Trip Start Sep 01, 2005
Trip End Feb 28, 2006

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Monday, January 23, 2006

In need of rest and substantial quantities of food following our Mt. Cook exploits, we headed for Christchurch.

Christchurch is a planned city built by the English and a university town. As such, the heart of the city is very English and certainly has more architectural heritage than the other major cities we have visited. The city also enjoys a rich cultural scene; trams; punting on the "Avon"; good restaurants, etc. It feels very much like home but hotter.

We also needed to be in Christchurch for Thomas and Vinnie to sell their van as their trip is now over and they are now heading back to Denmark. Our first day was spent putting out sale posters and by evening the van was sold.

No longer needing to be based in the city, a quick look at the map revealed the nearby coastal region of Banks Peninsula and the town of Akaroa. Akaroa lies on the shores of a sea-inlet which has flooded into the centre of a collapsed volcanic crater. Colonised by the French, and still bearing somewhat pseudo French names, Akaroa turned out to be a most beautiful and tranquil place. A day's kayak hire enabled us to paddle out to the mouth of the inlet where we enjoyed the company of Hector dolphins while we paddled. The rest of our time in Akaroa was spent doing very little, other than enjoying the place and the sun [and some more unsuccessful fishing].

We're briefly back in Christchurch for a final night out with Vinnie and Thomas before dropping them at the airport and then off to Hamner Springs for a few days.
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