NEW ZEALAND SOUTH ISLAND JOURNEY – PART 1
Flight route : KL – Singapore – Sydney – Christchurch. Transited in Sydney for half a day. This route was rather time consuming and exhausting but able to save at least RM1k for the journey. If you want to make use of the transit time in Sydney to visit the city, you’ll need to obtain an Australian visa (valid for a year), which could be easily done at any local tour agencies for RM30.
Some of the sights in and around Sydney harbourfront area :
Circular Quay, Opera House, Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, Fisherman’s Wharf, Darling Harbour, and the ever popular Sydney Fish Market.
I thought there must be “FISH” stamped on our foreheads as at least 3 or 4 Australians who walked past us automatically, without asking, pointed us to the direction of the Fish Market. I find this odd as we didn’t even sound out loud that we were heading to the Fish Market. Well my curiosity got answered when I reached there – the Fish Market was absolutely full of Chinese and Asian looking folks! 😉
The largest city in South Island and the third most populous urban area in NZ, however, seem like a rather quiet and unhappening city, with (unbelievably) sparse traffic on the roads.
It was business as usual for this quiet city, though many parts of Christchurch are still in a state of repair and reconstruction since the great earthquake of 2011. The city centre has a rather slow paced, quiet and serene feel to it, and population was seemingly low, as many have apparently moved out of here since the earthquake.
Christchurch Cathedral – partially destroyed by the 2011 earthquake
Re:Start Mall (container mall) – a shopping complex which consist of a cluster of shops, cafes, bank and retail establishments built entirely in shipping containers. This is probably due to the fact that its location was smack at the centre of the quake, hence nobody dared to build anything more permanent on, around or near it.
L-R : Cardboard cathedral – a cathedral made from cardboard; 185 Empty White Chairs – each representing a life lost in the 2011 earthquake; One of the giant pop up artworks dotting the streets of Christchurch; A creative mural if i’m not mistaken by its style, painted by none other than the Belgian street artist ROA.
Gondola ride – rainy day, couldn’t see much of the view at the top.
City Tram – a good way for city sightseeing and experience the traditional mode of transport in these beautifully restored trams at the same time. Some of the sights include Cathedral Square, Punting on the Avon, Canterbury Museum, Rolleston House, Art Centres, Regent Street, Hagley Park and Victoria Square among others.
Christchurch Botanical Garden
LORD OF THE RINGS EDORAS
In a nutshell, this tour basically brings you far into the high country to see a big piece of rock. That’s right. Well it wasn’t any ordinary piece of rock though; it is THE piece of rock you actually see in the LOTR movies, where Edoras and Rohan was located. Though a little too pricey for the kind of experience, we did get to see Edoras the real movie settings and a glimpse of Helm’s Deep too; walked on the middle of a frozen lake, as well as played with some cool LOTR weapons with fellow ringers. 😛
Lake Clearwater – totally frozen, you can take a walk (or skate if you dare) all the way from one end to the other.
Picnicking with cold sandwich and champagne in the freezing Edoras.
Toying around with Aragorn and Gimli wanabes….. (Hey Gimli, bring back the axe….!!)
Stopping by to feed some cute mountain goats over the electric fence. Fun day after all! 😀
The journey continues in …. NZ South Island – PART 2