Christchurch Journals

Christchurch - Crepes, Gardens, and Kiwis, Oh My!

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A February 2005 trip to Christchurch by stomps

Rolleston House YHA Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand More Photos
Quote: A couple days in Christchurch to check out the gardens and the local markets. Oh, and a trip to a kiwi nocturnal house too.

Christchurch - Crepes, Gardens, and Kiwis, Oh My!

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Overview

Christ Church Cathedral Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
Christchurch was definitely a very nice city to visit, although when I got there, I did feel like I had been there before, many times, when I had visited various old English towns.It definitely lives up to its title of "The Garden City." Gardens are everywhere, and the city has one huge botanic garden with everything from rose gardens to a "Natural New Zealand" garden. The flowers and plants everywhere made the city very nice to look at and stroll through. Going on a gondola ride down the River Avon would have been very nice as well, although we enjoyed walking along it nearly as much.There's the typical "Old English town" things to visit as well--you can take a walk through the cathed...Read More

Rolleston House YHA

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Hotel

Rolleston House YHA Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
We stayed in the Rolleston YHA for 2 nights, and we got quite a surprise when we first arrived. Having booked in a group of three, they gave us our own private three bedroom! We really quite enjoyed this, and promptly threw all of our stuff all around the room.The hostel was a rather small, which was nice, since that's not what we were expecting at all, with it being the YHA. It cost a bit more than other hostels, at $26NZ, because we weren't members of the YHA. They still had everything we needed, including the combination kitchen/Internet cafe, although the Internet was the type that you pay for and then it takes forever just to load the homepage for your email. The bathroom was just do...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 6, 2006

Rolleston House YHA
5 Worcester Blvd.
Christchurch, New Zealand
+64 (3) 366-6564

Charlie B's Backpackers

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Hotel

Quote:
Contrary to what Lonely Planet said, this hostel was not a place I would recommend to anyone. It's not that the hostel itself was all that shoddy—walking into it, it seemed nice enough. It was very large and sprawling, but I wasn't too bothered as I was only spending one night there on my way out of the country. My room was pretty big and had four beds and a couple of chairs, and wall-height lockers for your stuff. There was a huge kitchen and Internet/lounge area, along with games and other such activities.These things were pluses for the hostel. However, had I been staying in Christchurch for longer, rather than just being the victim of another travel fiasco, I would not have been very imp...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on April 6, 2006

Charlie B's Backpackers
268 Madras St.
Christchurch, New Zealand
+64 (3) 379 8429

Excuse My French

Restaurant

Excuse My French Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
This was the cutest little booth in the market that we found. The man running the booth is very amusing and very amiable, and sings while he is making your crepes. My friend is allergic to wheat and he even made her want a crepe!

The crepes were very good and the perfect texture--not too crisp but not too soft either. You get your choice of topping as well. I don't remember the exact cost, but I know it was ~$5NZ for a very filling lunch.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 6, 2006

Excuse My French
Christchurch Market
Christchurch, New Zealand
+64 0-3-385 5822

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

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Attraction

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
We were very excited about going to the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, as we had booked a tour that would first include a Maori performance and then take us through the reserve and show us the Kiwi wildlife. I've reviewed the Maori performance in a different review in this journal, just because I have totally different reviews for each of the two parts of my evening.We booked our trip to the Wildlife Reserve through a tour, of which sadly I cannot remember the name. It cost $45NZ each, and we got picked up directly from our hostel and taken out of town to the Reserve in time for the performance. After the performance, a guide took us into the reserve.We got to see all sorts of interestin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 7, 2006

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Hussey Road
Christchurch, New Zealand
+64 (0)3 359 6226

Ko Tane

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Attraction

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
We were very excited about this section of the tour we took at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, a tour that cost $45NZ for both a Maori performance and a guided wildlife tour afterward. We had heard a lot about Maori cultural performances and thought it would be a very enriching experience.However, we soon realized that the performances, often that go along with dinners, that people talk about are the ones on the North Island, generally around Rotorua, since there are many more Maori in the north. This performance very much had the ring of a high school play around it, with a bunch of people dressing up and reading lines. And I'm all for cultural diversity and whatnot, but out of all the high-scho...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 7, 2006

Ko Tane
Hussey Road
Christchurch, New Zealand

Botanic Gardens

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Attraction

Botanic Gardens Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
What Christchurch is known for--its wonderful gardens. We had an afternoon ramble through these sprawling grounds that surround the Avon River (sound familiar?), just outside the central loop in Christchurch.These gardens can keep you busy for hours, because there are so many different sections to explore. There are huge old trees to lounge under and take a nap, or read a good book. Or, when we were there, there was even a stage with a play going on, set up in one of the lawns. There are rose gardens, natural NZ gardens, fountains, and the River Avon, among other things. And don't worry, there are lots of maps to guide you around in case you feel that once you enter, you'll never find your way out aga...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 7, 2006

Botanic Gardens
Rolleston Avenue
Christchurch, New Zealand 8001
+64 (0)3 366 1701

TranzAlpine

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Attraction

TranzAlpine Photo, Canterbury, New Zealand
Quote:
This train ride was touted as one of the most scenic rides in New Zealand. It takes you from Christchurch to Greymouth, straight across the spectacular Southern Alps.We were impressed with the scenery, especially when going from the Canterbury Plains up into the Alps at the beginning. However, after riding the ferry from Wellington to Picton, through the Marlborough Sounds, it seemed to be a bit of a letdown, especially when nearing Greymouth.They do provide a car that people can walk to and get pictures without having the glare from the windows, which was nice. However, unlike another train I have ridden a few times in Colorado, it was not totally open (there was a cover and window sp...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 8, 2006

TranzAlpine
Troupe Drive (off Clarence Street)
Christchurch, New Zealand 8002
+64 (0)4 498 3303; 0

Christ Church Cathedral

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Attraction | "Christchurch Cathedral"

Christ Church Cathedral Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
The cathedral is at the centre of Christchurch, just like in an old British town. This isn’t surprising, since work on the cathedral began only 14 years after the Pakeha (the Maori term for the white settlers) arrived and set up camp in Christchurch. This was 1864—-however, the cathedral didn’t open until 1881. This still makes it one of the older buildings I’ve seen in the southern hemisphere, quite a change from visiting the British Isles!We didn’t plan to spend a huge amount of time in the cathedral, since we were much more intrigued by the idea of the “best botanic gardens in New Zealand” and the various markets going on around town. Plus, I’ve seen my fair share of cathedrals and minste...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 26, 2006

Christ Church Cathedral
Cathedral Square Central City
Christchurch, New Zealand 8001
+64 (0)3 366 0046