We spend the next day cruising around the bottom of the South Island, this part of NZ appears very isolated and unihabited. However it is very picturesque, with various birds including a number of Albatross following our ship. Interestingly the Captain tells us most of the ships lights a turned off early in the evening to stop attracting birds from the shore. Apparently many become lost, being found dead or injured on the ship.
The next morning we wake to find we are already docked at Port Chambers. It’s a 20 minute bus ride to Dunedin. The ride along the bay is easy and we arrive at the tourist information centre and head off for a coffee. We decide on the round city tourist bus to kill an hour and get our bearings. Dunedin was founded by English and Scottish settlers, this is reflected in the buildings and larger homes. We bus it back in the afternoon, stopping for drink at the pub near the Port.
We sail at dusk for Christchurch, again finding we have docked just after dawn. The Vollendam has docked at Lyttelton, a 10 minute bus ride from Christchurch. We arrive and immediately begin the search for a good coffee. It doesn’t take too long and we sit down and get our bearings. Before long a tram rubbles past and we have found our next adventure. There is a tourist tram that does a loop of the CBD.
We jump off in the main square wander a few shops before we spot the Cathedral. After looking through we noted you can climb to the mid-point of the spire for a dollar, so off we went up its tight spiral staircase. The views and photos well worth the dollar once you get your breath back. Sadly this spire collapsed in the earthquake in 2011 killing a number of people. It is quite sad to see Christchurch so often in the news as the aftershocks and quakes have continued.
Finding the tourist information center we note a chairlift to the hills behind Christchurch and the bus leaves from nearby, so our next impromptu adventure commences. It’s a long amble through the suburbs but eventually we find ourselves at the chairlift and where on our way to the top. The views are great and the ride up and back a bit of fun. Anyway time to head back to the ship as cocktail hour approaches.