After leaving Kaikura early we spent a day and a half in Christchurch- plenty for a city recently completely destroyed by an earthquake.
My favourite part was a visit to Sumner beach which was covered in black sand and had some lovely views. We then tried to drive up to Lyttleton which was the epicentre of the 2011 earthquake. Unfortunately it got too dark too quickly so we stopped on the top of a hill to watch the sun go down over Christchurch. We also watched the moon rise… which almost appeared to shoot up over the horizon! This was the full moon after the one I saw in Sydney.
We also visited several museums including the Quake museum which had loads of information about previous Christchucrh Earthquakes and a moving film about experiences of the 2011 quake. A museum which was located near the botanical garden which started my love of paua shell… there was a house which was owned by and old couple who have now passed away, but used to let tourists visit their house for free which was bursting at the seams with paua!
By far the best museum was the International Antarctic Centre. They had all sorts of exhibitions from the freezing cold room which replicated an Antarctic summer, little blue penguins and a talk about them, and other exhibitions about expeditions and life forr esearchers in the Antartic…and some beautiful huskies
Within the town itself, it was still pretty destroyed from the earthquake. Buildings were still being put up, the cathedral was in a pretty poor state. There were lots of empty areas which hosted temporary exhibits, and a temporary shopping centre made of shipping containers