Christchurch Journals

Christchurch - Gateway to the South Island

A December 2004 trip to Christchurch by Smitha Guru

Hot-Air Ballooning Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand More Photos
Quote: We flew into and out of Christchurch International Airport for our South Island trip and enjoyed the 4 days spent in this idyllic, relaxing garden city.

Christchurch - Gateway to the South Island

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Overview

Quote:
We loved walking the quaint roads of Christchurch. The Avon River flows through the city, and punting on the Avon was a lovely way to relax at the end of our 14-day trip. Christchurch offered great opportunities for several day trips--Kaihoura, Hanmer Springs, and Mt. Cook (we spent a night at Mt. Cook). We also used Christchurch as a base to go hot-air ballooning over the Canterbury Plains. The Sunday market opposite the Arts Center in front of Dux de Lux restaurant was colorful. Hanging out in Cathedral Square on Sunday, watching the various performance artists, was fun.Quick Tips: When we first arrived in Christchurch, our hotel (Crown Plaza) had a coupon booklet for us in the room that sa...Read More

Hot-Air Ballooning

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Attraction

Hot-Air Ballooning Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
It was our first day in New Zealand, and we were going to see the land from above in a hot-air balloon! We were asked to ring ‘Up Up and Away,’ the company we had arranged the flight with, on the previous evening to get information about flight time and weather conditions, and we were picked up at 4:45am the next morning from the hotel. It was to be a 10-minute drive out of the city to an open field, but that morning, the wind was blowing (the experienced pilots called it a strong breeze!), and the drive was more of a 45-minute one. After a further 40 minutes’ work of unrolling the balloon, laying it out on the ground, and holding the edges while it filled up with air, we were ready to go. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 10, 2005

Hot-Air Ballooning
Merivale
Christchurch, New Zealand
64 3 381 4600

Encounter Kaikoura/Dolphin Encounter

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Attraction | "Dolphin Encounters"

Encounter Kaikoura/Dolphin Encounter Photo, Kaikoura, New Zealand
Quote:
After a lot of difficulty (almost every tour every day seemed booked up), we got spaces for swimming with the dusky dolphins at 'Dolphin Encounters' in Kaikoura. The other alternative was at Akaroa with the hector dolphins. The traffic on the route to Kaikoura was pretty bad, and we reached Kaikoura just in time. After all the difficulty we had in securing a booking, we chickened out seeing the sea conditions and gave up the swimming spot(NZ$115/pp) to take a watching one (NZ$60/pp) instead. For the swimmers, the company provided wetsuits, hoods, flippers, and snorkelling masks before briefing everyone. We were driven the short distance to the boat bay and were away in search of dol...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 11, 2005

Encounter Kaikoura/Dolphin Encounter
96 Esplanade
Kaikoura, New Zealand 8080
+1 033196777

Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve

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Attraction

Quote:
We went to Hanmer Springs after our encounter with the dolphins at Kaikoura. Part of the scenic Alpine Pacific Triangle (Christchurch-Kaikoura-Hanmer Spings), Hanmer Springs is a small alpine town about 2 hours from Christchurch and Kaikoura. We had initially planned to get a massage at the Health, Mind, and Body center at the reserve, but our adventures on the Kaikoura-Hanmer Springs road (almost running out of gas and having to locate a farm to buy some) caused us to arrive too late, at 6:45pm (they close at 7pm). However, the pools are open till 9pm daily, and we decided to take it up. We preferred a private pool (NZ$17 pp for 30 minutes), but since the next available one was at 8pm, we took the pu...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 31, 2005

Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve
Cnr Jacks Pass Road and Amuri Avenue
Christchurch, New Zealand