Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Akaroa (Dec 4. 2016)

Dec 4 (Sun) - Akaroa
         Today we stopped at Akaroa, the oldest town in Canterbury. It was settled by the French in 1840 at the head of Akaroa Harbor.
Entering the Akaroa Harbor
The Akaroa Harbor is too shallow for the cruise ship to come into the dock so we had take a small boat (tender) between the cruise ship and the dock.

Our tender
Akaroa is an attractive small town with a beautiful harbor front. We didn't stay there long since the tour was actually of Christchurch.

French-styled houses in Akaroa
Waiting for the tourbus
We took a tourbus to Christchurch about 45 minutes away. Cruise ships used to go directly to Christchurch, but the harbor was damaged in an earthquake about six years ago and hasn't been repaired. They now go to Akaroa instead.

Harbor between Akaroa and Christchurch
Marshmallow farm
 We had a bus tour through the city of Christchurch. There were many buildings being repaired from an earthquake six years ago. There were other more modern buildings that are new since the earthquake.
Christ Church Cathedral being repaired
A new building
We stopped at the Canterbury Museum, which displays Antarctic relics, a reconstruction of a 19th century Christchurch street, and a Maori cultural section.
Gothic style Canterbury Museum
Tucker "snow cat" used in Antarctica 
19th-century Christchurch street
Window shopping in the 19th century
Paua (mother of pearl) house
Traditional Maori musical instruments
 We then went out to look around the Botanic Gardens, which surrounds the museum. The Botanic Gardens contribute to the reputation of Christchurch as the "garden city".  It had a beautiful rose garden, a rock garden, heather garden, and more. It was created from a woodland in the loop of the Avon River that passes through the city.
Diane by the shores of the Avon
Rock garden
Resting in the garden
 From there we went to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve and had a lunch of finger sandwiches (some of which Paul could eat). Mammals are not native to New Zealand, but there are many types of birds. The kiwi is the best known, but is hard to see because it is nocturnal.
Can't pass up a waterwheel
Old settler's cabin
Kea - world's only alpine parrot
Look carefully and you will see a kiwi in the center of the picture
Part of Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is the Ko Tane Living Maori Village. We saw the "powhiri" the traditional Maori welcoming ceremony, watched some Maori music and dance, then participated in the "poi" dance for women and the "haha" for men. show.
Powiri welcoming ceremony
Maori music and dance
Diane performs the poi dance
Paul is now a true Maori warrior
We had a guide for the first part of our visit to Willowbank, but after the Maori village we had some free time to look at some of the other animals. We saw baby ducks and a joey in a momma wallaby's pouch.
No, this is not the joey
Wallabies are that they might have joeys
We hurried back to the bus and returned to Akaroa. New Zealand is a very green and beautiful country. It also has some types of housing we don't often see in the USA.

Rolling hills of New Zealand
And I thought apartment living was crowded
We stood in a long line to get on the tender back to the ship. We thought of emergency preparation as we saw the aftermath of a big earthquake.

To be continued:

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