Christchurch Journals

"New Zealand; Two Weeks of Driving on the Wrong Si

An April 2003 trip to Christchurch by jahlie

Quote: After driving on the wrong side of the road for two weeks, covering the south and north islands, meeting folks, and seeing the sights, I can only say that New Zealand is breathtakingly beautiful and populated by remarkable people.

"New Zealand; Two Weeks of Driving on the Wrong Si

Overview

Quote:
The most beautiful scenery was the drive to Milford Sound from Te Anau at dawn and the Otago Penninsula. The quaintest small town was Gore, with very nice people and great Art Galleries. The most memorable walk was a hike in the rain forest at the base of Franz Josef Glacier. If you can, record the bird sounds.Quick Tips: Be sure to stop in the small towns (the ones not mentioned in the guide books), drink some coffee, and talk to the shop owners. Keep in mind that the big tourist spots aren't necessarily as interesting as some of the out of the way places. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time driving from place to place as most of the roads are two lane country roads and many bridges o...Read More
Quote:
A very clean, well-run Holiday Inn that is just a short and beautiful walk along the Avon River into the center of Christchurch. It is a very affordable option as the accommodation in the center of town is more expensive.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Holiday Inn Christchurch
356 OXFORD TERRACE
Christchurch, New Zealand
64-03-379-1180

Quote:
Very overpriced for what you get. Our room was very small and dark and didn't have much of a view. The breakfast was nothing to write home about either.

But the room rate includes admission to the Castle and grounds. We awoke early and took a walk on the grounds, watching the sunrise over the Otago Penninsula and that was fabulous.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Larnach Lodge
Camp Road, Otago Penninsula
Christchurch, New Zealand
(03) 476-1616

Quote:
What a fabulous view of the lake! We had a huge suite with all the amenities of a condo (cooking utensils, appliances, etc.), a gracious host, and a short walk into town. A great deal.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Campbell Auto Lodge
42 Lake Front Drive
Christchurch, New Zealand
(03) 249-7814

Lomond Lodge

Hotel | "Lomond Lodge Flag Inn"

Quote:
Don''t even think about this place. It''s more of a run-down flop house than a motel. We weren''t able to sleep for fear the place would burn down with its suspiciously dilapidated wall heaters. The towels were rags (literally) and bugs abounded. Added to that, the host was the only surly Kiwi we met during the two weeks in NZ.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Lomond Lodge
33 Man Street
Queenstown, New Zealand
(+64) 3 442 8235

Quote:
These are unbelievable condo units for the price. Ours was modern, huge, spotless, with great views, all kitchen amenities, huge bathrooms with showers, and hosts that were amazingly nice.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Glenfern Villas
State Highway 6
Christchurch, New Zealand
(03) 752-0054

Quote:
We got a special rate for the Easter holiday and what a deal!

This is an elegant hotel with all you'd expect: sauna, fitness room, restaurants with views, wonderful rooms and lobby, concierge, etc. The staff was very helful and, as we had come to expect from Kiwis, comprised of very nice people. Breakfast was included in the price of the room.

You have to ask for special rates when booking.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Rutherford Hotel
Trafalgar Square
Christchurch, New Zealand
(03) 548-2299

Quote:
Another fabulous room for the price. Our king bed room included a spa tub, and like so many motels in NZ, all the kitchen accessories you'd ever need.

Also, the man who owns the place is a wonderfuly pleasant and helpful person.

The motel is near the railroad tracks, but the train is infrequent.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Aspen Court Motel
Mataroa Road Sh1
Taihape
+64 (6) 388-1999

Quote:
What a great view of the beach from our balcony! The very clean room included a spa tub and all the kitchen amenities.

A welcome basket of snacks and gracious staff made this a memorable stay.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Beachfront Motel
373 Marine Parade
Christchurch, New Zealand
(06) 835-5220

Ariki Lodge

Hotel

Quote:
Set right on Lake Rotorua, Ariki Lodge is a great place to get away from the smells of the Rotorua. The whole place needs a good dusting, but the owners are the nicest people on the face of the earth and go out of their way for you. And the breakfasts are fabulous.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Ariki Lodge
2 Manuariki Avenue
Christchurch, New Zealand
(07) 357-5532

Crowne Plaza Hotel Auckland

Hotel | "Crowne Plaza Hotel"

Quote:
You couldn't find a better location downtown. We had a view of the harbor (distant) and all the amenities you'd expect of a major hotel in the city. Friendly staff and all the mod cons.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Crowne Plaza Hotel Auckland
128 Albert St.
Auckland, New Zealand 1030
64-9-302 1111

Quote:
Who would expect to find such fabulous Chinese food in such an out of the way place? This restaurant serves very fresh food and we were among the few non-Asian people in the restaurant.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Ming Garden Restaurant
Town Center
Christchurch, New Zealand

McNulls Cottage

Restaurant

Quote:
A brewery/restaurant this is a cosy-in-front-of-the-fireplace kind of place. The non-smoking room is large, the food (we had hamburgers and a salad) is very good, and the price is right.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

McNulls Cottage
Town Center
Christchurch, New Zealand

Beeches

Restaurant

Quote:
This is the best restaurant in town and priced the same as the others.

Try the Cervena and any seafood offered.

Be sure to make reservations because the place fills up with locals as well as tourists.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Beeches
Main Highway
Christchurch, New Zealand

Cuba Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
This coffee shop serves amazing pancakes and salads. Their specials are worth trying as well. It's a young, hip place with a "college cafe" feel.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Cuba Cafe
Town Center
Christchurch, New Zealand

Laura's Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
This mom-and-pop cafe serves very good fast breakfasts and has a down home feel. A good place if you're roughing it in the area.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 15, 2003

Laura's Cafe
Main Highway
Christchurch, New Zealand

Quote:
On the Otago Penninusla, the Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve has tours that take you out into the penguin nesting area. Via bunker-style tunnels and being very quiet, you can see the cute little fellows up close. We were lucky to show up for the evening tour and, because they were coming home from fishing in the ocean, we were treated to a show of them coming up onto the beach. They just suddenly appeared, bounced up, walking upright out of the surf. My husband, who was honestly bored by the nest area, thought the beach landings made it all worth while. Show up just before sunset for a chance to view this.