked up a rental car for the next part of our trip. We were able to check into our Airbnb quite easily—it was a really charming place in an old government building, and had a loft for the bedroom. The bathroom was swanky and the place was cosy. Look, I’ve kind of got a thing for lofts. I don’t know what it is. There is something really quirky about them.

A tram with brown-red and white livery, on a slightly wet road, seen from a cafe. There are some buildings in the background.
Spotting one of the trams
A platter of bread, cut cheese and grapes and fruit.
Really needed this after the flight (no meal was included, just snacks)

We had a snack at the OGB Bar (I believe OGB stands for “old government building”) and then figured out how to buy tickets for the Christchurch tram. The trams are heritage trams and take you through 18 stops around the city, giving you an idea of what to see and do in Christchurch. We managed to jump on the last service of the day at 5:00pm from the Cathedral Junction stop. Our ride on the tram was an afternoon well spent. The tour on the tram took about 50 minutes and there was commentary from the driver, who had a great sense of humour as he pointed out landmarks, including KFC. 😆

The interior of a tram, with seating on either side.
Inside the tram
An old car perched on a tall piece of scaffolding with water pouring out of it. It is behind a metal fence that has some graffiti.
This was a weird piece of “artwork”—some artwork is dotted around the city. I didn’t understand this one.

The weather was a little bit warm, but there was also a bit of rain throughout the afternoon and evening. After finishing up on the tram, we went for a wander on foot, looking down roads that we’d seen on the tram earlier.

A street mall with some eateries and outdoor seating, seen from the inside of an old tram
The tram was quite close to some of the outdoor seating and eateries, which was cool.
A tram exiting out of the interior of a building and onto the street. It has red and dark yellow livery.
The tram coming out of the Cathedral Junction arcade/building
A large painted mural of a person’s tattooed arm holding up an ice cream cone with a couple of scoops in it.
Christchurch had a lot of art and colourful murals 🍦
An outdoor parking lot with a wall in the background designed to look like a front of buildings but is actually flat.
That “building” up there is an illusion

In the past, Christchurch has been hit by tremendous earthquakes that have caused a lot of damage. I have no idea what the city was like before, or even shortly after the earthquakes, but can hazard a guess—based on conversations I had with other people who had been to Christchurch—that there has been a lot of improvement since. An interesting observation I had was that so many blocks had no buildings and seemed to be converted to temporary public parking lots. Other than that, a lot of the buildings seemed rather new, and the hidden alleyways leading to restaurants, bars, and shops were places I wish I had more time to explore.

A view down a tram line on a pedestrianised street. The street is quiet with shops on either side.
It’s a little empty at this time of the evening.
A black swan moving in a dirty water.
The local pond had a lot of ducks, swans, and water birds.
Me, Georgie, an Asian woman dressed in a white hat, white denim jacket, and white shorts, standing near a bridge going over a small river.
Hello 👋🏻
Three Canadian geese close together, and one further behind, in a shallow stream of water, surrounded by grass and small trees.
These Canadian Geese were literally wading against the current with their little legs!

In the evening we went to a bar called gin gin, which is in a street that the tram passes through. We got some drinks and shared a pizza since I wasn’t feeling that hungry. There was a waffle place nearby called Waffle Haus, and we ordered waffles for dessert (even though dinner was pretty small to begin with). You can see the difference in my style and Nick’s style… I like mine simplistic, while Nick just gets the works. But he was hungry, after all. 😆

A view down a tram line running down a street with outdoor seating and restaurants. There are some people walking in the street.
Down another street, with more restaurants and eateries.
An outdoor dining table with a pizza and a couple of glasses of drinks.
The inside of an eatery with wooden floors and wooden tables and chairs. There are some framed posters on the walls.
Loved the cosy upstairs area of this waffle house!
Nick sitting behind a table with a waffle topped with ice cream and chocolate. Closer to the camera is a plain waffle with flavoured syrup.
🧇 yum 🧇 (I went a bit more plain)
A large mural of penguins in water and amongst ice, on the wall of a public parking lot
I really liked this mural because of the colours. Gorgeous!
The exterior of a coffee shop called Coffee Culture, with glass windows, in the middle of a shopping complex
Always coffee ☕

The following morning we grabbed coffee and breakfast at a chain coffee place that was open on the public holiday. We started our drive down to Twizel, where we would be staying on a farm for a couple of days.

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