I couldn’t come up with more clumsy title to this post. Literally, my stay in NZ has all this – trekking some of the beautiful places on the earth, greenery everywhere, going to some of the best beaches blue and white sand, and of course had one of the most technically productive times at HIT Lab NZ.
I am almost coming to the end of 5 months in New Zealand and so I thought I could write about my stay, what all activities you could do here, and all about this place.
It is an exception to the list of cities which boasts of sky crappers and tall building guarding the n number of streets (like Auckland). This is a quiet neighborhood, with fewer people than my town in India, and with lot of earthquake wreckage. They had to go through a very touch time through the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Well, we also go our share of “shakes and roll” after coming here – a first hand experience. The city is serene and I would compare it to the “silence of forest with occasional chirping of cars” with lot of parks all around the city. I also felt it very safe to walk through the streets late in the evening. I had very bad experience of late walking in Auckland, with lot of ragged drug addicts troubling at every other corner of the street.
On most of the weekends, we were away tramping (trekking) to one hill / peak / lake or the other. It is a usual weekend activity in this part of the world to go walking and tramping to some wild places. I enjoyed all of them. Some of the places we went to were :
- Lake Daniels – the walk for about 2 hours through some of the quietest and serene places on earth!! Stayed overnight at a hut – with self made food, snacks, and a beautiful view of the lake. It was one of the most memorable walks I have done after coming here.
- Quail Island – 10 min boat ride from Lyttleton harbor this small patch of land in the bay. The mission was to weed pines from the island. We also got time to roam around the island. The ship wreck, the beautiful beach were some of most picturesque places that I have seen. Reminded me of some of those movie shots where the beaches appear so white and blue!!
- Peak Hill – this was our first tramping experience after coming to NZ. Peak hill stands tall bordering lake Coleridge (which is another site to see all together).
- Akaroa horse ride – I also tried out horse riding at Akaroa. The harbour view sitting on top of my horse (Charlie) was awesome.
- Kayaking in the Avon – We also went kayaking in the river Avon. This is the river that flows through the city of Christchurch. It was a first time for me to try any water sport. It was amazing fun and felt very secure (the water was not more than knee deep!!).
- Hamner springs is a must. Hot pools in cool climate!!
- Rogaining: This is a very interesting cross country navigational game. It was partly treasure hunting, but not exactly. We had to find our way through checkpoints using map and compass. Yes, we used map and compass for some good use for the first time!!
- The New Brighton beach is one of the most crowded beaches in Christchurch. It is about 20 mins from the city. Well, there are different approaches to the beach, and if you know the best one, then you could very well get to the least crowded of them. The Brighton pear stretches into the sea for about 500m and you ought to go there if you get a chance.
- After the earthquake, most of the cinema were closed. But still the city has some very good ones. We usually visited the Hoyts at Northland and the Sumner Hollywood. The latter is a small place, but runs very interesting film. It is also part of the NZ film festival cinema.
- When it comes to food, you could get all the European food here at Christchurch – apart form the McD’s and KFC, there are a whole lot of better options. I would suggest some of the India ones that we have gone to.
- Coriander is a chain of authentic Indian food anywhere in Christchurch. If it gets any close to Indian food, then this is the best.
- Curry time, Tandoori Palace are also good ones, but I found it to be far away from the Indian food.
- Hell pizza – they put some of the hottest chilli in the world on one section of your pizza (Pizza roulette).
- Vegetarian food : Being a vegetarian, I found it tricky to get veggie food. You have to specify “NO MEAT NO CHICKEN” in all that you order from a cafe.
- We arrived here in summer and it was far far away from what I would usually call “summer”.
- The temperature usually range between 10 – 20 on most days.
- Towards the end of our time here, it was starting of winter and we are hoping to see snow tomorrow!!
- Expect rain every other day – be it summer, winter, spring or autumn.
To sum up my stay here in NZ, it was awesome fun experience, with lot of learning, travelling, experimenting, cooking, eating and a whole hard disk of photos!!