Back in the middle of May I hopped over the ditch back to New Zealand for my Nana’s 80th birthday and managed to fit in a little exploring time in Christchurch as well! I thought I’d just share some of my weekend adventures with you all today!
We spent most of the weekend in the town of Ashburton, where my mum grew up, catching up with the extended family (and there are a lot of us!). We did plenty of eating and drinking over the couple of days we were in town, with the Somerset Grocer our go to spot for delicious (and large!) coffees each morning. We also found ourselves some tasty veggie burgers at the Speight’s Alehouse which made for an excellent Friday night feed before we headed home to watch the rugby.
We also made sure to squeeze in our favourite New Zealand treat – a jelly tip ice cream! We have at least one every time we head home as they remind us of our childhood, so no matter what the weather is doing you’ll find my sister and I with jelly tip in hand!
Each trip back to see family usually includes a visit to our cousin’s farm, outside the town of Methven and right near the gorgeous Southern Alps and Mount Hutt. We only had a short visit this time but still squeezed in a run around the paddock with some sheep and a wander through the native forest they have recently planted. It’s a beautiful spot and was the sight of many childhood (mis)adventures over the years, including the time I drove a motorbike straight into the clothesline. Good times.
We also spent a day back in Christchurch seeing not only all the spots where my parents spent their late teens and early twenties, but also wandering around some of the areas being rebuilt after the devastating 2011 earthquakes. The sight of the poor Christchurch Cathedral was pretty upsetting, especially knowing it is likely to be many years before anything can be done to rebuild it, but there was also so much positive activity around the city as well.
The amount of street art, green spaces, temporary installations and the like that has popped up all through the central city was really wonderful to see, and I don’t think I have seen so many cranes since spending time in Shanghai!
We also visited the Re:Start container mall in Christchurch which was started to breathe some new life into the central city area where most of the shops and restaurants had to be demolished. It’s full of local traders and food stalls and hosts pop up markets and events as well. It was a bit grey out while we were there so the photos don’t quite show it at it’s best but it was a really great place to wander through. Definitely worth a visit!