During my preparation of my weekend I was thinking of doing a road trip around Christchurch for 4 days. And then I finally took a appointment for a new tattoo, incorrigible!
Christchurch is the biggest city of the South Island and the point of arrival of the international flights of this island. The city has been affected by several powerful earthquakes in 2010, 2011 and 2016. At present the city is still under reconstruction. It gives the impression of being in an open-air construction site in some neighborhoods. Emblem of the city the cathedral was destroyed and is currently being rebuilt.
Another emblem of the city, the tramway that makes a tourist tour of the city!
You can also go for a stroll in the botanic garden (but not many flowers in winter!)
For my long weekend stay I hired a car at Ace rentals, you have great prices by taking an older car. However, be careful, you need your overseas bank card! New Zealand cards are only “debit” and do not allow to take a deposit for insurance. I got it for $ 80 for 4 full days.
For the hostel, the attraction here is to go to Jailhouse.This is a old jail rehabilitated. Very honestly it was not the favorite even if I really like the concept! I took a bed in the dormitory of 10 people (Rooms for 2 are quite small for info), $ 91 for three nights. The room was relatively spacious and had an adjoining toilet / sink area. The heating was ok in the room. On the other hand it is really cold in the hall and in the toilet / shower area. And speaking of that, only 4 showers for the whole floor it is better not to take a shower at the same time as everyone!
For several months I have an idea in mind, to get a tattoo a map of New Zealand with a compass. Little by little my idea evolved and I ended up opting for a card “Lord of the Rings” which corresponds to my tastes and New Zealand 😊. My favorite tattoo style is realism. I went through a lot of site and instagram accounts before arriving at that of Manni. He’s an Italian tattoo artist based at the Otautahi shop in Christchurch.
I am rather very exigent about the quality of the design and the tattoo technique. I might do a post about my tattoos, how to choose an artist, etc. if you’re interested. The fact remains that you can go and visit Manni if you like this style of tattoo!
Do not forget to eat well before each sitting! I went to eat pancakes at Drexels (beware there is often a waiting list).
Akaroa is the “French” village of New Zealand. Historically, a french whaler purchased this village before returning to France to set up a process of colonialization. It was not until 1840 that Lavaud returned to this little village. The agreements between the English and Maori are already signed, so it is impossible for France to conquer New Zealand. However, this village remains French a few years and the streets and buildings are for some named “French”.
The road to the village is really beautiful! Two roads are distinguished, a faster and a tourist one. Being alone on the tourist route, I can easily stop taking some pictures of the view. Under the amused gaze of a sheep 😊. It takes about 1h30 from Christchurch to reach this small village.
I must admit that the village itself is a bit of a disappointment for me … I already miss France I hoped to feel “like home” but it does not really look like French villages that I know! Although some notes come close to it like the colorful fishing huts.
Oamaru and penguins
Having only a short time this time I just stopped one night in Oamaru to admire the blue penguins 😍. I took a room at Oamaru backpackers ($55 per night in private room), it’s for the moment my favorite hostel in New Zealand! It’s really cute, well decorated and well heated! Yes even heating in the bathroom (for those who are not used to New Zealand it’s really rare). And I even had a warm blanket in my bed, the luxury 🤗.
To admire apenguins there are several options. One of them charged($ 30) permit to see them near their favorite arrival beach. But if you do not want to pay you can admire the same penguins a little further. For that go on the parking of the “Oamaru blue penguin colony” and on the left you should find an open grid. Enter and climb (it’s easy) to access the pier. Not sure it’s open continuously because it does not seem to be allowed but we were many that night to admire. Of course difficult to make real good pictures, far and night…
In theory you can see others on the other beaches but unlike this spot it is not guaranteed. You can also usually admire sea lions!
At the south of Oamaru is a beach a little atypical. Indeed some calcites balls have formed over the years and are “posed” on the beach. To get there know that starting from the official car park you will be asked for a participation of $ 2. But you can also find an area a little further and walk on the beach. Be aware though that at high tide most are at sea, less convenient for photos when you are in winter outfit!
Luck was with me the splendid sun was of the party!