Aug 17th, 2007, 05:43 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 14

Will be in Christchurch for 3 nights in about a week from now...wondering what to do? Don't like organized tours..don't want to rent a car...other than punting on the local river and visiting local gardens, and museums, anything to "not miss"...can hire a driver if need be...and are very physically energetic and capable...like walking, hiking, flora and fauna, and especially food and wine...any suggestions aside from the hum drum standard tourista fare?
mfanelli is offline  
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Aug 18th, 2007, 06:49 AM
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Don't miss the Antarctic Center next to the airport! It's a "must see". I believe they have a shuttle bus that goes from the airport, so you could do that as soon as you arrive.
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Aug 18th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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You can walk to the Antarctic Center from the passenger terminal at CHC - just follow the blue painted footsteps.

However, I found it a total disappointment. It's the kind of educational setup suitable for kids: a pond of injured penguins, a room with fans and refrigeration where you can experience a 30-below storm etc. It's also expensive at 30 NZD per person.

If you are interested in Antarctic exploration, then head to the Canterbury museum. It's free - and upstairs is a fascinating exhibit with actual stuff (huts, vehicles, instruments) used in Antarctica. There's a lot of other good material in the museum and it's an easy and pleasant walk from downtown.

Three days is a long time to spend right in Christchurch itself. I'd suggest at least one day outside. The port of Lyttleton is not far and is said to be quite attractive (I've not been there myself) and offers boat cruises. Further afield, Akoroa is very pleasant, and the summit route there is very scenic. I used a rental car, but I imagine there'll be sightseeing tours or scheduled buses available.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 02:20 AM
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We had 2 nights in Christchurch. The first day we arrived late afternoon so we spent a couple of hours the next day looking around the town before driving to Akaroa. Magical scenery!Highly recommended. Back to CC for dinner (we ate at the Geaorge Hotel restaurant which was a 10/10 for us -the BEST food and wine) That just left us 3 hours the next day to wander around town again.
I felt I would've liked another day there as it was a nice place to stay.
There were some nice restaurants along the river,but you need to book a table.
carylspall is offline  
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Aug 20th, 2007, 03:13 AM
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Some thoughts from and about Christchurch.
1. The punting is a bit touristy, but by all means do it if it is of interest to you. Most people doing it look quite bored. If you want to go boating on the Avon, you might better enjoy hiring a canoe (or two) at the Antigua St boatshed and doing your own thing. On a nice day, this is a good way to enjoy the Avon and see some of the Botanical Gardens at the same time.
2. If it is not already part of your itinerary, a day trip to Akaroa is definitely worthwhile. There is a shuttle service there and back. Travel time is approximately one hour.
3. Christchurch is, essentially, a quiet city best enjoyed on foot. If you don't mind walking (and assuming that you will be staying near the centre of the city), walk along the Avon, go to the Botanic Gardens, and enjoy the calm of the place.
4. There are great walks up on the Port Hills just to the south of Christchurch. You can catch a bus to The Sign of the Takahe and then do an up-and-back walk on the hills or, if you have the time, you could walk over to Lyttelton and bus back from there. That is a reasonable distance, though.
5. The weather forecast for later this week is not too bad, so expect cold, frosty mornings but sunny days to follow. Be prepared for a cold wind, though. At this time of year, the prevailing easterly wind can be bitter.
6. If you would like some restaurant recommendations, please let me know your preferred type of restaurant and roughly where you will be staying and I will give you some ideas of places within walking distance.
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Aug 20th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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WOW!! thanks to all for the splendid replies...will definitely do Akaroa and Punt Hills...staying at George so will take the tip to eat there as well...my ride to the airport is literally out front as we speak...wanted one final check in to this invaluable resource before leaving California...THANK YOU one and alll...just the best!

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