Third leg of our World Tour, we started our trip to New Zealand via Canterbury. Between working in HelpX and remote Freelance missions, we wanted to take advantage of this vast region. Go on the road with us the time of three extended weekends which allowed us to discover the Canterbery.
The Canterbery is a region rich in discoveries that offers hundreds of possibilities for excursions around, day or weekend. By roadtrip, ride, bike and even boat trip, there is plenty of choice.
Christchurch a city that RE:Start
It must be known that Christchurch was hit by a terrible earthquake on February 22, 2011, killing 185 people and injuring hundreds. The damage was considerable and the city had to stay closed for at least a year to clear the damage. 8 years later, we had the chance to work on the restoration of a mansion duringa HelpX mission.
The residents showed immense solidarity, creativity and courage to rebuild the city. The symbol here is the famous containers that hatched gradually in the city to create restaurants and ephemeral shops.
Take time to see the cardboard cathedral, a temporary building built after the impressive earthquake, as well as the nearby memorial.
Akaora, hiking and dolphins
You must take the scenic road to reach Akaora from Christchurch. It runs along the sea and offers magnificent views. We did our first hike on the Summit Road in Akoara and the forest was enchanting. This is an opportunity to swim with dolphins who are not very wild (for about $ 70 per person).
Then return by Little River with a swim in the Magnet Bay. The gravel road is winding but it’s one of the most beautiful we have borrowed.
The Southern Alps, the mountain in its raw state
Our second weekend on the road started in the rain 🙁 Whatever, New Zealand has this magic attraction: even in bad weather, everything is impressive and becomes mysterious.
We went to Castle Hill on the west coast road before Arthur Pass. A very small village of cottages (second homes), surrounded by mountains.
Our 5 favorites of the weekend:
- Sleeping in the woods in free camping and lunch near the river
- Play hide and seek in the impressive and mystical rocks of Castle Hill
- Get lost in the underground river of Castle Hill (Cave Stream Scenic Reserve). 594 m in total darkness: adrenaline guaranteed!
- Reach the summit of Mount Cockayne (1874m) and admire the peaks and glacier of Arthur Pass.
- Admire the wild Coleridge Lake from a peak or rejoin its gorges
- Okay if you really are fans, stop having the SpringfieldDonut! 😉
Kairoura and Hamner Springs, the mountain, the sea, and... the seals!
Kaikoura to the north to admire the peninsula from Mount Fyffe (1,602 m), flush out a colony of seal pups in their natural environment, and end the day by the fireside on the beach.
On the way out or back, you can take a break in Hamner Springs. It is clearly on a spa (type third age ^ ^) but the forest around is sublime. The thermal baths are very pleasant for a relaxing break in the mountains and in the trees. We also reached Mount Isobel and its impressive waterfall (20 minutes below).