Posts Tagged With: Christchurch

Day 15: Christchurch

We started our day a little late. My husband had conference calls in the middle of the night and once he was done he realized Rachel was still up at 2:30 AM. Granted, New Zealand is two hours ahead of Australia time wise.
Our first stop was to find breakfast. Everywhere we go I google gluten free bakery. I was thrilled to find one wth a large selection eleven minutes from our hotel. I could have purchased the whole shop. I ended up buying a pain au chocolate, something I thought I would never get to eat again. I also purchased a cinnamon roll, croissant, cheese rolls, and chocolate chip cookies. The others made purchases as well and we ended up eating breakfast in the car.
Next we headed to our first stop of the day – a suspension bridge in Pegasus. One of the big reasons we planned our trip was to see suspension bridges in New Zealand. In fact, the trip originally started out as just a trip to New Zealand….but since we were so close to Australia, and needed to connect through there we added that in as well.
We saw that bridge and then headed to our next bridge of the day – a bridge in the Hurunui area. This was a much more scenic bridge and it seemed to be everyone's favorite of the day.

Following that we did a small track (hike) near the beach, and then we headed back towards Christchurch, stopping at two smaller bridges along the way.
Observations so far: they do have a lot of sheep. Once we were out of the city area we could not drive very far without encountering sheep. In fact to start our track we had to hop over a livestock fence.

Scenery wise – in the distance I can see tall mountains, and that reminds me of Colorado. The foothills around us remind me of California if they had green foothills. The coast that we have seen so far is rugged.
We drove through downtown Christchurch on our way back to the hotel. Downtown is a lot of new buildings. It is hard to believe that the major earthquake was just six years ago. I have noticed that most homes are single storied, and there are not a lot of super tall office buildings.
We got back to the hotel a little after six and the kids got changed into their suits and we went to the hotel pool and hottie. After swimming we then had dinner at the hotel.
So far this has been a wonderful vacation…knock-on-wood. The kids are mostly entertaining each other. We are doing things together as a family. The kids are asking lots of questions everywhere we go.

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How I planned our NZ itinerary

Our trip to the South Pacific was originally planned as a trip to New Zealand. I am still not sure how I managed to convince my husband to let me add on Australia….

The Australia itinerary was pretty easy to plan. New Zealand though created quite a challenge to cover everything we want to see. My husband’s primary interest there is seeing suspension bridges. I actually enjoy seeing the bridges too, but I also want to see awesome things in NZ. So one thing I did was plotted out all the suspension bridges I could find (husband had this info) on a map and see if an itinerary came up that way. I knew we didn’t want to check in and out as well every night so I needed to find places we could stay for a few nights at a time.

Here is what the maps looked like (note – we are not stopping at all markers, they were just used to help me figure out routes that would line up with a majority of these markers):

North Island:

South Island:

I also knew we needed to end up in Auckland to return home. So I needed us to end up in Auckland….which meant starting our trip on the South Island.

Using the map I determined three different starting locations – Queenstown, Nelson, or Christchurch. Ultimately Christchurch won as the starting destination as it was easier to get to from Australia than the other two cities 🙂 

It honestly took me over a month to arrive at the NZ itinerary. Hopefully it all goes well.  In NZ we are seeing a lot of stuff but we don’t have a lot of days of long driving, so there will hopefully be time to go on hikes and hit other roadside attractions. 155 days until our vacation begins and I cannot wait!

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