last updated 28 November 2015
Day 01 - 27 November 2015
Melbourne to Christchurch

At last after nearly two years of hard work David and I are off on our holiday to the South Island of New Zealand.  Ta ta Melbourne.  Heading east over Melbourne CBD, the MCG and the Soccer Centre below......not a bad view, and David wonders why I like window seats LOL.

Nearly three hours in flight and our first glimpse of New Zealand.  It was a rough ride from here over the mountain range. I like it when its rough.  It is like a roller coaster today.  David was not too impressed but the nun sitting beside him was all peaceful smiles and didn't even flinch.  The school kids up the back were having quite a time of it too.  WHOO HOOOOOO
With the mountain range behind us Christchurch is not far now.  The muddy river below was very wide and I can almost imagine it being a lava flow in ancient times.

Descending now.... quite an impressive housing estate below.

We made it.  

Not far from the airport our first totem pole.

Wow... lookout!   Almost feels like home.  One of a variety of city tour trams.

The picture below is
called Cathedral Square.  You might be able to see some of the 2012 Christchurch earthquake damage that was done to the Cathedral in the background.  So many buildings in Christchurch have been either demolished or stand derelict.  The derelict ones have been a target for graffiti.  It is a huge problem.  There are many spaces and walls where some artistic murals are painted.  I think this cheers the place up a little bit but the graffiti 'taggers' scale the tallest building to tag the top of 15 story buildings to big note themselves.
Christchurch reminded David and I of Detroit.  On the positive side there are many new building projects in progress but it will be years and years before Christchurch returns to its former glory.

The picture below is earthquake damage of the restaurant David and I had dinner in.  This is the before shot................................

Apparently there were 40 people having lunch there at the time the quake hit.  Everyone got out and no one was hurt.

This is the after shot  ....................  :-)  What a difference.

During our after dinner walk....... interesting music on the wall.
Containers protect a facade of a building from falling into the street.

One of the many lovely mural that appear on the walls of many buildings in Christchurch

Interesting lighting feature which marks Cathedral Square

The Cathedral earthquake damage.  David and I were speaking to some locals that gave us a fairly graphic recount of the event. They were actually at this location when the earthquake hit.  They were thrown to the ground and there was nothing to hold onto so they kept getting tossed about.  It was the largest rise in the "plate" in their history apparently and was felt right up into the surrounding hills as well.  In no time at all they were up to their knees in water and sloshing about.

And now the rebuild continues...........................The 12 story building just off center was Ridges Hotel.  Whilst it may look pretty ok in the picture the total outside of the building from every direction was cracked and pock marked like it had shook so much that the paint work and concrete was literally shaken off the building.  The bottom floors were derelict.  Empty lots litter the city where buildings had obviously been cleared completely.

Next Page Day 02 Christchurch to Dunedin