Central South Island Travel Stories blog posts

  •  Cashel Street Mall, Central Christchurch  © © Nathan Hollis via Flickr

    Beaten but not Bowed

    By Bridget Gourlay
    Wednesday, 15 February 2012

    Up until February 22nd 2011, Christchurch enjoyed a vibrant tourist scene. Settled by the English, we styled ourselves the Garden City - our Victorian and Edwardian architecture was framed everywhere by trees and flowers.

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  •  Arthur's Pass Railway Station  © Amelia Norman

    Arthur's Pass

    By Heather Hapeta
    Sunday, 28 August 2011

    It takes me less than three hours to travel from plains to mountains; sea to snow-fed rivers; city to village; from current time to the ancient forests of Gondwanaland.

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  •  Walking the Harihari Coast Track, West Coast of the South Island.  © Amelia Norman

    Striking it Rich on the West Coast

    By Amelia Norman
    Friday, 13 August 2010

    It’s day one of our four day walking tour and I’m already plonked bottom-down in the middle of a river. Not the most auspicious start. But that could be about to change…

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  •  An adult black stilt wading.  © Department of Conservation

    Black Stilts: In our Hands

    By Amelia Norman
    Tuesday, 29 September 2009

    If it weren’t for humans, black stilts would be prevalent throughout New Zealand – or extinct.

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  •  Greymouth at night. West Coast, New Zealand.  © Tourism West Coast

    Greymouth: That Kind of Town

    By Amelia Norman
    Tuesday, 29 September 2009

    I didn’t expect to see bok choy on the menu in Greymouth. I couldn’t exactly tell you why, it’s just that, well… Greymouth isn’t your average bok choy kind of a town.

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  •  The Mackenzie Country

    The Mackenzie Country

    By Amelia Norman
    Tuesday, 29 September 2009

    Mackenzie Country folk know how lucky they are. I know this because they told me. Repeatedly.

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  • Cycling through Hagley Park Christchurch

    An Atmosphere of the Marvellous: Christchurch City Bike Tour

    By Amelia Norman
    Tuesday, 29 September 2009

    Sometimes in life, there are things that we just don’t see – even when they’re right in front of us. Take Stephanie Fitts, owner of Christchurch Bike Tours. Her thing was a tree, on the day she learnt to ride a bike.

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  •  © Tourism Northern West Coast

    Stop for Something Different at Punakaiki

    By Amelia Norman
    Tuesday, 29 September 2009

    “Now there’s something you don’t see every day,” says Brian, our bus driver. “A traffic light.”

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  •  Panorama Restaurant, Hermitage Hotel - Aoraki Mt Cook New Zealand

    A Fairytale Feast

    By Amelia Norman
    Monday, 28 September 2009

    I don’t know if Cinderella ever ate pineapple Carpaccio or if Snow White sipped on Sauvignon Blanc, but as I nestle into the fairytale surroundings of the Panorama Restaurant in Aoraki Mount Cook Village, neither princess is far from my mind.

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  •  Otira, Arthur'a Pass, West Coast  © Tourism West Coast

    There's History in Them Thar Hills

    By Amelia Norman
    Sunday, 27 September 2009

    Stagecoaches and gold trains, milestones and hitching posts: this bus ride is becoming more and more like a chapter from a wild western.

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  •  Air New Zealand Plane at Christchurch Airport  © © eliduke via Flickr

    A Carbon Neutral Airport Company?

    By Amelia Norman
    Thursday, 17 September 2009

    Christchurch International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has become the first airport company in the southern hemisphere to achieve carbon neutral certification.

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  •  The Christchurch Tram.  © PhotoNewZealand

    Christchurch Past

    By Amelia Norman
    Thursday, 17 September 2009

    I awake to the sound of wind thundering down the chimney. Dwarfed in the timber-framed bed, I lie still and watch shadowy witch-fingered tree branches dancing behind the drapes. The digital clock glows midnight.

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  •  Our Wilderness Base Jumper motorhome near Erewhon Station, Canterbury.  © Amelia Norman

    Talking About the Weather: A Week in a Wilderness Motorhome

    By Amelia Norman
    Thursday, 17 September 2009

    “Wherever you are, whatever the weather, you'll be sorted in a Base Jumper,” said the Wilderness Motorhomes website. ‘Really?’ I wondered. ‘Even for five days in a bitterly cold South Island autumn?’

