Trip Start Jun 10, 2009
Trip End Sep 07, 2009

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Where I stayed
Hanmer Backpackers

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Tuesday, August 4, 2009

After Kaikoura, we headed to Hanmer Springs, a small town with not much there but thermal pools, which we took advantage of that evening. We spent a couple hours relaxing in naturally-heated hot tubs (and came out smelling of rotton eggs (sulfur)). The next day we took a two-and-a-half hour hike to a 41m waterfall. It was a good hike except that it was all uphill the entire way there, which was incredibly tiring, and then, obviously, all downhill on the way back, making my knee sore. The waterfall was neat, but I've seen better, even back in Arkansas. It was enjoyable but nothing special.

After the hike we headed to Christchurch and spent that evening wandering around the city center, Cathedral Square. Chirstchurch is a cool city; we managed to get there in time for the last few days of its biennial Arts Festival, which I'll discuss more later, but even apart from that it seemed a very artsy city, with old buildings mingling with new amid gardens and fountains. Cathedral Square is a prime example: a large, classic cathedral set right in the middle of town with three Starbucks within a minute's walk. That sort of juxtaposition is part of what I like about many cities, and Christchurch seemed to do it with more class than most.
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