We arrived at Chirstchurch and the first thing we noticed was the drop in temperature! 12 degrees it was when we walked out of the airport! Colder than England was at that time we were later told. It wouldnt have been as bad a shock had we not just come from 30 degree heat in Noosa. Arriving?early?evening we just had time to squeeze in the walking tour provided by the lonely planet, which also helped us get our bearings. Walking around we realised 2 things. Firstly how English Christchurch is and secondly how empty it is, there's nobody there! Its very similar to towns in England but so small! Its the biggest town on South Island, and yet the shopping area is tiny, probably smaller than Cheltenham. Anyway we ended the night with an Indian before heading back to the YHA very tired having just had 4 hours sleep the night before.
The next day we had a nice lie in before going into town for some much needed clothes. I waited outside whilst Hannah bought a scarf and gloves, and was approached by 2 MASSIVE guys (Jonah Lumu size!). Getting ready to put up a rather feeble?fight if they asked for my wallet, i was relieved when they asked if they could talk to me about Jesus (phew!). I declined but chatted to them about our trip until Hannah emerged all wrapped up warm from the shop. We then?walked around the Botanical Gardens before getting ourselves booked up for a punt down the River Avon. By the evening it was apparent that Hannah was getting a cold, she thinks due to the shock in temperature change.
The next day we rose early with a lot to do. We visited the Antarctic Centre in the moring, where we learnt all about the famous continent. We froze ourselves in their Storm Chamber suffering antarctic winds, and had a ride in a Hagglund (the machine they ride about in in?Antarctica) which was great fun. We then went to Kiwi House & Aquarium to catch a glimpse of the famous animal. Unfortunatly they are scared of light and noise (no wonder they're endangered) and so we only saw an outline of them scurrying around?in a darkened room. But they are a lot bigger than we thought, the species we saw were about 12-18 inches tall. Next was a trip up the Gondola (Skyrail) to Mount Cavendish?for panoramic views of Banks Peninsula, Lyttelton Harbour and lots of hills! We quickly did the Crater Rim walkway (well, part of it) before heading back down.
An early night as the bus leaves the next day at 7.45am, heading for Lake Tekapo.