After leaving Wellington, we took the ferry over to the South island, arriving into Pickton and then making our way down to Christchurch.
A lot of people had told us that if we thought the North Island was beautiful then the South would blow us away. And you could feel it as soon as the skyline became visible whilst on the Ferry. The south island is filled with beautiful mountains almost everywhere you turn.
Once off the Ferry, we took a bus down the coastal road from Pickton over to Christchurch, and were lucky enough to spot some lounging seals before eventually arriving in Christchurch.
Now Christchurch, unlike Wellington was recommended by absolutely no-one who we had spoken to over the past 3 weeks. The phrases, “Wasteland”, “Ghost Town” and “Building Site” had been reoccouring in conversations whenever we’d been discussing it.
The reason why Christchurch didn’t seem to be at the top of people’s visiting spots is due to the damage caused to the city in recent years. Christchurch has been hit by several large scale earthquakes from 2010 to 2012. And when you check Wikipedia, it lists the total number of Earthquakes in the Canterbury region as a whole (The North East part of the South Island) coming in at around 4 and a half thousand in between 2010 and 2014!
Now I’m not (much of a) a betting man….but that’s over 1000 per year…..or around 3 per day.
On average, 3
However, it is a testament to humanity’s resilience in the face of the overwhelming odds against nature. Each time there is an Earthquake which knocks the town down, the people just pick themselves up (literally) and start rebuilding again.
And this is one of the reasons we wanted to visit at least for a day; It wasn’t going to be part of the usual experience we’d been having up to now, only seeing the beautiful side of the country – there would be something a little bit more ‘real’ about this city.
Here are some pictures taken from the short wander around. Just note, I didn’t take a detour to seek out these photos…..everything taken was taken in the short walk (about 2km) just walking from the centre to our hostel.
All in all, I’m really glad I managed to visit the City, if only for a brief visit. It is a really interesting place and quite inspiring that there seems to be a constant push to repair. It was also a good snap out of the dreamlike views we’d experienced up to now: I think there was a risk of being saturated with too much beautiful scenery and starting to take it for granted (“Another mountain sunset?…..Meh!”)
……and then the next day we got back on the coach for a trip into the mainland, A quick stop off for lunch at Lake Tekapo on route…
Ahhh…..that’s better again…..