Canterbury 2015

The endless recovery

Many are still fearful of earthquakes which continue to stretch the land. Many are being ripped off by their insurance companies and may be still homeless. Many have lost their jobs and have to take up temporary work in the rebuild which is pulling in workers from around the world who will have to be catered for when the rebuild is complete. We are not immune from the declining economy, we are not immune from local council decisions which controls every aspect of our lives.

Local government

Government by the people for the people? Yeah right…

As our mayor steps down over the building consents, let think about that. The building consent process is draconian and favours

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Experience coastal new Zealand

Due to recent earthquakes, Kaikoura has no road access from the north, but Christchurch – Hanmer routes are open read more.

Just over two hours drive from Christchurch, Kaikoura was once just place to stop and stretch your legs on the five-six hour dive between Christchurch and Picton. But today, Kaikoura has become a popular tourist destination in its own right. This seaside town is renowned for fishing, viewing seals, whales and dolphins.

The Kaikoura Peninsula is located in the northeast of New Zealand’s South Island. It protrudes five kilometres into the Pacific Ocean. The town of Kaikoura is located on the north shore of the peninsula and out of sight in

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A Winter Ski Resort Town

Methven is a small rural town set on the western Canterbury Plains, just over an hours drive from Christchurch and a little to the south of the Rakaia River. In the summer it is a quiet retreat, and in winter becomes a bustling support town for the nearby Mt Hutt ski area just 30 minutes drive away, (drive or bus to the ski field).

Local activities include: Exploring the quiet walkways. Fishing for trout and salmon in the nearby Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers. Thrill seeking jet boat tours through the Rakaia gorge Horse treks Hot air ballooning Playing the 18 hole golf course. Skiing and heliskiing; Within 10 minutes flying time you are amongst some

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Christchurch - Nelson

Via Lewis Pass – Drive time 5 – 6 hours

Maruia River upstream from the thermal springs resort.

From Christchurch take the Northern motorway or Marshlands Road, there is usually heavy traffic through the towns of Woodend and Amberley to the turn off at Waipara. This is not a particularly exciting drive through flat farmland and it pays to keep to the speed limit as the police are often out looking to catch their quota of speeding motorists.

The road opens out through the wine growing area of Waipara where you need to turn left (Nelson can also be reached via Kaikoura and Blenheim, but this route will add an hour or so to the journey).

At Waipara

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Christchurch - Dunedin

Allow 5 – 6 hours. 364 km via SH 1

Highway near Dunedin

There are several routes out of Christchurch, from the central city and it’s usually more convenient to head on to the southern motorway or Blenheim Road which follow out onto State Highway one heading south.

If you’re in the north or west of the city, it is usually more convenient to head for the airport and the city bypass route which joins State Highway one at Hornby.

The traffic is often bumper-to-bumper any time of day, but after Templeton one can usually pick up a little speed and there are even a couple of passing bays before Rolleston. This is one of Christchurch’s newer satellite

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Christchurch to Dunedin

A personal journey – 2009

Picnic at Tinwald

My wife and I left Christchurch around 9.30am in a tolerant unhurried mood negotiating the city traffic. Departing from the city north, we drove out toward the airport onto the city circuit. Approaching Hornby the traffic became slower so we turned down Waterloo Rd to avoid the congested Hornby junction.

This took us to Templeton where state highway one traffic was thick and fast. There was also a queue to turn right to head south, so a quick left turn and a right into the next street where we turned had us heading south leaving the queued cars we had just bypassed still waiting.

Aside from the heavy traffic, the

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Christchurch - Arthurs Pass

145 Km. Allow two hours without stops

Fun in the snow on Porters Pass

This route is sometimes closed by snow in winter, so if you’re travelling then, you’re advised to carry chains.

From central Christchurch, the good and near straight two lane highway (SH 73) begins at Yaldhurst and passes through the rural townships of Kirwee, (pub and store), and Darfield, a growing rural town with several café’s, a small art gallery, crafts shops, hotels, motels and backpackers. Just through the town is the turn off point to Methven, Rakia Gorge (picnic, walking, jet boat recreation area) and the Mt. Hutt Ski area.

For those in a hurry, take the Old West Coast Road, which bypasses these

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Waterside quaintness

Almost destroyed as it was the epicentre of the February 2011 earthquake, today the town has reopened and the port restored.

Lyttleton is a busy port and harbourside town and suburb of Christchurch. The harbour offers a safe anchor for the largest of ships, from freighters to cruise liners which call regularly and has a range of watery activities. You’ll find yachting, water taxis, a ferry to Diamond Harbour, boat tours to watch dolphins or you can explore local history such as the harbour defences created during the past world wars.

The wharves have very limited public access, although it is not so long ago there was free and uncontrolled access, which was great for fishing and

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Christchurch earthquakes

Update March 2015

All seems fairly quiet on the eastern front, we have had a few minor tremors over the past few months, and like most people, I have not noticed them and they have not caused any concern.

Update November 2014

Actually few people remember the last aftershocks as there have been a few minor tremors in 2014, however earthquake activity seems to be moving away from Canterbury. Geonet has the latest earthquake data.

Update June 2014

The Christchurch earthquakes continue to subside. The significant quakes have been nearer Wellington and far to the north near of New Zealand. The Christchurch rebuild is well underway and the city is very busy, and the cross city traffic

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A plains city, shaken but not stirred

Punting on the Avon River

The capital city in the Canterbury province, Christchurch is often described as the most “English” city in New Zealand, and often known as the garden city, noted for its extensive public and private gardens where you can smell the flowers or meditate under a tree.

The city is bordered by the Port Hills, the Pacific ocean, and situated on the edge of The Canterbury Plains that stretches west for 30 miles to the Southern Alps.

An arrival point for visitors to the country, Christchurch is a centre of learning, with several universities, polytechnics and a medical school. It has a vibrant night life and

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