The drive to Christchurch was an experience in itself. The Kaikoura Coast Road had only re-opened the day before we drove south, so we took the opportunity to see the incredible, amazing works that had been undertaken by the dedicated crew over the year and a bit since the Kaikoura Earthquake.
We arrived at Marks parents house after dinner, nicely in time to put Mr4 to bed. After chilling out together the next morning, we headed into the city for gelato and a walk in Hagley Park, culminating in Mr4 having a swim in his undies in the paddling pool at the playground.
The hardest moment of the trip was handing Mr4 over to Marks parents, who he was staying with while Mark and I travelled on to Queenstown and the Milford Track. Returning back and seeing his excitement at our return was an awesome moment.
We splurged on day passes on the Tram for Marks family – it was our Christmas present to them, and a great way to ensure the kids all got to spend some time together. Yes, at times, using the tram was significantly slower than we could have walked, but the kids were entranced by the trams, so that was an absolute win.
We saved money by staying in a Marram group holiday house. We could have saved more by staying with Marks parents, but we decided that everyones sanity would be better served by staying down the road instead. Having a full holiday house meant we could cook and eat at home easily, which is our preference when travelling.
We did two big day trips – which I’ve written up separately – to Arthurs Pass, and Hanmer Springs. Both were awesome, and come highly recommended.
Our most disappointing experience would have to be Orana Park. The park looks and feels tired, but is still achingly expensive. Never mind the fact that it rained torrents on us (unforecast), we realised just how spoilt we are with our local zoo by visiting.
We lived local and visited Westburn Bike Park a couple of times. It’s a really neat wee reserve, with a playground and a bike “town”. Probably some of our favourite local times were spent on our bikes in the park.
The very last thing we did before we left was a local road trip – we went up into the Port Hills, over to Lyttleton, out to New Brighton Pier, and back via the CBD. Driving through the empty residential red zone was surreal.