Posted by: sunnyharvy | March 4, 2016

Kia Ora from New Zealand

From one side of the Pacific Ocean to the other… we are now on New Zealand’s South Island… Kia Ora (as far as I can tell, Kia Ora is used much like Aloha is in Hawaii.)


New Brighton Beach, our first in the South Pacific.


Why did we decide to go to New Zealand? Several well-traveled friends recently recommended it highly, the exchange rate is awesome right now, and we were 3,000 miles closer than we will be when we get back home to New England. What made the trip possible was the fact that we had enough credit card points to fly there and back for FREE! Gotta love that.


Our first few days are being spent “At The Right Place” in Christchurch because the camper van we rented is not available until Saturday. Ordinarily we wouldn’t spend several days in a city such as this, but it’s been fun getting to know this unique area that is slowly recovering from devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.


Mountains of rubble remain in the hardest hit areas.


70 to 80 percent of the buildings in the CBD (Central Business District) were heavily damaged or destroyed. To date more than 1,250 buildings have had to be demolished.


This is what’s left of the ChristChurch Cathedral originally built in 1864.


This Transitional Cathedral, substantially built with cardboard tubes, is where the Anglican congregation now worships. It is also a major tourist attraction.

The impact of the quakes will take longer than a generation to resolve. Entire neighborhoods had to be abandoned and Christchurch’s heritage architecture is irrevocably damaged. While there is still a long way to go, the locals seem confident that their city will be better than ever eventually.



At the Re:START Mall shipping containers house some pretty posh stores.



Container restaurants are quite popular as well. We highly recommend Thai Container. (The tables are empty in this photo only because they weren’t open yet.)


Some buildings appear to be forgotten.


While dozens of modern structures rise around them.




This area appears unscathed, but they may have just been quicker to restore these lovely old buildings.


Walking along the lovely Avon River that winds through the city.


Here you can go Punting on the Avon.


Punts come in many sizes.


Here are some traditional punter outfits.


This lucky lad is going for a boat ride.


Antique boat sheds on the Avon River.


Traditional trolley transportation has recently been reinstated around the CBD.


Besides the side trip to New Brighton Beach shown at the beginning of this post, we drove out to see Lyttelton Harbor and Corsair Bay.


We look forward to getting our rented camper van tomorrow so we can set off in our preferred mode of travel. 



  1. Oh I miss it! The last time I visited was 2yrs ago and the place is still a mess. I love CH and hope to be back home in NZ someday. Nice post 🙂 enjoy your traveling.

  2. How exciting to be in New Zealand! I didn’t remember they had such a devastating earthquake. What a great story of adventure you continue to tell so eloquently with your exquisite photos and narrative. My sister told us how lovely the people there are – stuck in a 50’s kind of trust and reach to others. Looking forward to more.

  3. So interesting Leslie! Happy travels! Liz

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. I was in Christchurch RIGHt after the earthquake. Looks about the same! Had one of my favorite meals ever there. Also did the romantic paddle up the stream…..very pretty spot! Enjoy!!

  5. Well that posting was a surprise ! and the beat goes on.

  6. Great posting. Christchurch is where Yessi and Brad met, btw. Restoration is happening with some creativity, especially the container development. Have fun in your non-HaRVy.

  7. So glad to see the 1st installment. Happy trails!

  8. >

  9. Leslie and Albert, at the rate you’re moving, you probably will be on time to join us at Westyfest IX in Colorado.

    • Sorry to say that is not likely JuJu. 😦

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