Sunday, August 24th, 2003 – Day 187

Sunday, August 24th, 2003 – Day 187

I was up at 7.15am and felt groggy. I walked to the stadium and got on the bus. We were due to arrive in Christchurch at 1.05pm. I bought the NZ Times paper (very few papers are published nationally on Sunday, maybe just two) and settled in. We stopped for a 20 minute breakfast break and I had a chicken pie. A lot of people here are very religious and certainly treat Sunday as Sabbath. So many churches and Jesus will save you posters around.

Read in the paper about the Lord of the Rings as having no economic benefit to New Zealand.

Rings Makers Exploit Tax Loophole

24/08/2003 05:28 PM – Newstalk ZB

A loophole in tax laws exploited by the American producers of the Lord of the Rings has cost the country $400 million. The figures are contained in a Treasury report, which casts doubt on the value the film brought to the economy. Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton says New Line Cinema has certainly done well out of New Zealand. He says they had access to a bottomless pit of money, so it is only to be expected that Treasury would not be happy. However Jim Anderton is confident the country has benefited from the Lord of the Rings, despite the report.

The Economic Development Minister says the benefits were huge, but can’t necessarily be quantified. Mr Anderton says a new incentive scheme for film makers has Treasury’s support.

Back to Christchurch

Christchurch may have a reputation for being the most English and the most conservative of New Zealand’s major cities, but it’s far from quiet and subdued. It has consistently scored well in Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure polls, and if you take the time to look around, you’ll soon realize why.

Christchurch’s modern airport provides the gateway to the South Island, affectionately known as “The Mainland” by those who live here. It is the third-largest city in New Zealand–a prosperous place that is home to 337,000 people who enjoy the lowest annual rainfall of any of the four major cities, the greatest temperature extremes, and 2,120 hours of sunshine annually.

With one-eighth of its area devoted to public parks, reserves, and recreation grounds, and with the 186-hectare (459.6-acre) Hagley Park smack in its center, you shouldn’t be surprised to find Christchurch tagged New Zealand’s Garden City. This verdant core, along with the Avon River, a spread of Victorian architecture, and the avenues and squares, give the city its “Englishness” and go a long way toward making it an elegant setting. And with over 50 adventure products to offer, the city is a mecca for anyone who likes a racy edge to his or her holiday. Whether you choose leisurely days discovering the city’s cultural core or adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities, you’ll find that conservative old Christchurch can dish up a few surprises.

Canterbury, stretching from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean, has legendary physical attractions, from ski fields and fishing rivers to the Port Hills tramping tracks and East Coast beaches. Day-trip options from Christchurch include Kaikoura, Akaroa, Hanmer, Arthur’s Pass, and Methven–each presenting its own version of provincial hospitality, rural escapism, and heart-stopping outdoor adventure.

I booked into Warners on the Square for 19 NZD per night. The key Deposit was 1- NZD and the Duvet Deposit was 10 NZD. I got a nice three bed dorm with me getting the single bed. Nice clean place and not too busy. Cleaned up and walked to the tourist office. I still got the number 28 bus from Colombo Street bus stop for the 15 minute ride to Christchurch Gondola. The ticket was only 2 NZD return (if you reuse it within 4 hours).

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Christchurch – New Zealand – Christchurch Square. (23-08-2003)

The Christchurch Gondola may not have quite the same breathtaking impact as the Queenstown equivalent, but for unparalleled views westward over the city and the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps, and for the full sweep of Pegasus Bay and the Pacific Ocean all the way up to the Kaikoura Ranges, you can’t beat it. Perched on the crater rim of an extinct volcano, 445m (1,460 ft.) above sea level, the Gondola complex features the Time Tunnel Heritage Show, with a Canterbury video presentation and a walkthrough exhibition.

If you want to take the Freedom Walk in the Port Hills, pay for the Gondola ride up and then walk down any of the numerous hill tracks to Sumner Beach (allow 2 hr.), from which you can catch a bus back to the city, or to Lyttelton, also about 2 hours. Wear sturdy walking shoes–the tracks are steep and can be slippery. The Mountain Bike Adventure Co. (tel. 0800/424-534) is another option for your descent. Reservations are essential and can be made at the visitor center (tel. 03/379-9629).

I paid 10 NZD for the journey up. The views are good but sea mist kept interrupting the views. They swept in and out in minutes. I decided to walk back to the bottom Gondola station. I got some nice views of Lyttelton when walking down. This is the place where the first immigrants to this area arrive and they then had to walk the Bridle Path to Christchurch. This was the path I was taking. It has much historical significance. You could jog back down in 10-15 minutes. I made in about 20 minutes. It would take about an hour to go back up (if you want to skip the gondola charge). I was lucky as a bus back to the city was just pulling in.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Christchurch – New Zealand – Top of Gondola Ride. (23-08-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Christchurch – New Zealand – Top of Gondola Ride. (23-08-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Christchurch – New Zealand – Top of Gondola Ride. (23-08-2003)

In December 1850 the first settlers arrived at the Port of Lyttelton on the four ships, the “Charlotte Jane, Randolph, Sir George Seymour and the Cressy”.

In preparation of their arrival, due to the uncertainty surrounding the completion of Sumner Road, Captain Joseph Thomas had cut the Bridle Path track earlier that year. Although barely negotiable, the Bridle Path track became the main route over the Port Hills for the newly arrived settlers. At the base of the Bridle Path track in Heathcote Valley, a rough road extended to the mouth of the Heathcote River where a ferry service ferried the settlers and their luggage across the Heathcote River at Ferrymead. The settlers then continued on their journey to Christchurch via Ferry Road.

It was now 5.00pm and I watched some of the Bay of Plenty Versus Canterburry NPC rugby game. to The Bay went down 31-26 to Canterbury.

I then walked to the The Arts Centre

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Christchurch – New Zealand – Top of Gondola Ride. (23-08-2003)

You can’t go to Christchurch and not visit the Arts Centre. Originally home to Canterbury University College from 1873 to 1975, it begs leisurely exploration. Quite apart from the lovely Gothic architecture, it presents a rabbits’ warren of over 40 retail outlets selling New Zealand-made arts and crafts and heaps of things to interest kids, including great food stalls. You’ll find some pretty bizarre goods, but overall the standard is high. There are excellent buys in leather, wool, wood, and crafts.

Court Theatre is housed in the original Engineering Building and Hydraulics Lab, the Academy Cinema is in the old Boys’ High Gym, and the Southern Ballet now occupies the Electrical Engineering Lab and the Mechanical Engineering Lab. There are several good eating spots (Dux de Lux, Le Cafe, the Boulevard Cafe, E-Caf Internet Cafe, and Annie’s Wine Bar & Restaurant are also popular). Buskers and performers add color to the weekend market, and you can take a NZ$5 ($2.10) tour with the red-coated town crier at 11am or 2pm Monday through Friday or by appointment (tel. 03/366-0989).

Teh old Gothic building are gorgeous and I enjoyed walking around the area. They have a market here on Sunday and it was still busy. I bought a Thai takeaway.

I headed back to town and went on the NET for an hour (3NZD) and found that Malaysian Authories are cracking down on Skinheads and Punks. I will have to watch myself when I get there in two months. After a while walking around I found a cheap Thai restaurant. Most of the main courses were only 5 NZD. It was called Thai Thai. After that I went back to the TV lounge in the hostel and watched Sixth Sense. I was in bed by 11.30. Two other’s were now in the room. Both snored. AGGGGGGGGGGGGG

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Christchurch – New Zealand – Arch of Rememberance in Christchurch. (23-08-2003)

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