Quick trip across the Tasman

I recently took advantage of a double status credit offer on Qantas, to boost my status credits and travel to a new destination. I chose Christchurch, a 3-31/2 hour trip, with stunning views of the mountains once we hit New Zealand. My trip gave me 320 status credits.

Christchurch suffered a shocking earthquake in 2011, killing 185 people. 115  people died, mostly overseas students,  in the Canterbury Television Centre when the building collapsed. There is a moving memorial to all those who died by the Avon river and another site where there are 185 white chairs, all different to show the differing ages of the people who died.

Today much devastation remains, ugly buildings which should be demolished, but there are still arguments about insurance etc. However the city is rebuilding, trying to entice people back to the CBD. The partially destroyed Cathedral remains a reminder to all, there is a cardboard cathedral, it has steel as well, and there is still discussion as to whether it will be rebuilt.

There is only one 5 star hotel, The George, but more hotels are coming, and there a number of 3 and 4 star hotels.

A day trip to Akaroa is recommended, try and find some dolphins on a cruise out to the Pacific Ocean .

The botanical gardens are lovely, the museum interesting, walking tours are good and NZ wine and lamb is to enjoyed. Twenty Seven Steps in New Regent street is a great restaurant.

A number of people come to Christchurch to then take the Tranzalpine train ride to Greymouth. It travels 223 kms and takes about 5 hours- a reason to return.

Trip was taken in December 2018.

Penny Treyvaud
Based in Richmond, VIC

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