Short break in Christchurch

New Zealand’s most expensive cat

Feels like we’re jumping two months forward with this post in comparison to the last. But it is the important/emotional reason for it. We went to Christchurch for a weekend. The reason for it was to pick our cat Freyja from the quarantine. To cut the long story short she’s been lost and found. For well over a month we thought she has gone for good. But then we have been contacted by an animal shelter from Manchester that she has been found. We had to re-arrange her move again, including the quarantine. Freyja became Dunedin’s most expensive cat, however she is a member of our family, and you never leave family behind.

The usual ‘are we there yet’

Christchurch is about 4.5/5 hrs drive from Dunedin. Therefore, we decided, that instead of long day driving it is safer, and more interesting, to stay in Christchurch for a 3 day weekend. With the kids being kids, the journey obviously took more than sat-nav estimated time. As per usual ‘dad I need a wee’, ‘dad I’m bored’, ‘dad I’m hungry’ etc. Eventually we arrived to an apartment. After necessary shopping, as I forgot to take a warm jacket, we went to nearby playground, children were desperate to move about and have some proper playtime. It was really cool so me and Mrs Sting joined our kids.

A bit dated but still relevant

Taste of South America in South New Zealand

Once we had enough of the play time, it was a time to finally have something to eat. We noticed some interesting looking street with some Mediterranean/Spanish vibe to it, filled with restaurants and cafes. We decided to check it out. Our pick for a restaurant was Casa Publica that offers South American cousine. Looking through the menu we opted for ”Trust the chef” 4 meals course. Instantly we felt it was the right choice, as our starter was fresh homemade tortillas wit guacamole prepared on our table. Even though children ordered own meals, our looked so delicious, that we constantly heard ‘can I try some of yours’. Even though I’m not a fan of deserts, but this one was just phenomenal – freshly made doughnuts and bananas in pastry served with chilli spiced chocolate. If you visit Christchurch it’s a place worth a visit.

City tram tour

Next day we explored the city a little more. We started with 1920s tram city tour. It takes about 45 min around a city centre, and the guide tried to show some interesting places to visit. During tour obviously a lot attention is concentrated around the earthquake that happened in 2011, what was destroyed and rebuilt, which buildings were completely demolished, and how the city buildings are now protected against future disasters. The tour is interesting, funny and sad in the same time, as there are many empty spaces that used to be filled with buildings and generally city life.


Christchurch museums

Next we visited a Cantenbury Museum. Time well spent especially for children. We were lucky to explore a temporary exposition about Gallileo Gallilei, that includes some experiment regarding physics and space. From my perspective the most interesting part was an artic exploration exposition, while Mrs Sting and Froggy explored the Shell House, that used to be a regional phenomenon in not so distant past. Hurricane and Froggy were particularly interested with an exposition that includes formalin jars filled with specimens of animals and large terrarium with various types of tarantulas.

At the Canterbury Museum

Our next stop was the Earthquake Museum. It is a eye opener if you never experienced even mildest earthquake. Through various expositions it explains the history of Christchurch earthquakes from the past, and most importantly the story from the most recent one from 2011. You can explore artefacts recovered from buildings and churches destroyed during the disaster. You can learn how city learned from that, and rebuilt using most effective techniques in order to prevent and protect city in the future.

Trying to rebuild the city out of LEGO

International food Market

The museums make you hungry, and there is no better place to visit than Riverside Market. Place filled with food stalls and bars from literally all over the world. We even found a stall selling Eccles cakes! One of the most iconic Lancashire cakes recipes travelled all the way down to the Southern Hemisphere! Nonetheless, what was quite unique, we could enjoy our meals and drinks with accompaniment of live band, playing on the balcony.

Family reunited

The highlight of the trip however was reunion with our Freyja. As mentioned above she has been lost and found, and after over 3 months we could finally meet her and pick her up from the quarantine. 5 hrs drive in rainy condition was a small inconvenience for all five of us, even though Freyja was scared of a noisy car and shaking cage. Eventually we arrived to Dunedin, and the cat could explore new surroundings. Words can’t explain how happy we were, when our house was filled with Freyja’s loud purring sounds.

Turn the sound ON!

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