So we left dreamy Tekapo in the sunshine and made our way towards Christchurch. As we drove further towards the coast we could see big grey clouds looming ahead. Soon we were driving through miserable drizzly grey fog. We had read about the world famous in New Zealand Duneath custard square so we thought we ought to try one! We found a cafe in Pleasant Point (which wasn't very pleasant) and shared one, it was OK but we've had better! Next we drove towards Methven in the Canterbury plains where you have wonderfully straight roads that seem to go on forever with dead flat fields either side. The sun briefly came out and we had lunch in a nice park. Then we decided to drive into Christchurch, the weather went miserable again, we checked into the Top Ten holiday park which had beautiful sites for powered vans but the unpowered tent sites that we go for were on a soggy field with an old amenity block.
Christchurch was the first place we had visited in NZ back in 2008 so we had fond memories of this beautiful city. We were aware that the February 2011 earthquake had done a lot of damage but I don't think we realised how much! The whole of the city centre (or CBD as they call it down under) is like a huge wasteland, so many of the buildings have had to be demolished and other buildings have just been left awaiting demolition. It really shocked us, the saddest thing was Christchurch Cathederal in the square, it is all cordoned off and half of the cathederal is just a crumbled mess. This poor city suffered so much, so many houses are still awaiting repairs and lots of people remain homeless. You wonder how people will ever get over this tragedy.
We had really bad rain for the rest of our Christchurch visit, we got soaked at New Brighton beach and soaked on a walk near Lyttleton harbour. It was definately worth going to Christchurch and we really hope that one day we would be able to go back there to see how it has changed.