Trip 7: Post 1: The New Zealand Travel Blog May 2010


We had six days to drive around the South Island of New Zealand with Harriet driving.  We went to these places:

·         Christchurch ….. we had about half a day to look around the city

·         Akaroa …… on the sea right above Christchurch

·         Geraldine ….. a beautiful little historic town on the highway down to  Queenstown

·         Queenstown …… On one day we went on a bus all the way accross the mountains to Milford Sound  on the western side of the South Island. We were picked up at 7.30 a.m. in the morning and we  didn’t get back till  8.15 p.m. at night. It was wonderful with all the learned  driver commentary ….  things we wouldn’t have known otherwise. We then went on an 1.50 hour trip on a boat way out to the ocean and back again

·         Dunedin ……  a beautiful historic city  which we  didn’t have time to look at due to the six day schedule. We stayed in a camping area out on the Otago Peninsula and spent time looking at Larnach Castle with its extensive gardens

·         Oamaru ……. A small town on the  highway  from Dunedin and back to Christchurch. We saw the park where you could see penguins and sea lions come in  out of the ocean

·         Christchurch …..  from where we gave back the mobile van and  flew back  to Brisbane


1. Christchurch

Christchurch (/ˈkraɪstʃɜːrtʃ/; Māori: Ōtautahi) is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island’s east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. It is home to 404,500 residents,[2] making it New Zealand’s third-most populous city behind Auckland and Wellington. The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park located along its banks.

Archaeological evidence has indicated that the Christchurch area was first settled by humans in about 1250. Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand. The Canterbury Association, which settled the Canterbury Plains, named the city after Christ Church, Oxford. The new settlement was laid out in a grid pattern centred on Cathedral Square; during the 19th century there were few barriers to the rapid growth of the urban area, except for the Pacific to the east and the Port Hills to the south.


Sudima Hotel ….. 47-49 Salisbury Street, Christchurch Central, Christchurch

The outside swimming pool.

Inside the Hotel:

Looking out at the outdoor courtyard.

Inside ….. the hotel lounge.

Harriet having breakfast in the morning as we only stayed one day. We then went by taxi to pick up our hired camper van to travel over eight days to the areas depicted in the photos below.

We walked around near the hotel for several hours experiencing being in New Zealand for the first time and being in Christchurch before we headed off for Akaroa in the afternoon.

This was the entry to a nice park near the hotel. These are some of the things we saw as in the photos below.

Ducks in the park beside the creek.

-A great building built out of hand-cut stone blocks. This would have long before machines were used to cut stone. Hand-cut stone block laying gives a more personal quality to the building vs. machine made, precise lines of metal and glass.

A tree in the park beside the creek that runs through the park.

A red flowering azalea in full flower in a park garden.

Another tree in the park beside the creek.

The creek that runs through the park.

A great church built out of handcut stone blocks.

Another great building built out of handcut stone blocks.

A bridge built out of handcut stone blocks for a street over the creek which flows through the park.

The contrast between machine made, precise lines of metal and glass in a building in the city and the soft green lines of trees in the park.

A garden area in the park.

Orange flowers of rose bush.

A sign for council buildings.



A cafe we stopped to have a coffee at in the actual city.

Tiles on the floor.


In the City of Christchurch:

Harriet reading a tram sign.

An actual tram running through the city.

Men playing chess in a city square.

A statue in a city square.

Christchurch Cathedral.

Cathedral Visitors Centre where went for lunch.

Statues outside the Cathedral.

Sign on the Cathedral wall inside Cathedral Visitors Centre.

Another hand – made building.

Interesting Things to See: Public Art in Christchurch | Christchurch



2. Welcome to Akaroa and the Bays


Just 75 kilometres from the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, Akaroa is a historic French and British settlement nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. Explore the village with its colonial architecture, galleries, craft stores, and cafés. Relax or take part in the many activities that are on offer. Explore the dramatic outer bays and take your time to soak in the magic of this area. A wide range of accommodation is available and you will need more than a day to explore this little piece of paradise.


Akaroa is one of New Zealand’s first European settlements and has a rich Maori and French history. To understand the fascinating history don’t miss the Akaroa Museum and the Okains Bay Maori & Colonial Museum in Okains Bay. Quaint old colonial cottages and fine examples of early architecture abound. 

A Personal Note: Harriet and I had a wonderful time in May 2010 over eight days ….. there was so much to see. By inserting photos and writing in posts, this process acts as though we are are reliving the holiday again.

Akaroa, with its own beautiful bays and harbour, French and English history has an enormous range of activities to keep you busy for days. In Flea bay you will find the largest little penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. Akaroa waters are home to the rarest and smallest marine dolphin and all around you will find fantastic sea kayaking in spectacular surroundings.

View of Akaroa harbour. The long, thin peninsula extending out into the harbour is Ōnawe Peninsula, and the middle of the volcano.


Akaroa & the Bays have lots of exciting accommodation options – B&Bs, backpackers, cabins, camp sites, cottages, hostels, hotels, houses, lodges, motels, retreats; hosted, catered, self contained; Akaroa village, rural inner harbour and outer bays accommodation ranges from basic to luxurious. A great range to suit all budgets.

Local Information


Akaroa is Maori for ‘long harbour’. The historic village is snuggled into a wide bay in between spectacular volcanic cliffs. The permanent population in Akaroa is around 632 people and swells significantly over summer with domestic and international visitors. Akaroa is the main town for the inner harbour and the outer bays and you will find everything you need there. An interesting and creative community where people respect their environment, ‘life in the crater’.


Langlois-Etevenaux Cottage, Akaroa (c.1843) One of the oldest surviving houses in Canterbury, the Langlois-Eteveneaux Cottage (71 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa) was built in the early 1840s by Aimable Langlois. In 1858 the cottage passed to Jean-Pierre Eteveneaux, another French settler. Once thought to have been prefabricated in France, the cottage was built of NZ native timbers. But it owes its more sophisticated French styling to a remodelling around 1900 by Jean-Baptiste Eteveneaux, Jean-Pierre’s son. Jean-Baptiste gave the cottage a French look – with louvred shutters, rudimentary pilasters and elegant transom windows. In 1963-64, the cottage was shorn of later additions, returned to its original two-room size and furnished with French furniture. Its age, and its being refurbished “in the French style” in the early 20th century, make the cottage Akaroa’s most important reminder of its French origins. NZHPT Category I; registration 264.

St Peter’s have entered into a partnership for worship and mission with Trinity Presbyterian Church, Rue Lavaud. St Peter’s hosts services on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month at 9.30 am. Trinity Presbyterian host the services on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, also at 9.30 am. A special community-oriented service is held later in the day when there is a 5th Sunday. A timber copy of an English parish church.


The end of an AWESOME Time in Ackaroa !!