New Zealand November 2018 travel blog

Captain Cook in front of Victoria Bridge

A stretch of the Avon nearby

Tram crossing the Avon

Tram in front of the Arts Centre

Arts Centre North Quad

Trendy new bars and restaurants

New shopping precinct

Out with the old building on right, in with the new

Governor's Bay from Hoonhay Reserve

From the Port Hills to Lyttelton Harbour

Fisherman's Wharf

Christchurch Sat 17th Nov. 9-19°C, Low cloud, rain. Fine spells in afternoon.

NZ has no shortage of good coffee, great C4 coffee and breakfast at Affogato Cafe next to 136 on Bealey Motel. From there it's a 10 min stroll to Christchurch city centre. Wandered to the Arts Centre near the Botanic Gardens. The tram also stops here, but although long, it's a pleasant walk.

Originally built in 1875 as the University of Canterbury, the beautiful Christchurch Arts Centre is undergoing a $290 million, 10 year restoration programme. Here is the largest collection of category 1 heritage buildings in New Zealand, many of which are now open to the public. It retains the interesting Rutherford's Den learning centre in his original study rooms, and the great hall restoration is complete. In the clock tower, the pleasant and reasonably priced Bunsen cafe maintains the buildings character over two levels indoors and also with a courtyard setting at the front.

Took a 30 min drive from Christchurch to Hoon Hay scenic reserve via Dyers pass. After climbing through the suburbs and into the Port Hills you really need to drive steadily. The road is good two lane tarmac, popular with cyclists for it’s challenge and proximity to the city, but has tight turns and some unforgiving drops off the side. There's some not very reassuring armco railing on the outer curves only.

After turning right onto Summit Rd, 2km along on the left is a gravel parking bay with an overgrown low sign declaring ‘Hoon Hay Reserve'. There's a view of Governor's Bay, but a much better one can be had from a rocky outcrop that can be reached by taking the steep uphill walking track to the left for about 70M, until you see a narrow track branching off to the right.(No snakes in NZ, right?) Follow this for about 60M until it opens up onto some bare rocks, carefully follow up slightly left to the open area. If you suffer vertigo, stop there! Photographers one metre forward will do. For the adventurous there are some pretty awesome trails around here, I followed one down from the car park for a small distance, it dropped so quickly you had to be very careful with your footing.

Continued on Dyers Pass road over the pass, right onto Governor's Bay road, 20 min to Lyttelton and the well rated Fisherman's Wharf for dinner.

Daily special, gurnard wrapped in bacon? Decadent. Yes, please.

Then 20 min drive straight up the Lytteleton tunnel on SH74 back to Christchurch, a great scenic drive and a great seafood meal on a nice day.

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