After our 24 hour layover in Sydney, the next part of the multi-sector was a short 3 hour flight over to Christchurch in New Zealand. I was really excited about this destination as I have always wanted to visit New Zealand and have heard so many good things about the country. I didn’t know much about Christchurch but found out from talking to passengers on the flight that there was a devastating earthquake in 2011 which destroyed a lot of the city.
When we arrived at our hotel, there was an ex-crew member who has just started organising tours for crew on the layover. Five us decided to do the ‘Lord of the Rings’ tour which involved climbing Mount Sunday. We got changed and then headed out for the long drive.
The scenery was absolutely beautiful so we made several stops along the way to take photos. We stopped at a lake and our tour guide introduced us to a traditional New Zealand game with sticks. We had so much fun!
We finally arrived at Mount Sunday which was the film set for Edoras in Lord of the Rings. What we wasn’t told was that we had to walk through part of the lake to get there! The water was absolutely freezing but it was the only way up so the shoes came off and we made our way to Mt Sunday.
We eventually made it to the top of Mt Sunday and the views were not disappointing! It was so picturesque, everywhere you looked there was stunning scenery.
It was such a brilliant tour and our tour guide was so lovely. I now understand why everyone says New Zealand is beautiful. I really hope I get to fly to Aukland to visit the North island. We made our way back down the mountain just as the sun was setting then drove back to the hotel stopping off at a local McDonald’s. We arrived back at the hotel around 11pm so it was straight to bed for me!
Our wake up call the next day wasn’t until the afternoon, so I decided to make the most of my time and take a walk into the city.
What I noticed about Christchurch was that the neighbourhoods were pristine and everyone had the most perfect houses and gardens. It looks like a movie set! I found out that Christchurch is known as the ‘Garden City’ and everyone takes pride in the appearance of their gardens.
As I was walking into the city, I stumbled across Cranmer Square which has a field of remembrance and hundreds of crosses to commemorate the New Zealanders who lost their lives in World War One.
I then stopped off for some breakfast at a gorgeous little cafe called Westend Stories. The food was delicious and I sat outside. The weather was perfect so after my breakfast I carried on walking around the city exploring.
I found it so peaceful walking around the city, everything is so clean and maintained and everyone was so friendly and polite! I also found the Bridge of Remembrance which serves as a memorial for those who participated in the two World Wars.
It was then time to head back to the hotel and get ready for the flight back to Sydney, however, before I returned, I walked back via the Botanic gardens. I am so glad I did this as they were beautiful! I wish I had more time here to sit and have some lunch but instead it was a quick stop and then I had to go back to get ready!
This was definitely, by far, one of my favourite layovers! I absolutely loved Christchurch and had such an amazing time here. I felt so far away from the world but enjoyed every moment.
Thank you Christchurch!
Thanks for reading.
Kerry May xo