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  • Discovering Tasman Glacier

    By Amelia Norman
    Thursday, 17 September 2009

    The Tasman Glacier tastes of nothing. I crunch through a morsel of the 25km long ice river and feel the frozen fragment melting across my tongue. Granules of silt wash across my teeth.

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  •  Dolphins & Unicycles - Christchurch New Zealand

    Dolphins & Unicycles: A Weekend in Christchurch

    By Amelia Norman
    Thursday, 27 August 2009

    There’s only so much spoon-bending a girl can take. On stage, a skinny, mohawked Australian contorts yet another shiny spoon using nothing more than his mind. I have to close my eyes. This can’t be happening.

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  •  Up close and personal – passengers on a Glacier Explorers trip touch blue ice on the base of an iceberg     © Magic Memories

    Exploring a Glacial Life Cycle

    By Amelia Norman
    Monday, 3 August 2009

    Tasman Glacier is dying and I am floating in its cold, milky grey blood.

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  •  The bar inside the Monteith's Brewery, Greymouth, New Zealand.  © Amelia Norman

    The Monteith's Brewery: It's Tradition

    By Amelia Norman
    Friday, 24 July 2009

    Leeanne is pure West Coast Kiwi. Long and lean with pushed-up sleeves, she is self-assured, tough almost. With slender arms she yanks the huge wooden beer tap and pours a glass of Monteith’s Celtic Red in a swift, practiced way.

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  •  Otira, Arthur'a Pass, West Coast  © Tourism West Coast

    Motorcycling in the South Island

    By Karen Goa
    Sunday, 29 July 2007

    ‘Go Bullet go,’ I mutter into my helmet. Perched behind my rider husband I’m doing everything I can think of, short of pedalling, to get us and the motorbike up this steepest stretch of Arthur’s Pass.

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  •  An Orana Wildlife Park tiger leaps between poles for his meal.  © Orana Wildlife Trust

    Close Encounters at Orana Widlife Park

    By Amelia Norman
    Monday, 21 May 2007

    A zebra can run at 60kph and can kill a leopard with a fierce hind-kick: not facts I’m happy about as the zebra I’m watching turns its stripy head and settles its beady gaze on me.

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  •  Home of the Queen of Crime weblog Travel Story

    Home of the 'Queen of Crime'

    By Judith Doyle
    Monday, 29 January 2007

    Ngaio Marsh, Queen of Crime (crime novelists, that is) lived for 77 years in the salubrious Cashmere hills of Christchurch.

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  •  © Heather Hapeta

    Canterbury Cheese

    By Heather Hapeta
    Tuesday, 5 December 2006

    Notwithstanding having a kitchen the size of a yacht galley, I love food. And New Zealand has great food.

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  •  © Heather Hapeta

    Christchurch Boatsheds

    By Heather Hapeta
    Monday, 4 December 2006

    In 1850, swamp covered Christchurch and settlers had to traverse bog to get home after shopping in the market. Those early settlers must have been sorely disillusioned when they first saw the soggy land of their dreams.

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  •  Colin Johnson and his stock at Johnson's Grocery, Christchurch, New Zealand.  © Roy Sinclair

    Johnson's Grocery

    By Roy Sinclair
    Wednesday, 30 August 2006

    Some things just don’t change. Stepping inside Johnson’s Grocery in Christchurch is to delightfully step back in time.

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  •  In the footsteps of Brunner weblog Travel Story

    In the Footprints of Brunner

    By Roy Sinclair
    Sunday, 13 August 2006

    Arnold Valley Road is the route I prefer to follow whenever travelling between Greymouth and Christchurch. A gem, the rural road runs from SH 7 at Stillwater and joins SH 73 at Jacksons.

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  •  Aoraki Balloons, Ashburton District  © Ashburton District Tourism

    Ballooning in Canterbury

    By Heather Hapeta
    Sunday, 30 July 2006

    "When the wind blows in your face, something different is about to happen." Don tells us.

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  •  Driftwood on the Hokitika Beach after the sunset, West Coast  © Tourism West Coast

    Stone Art

    By Roy Sinclair
    Saturday, 29 July 2006

    Tucked behind one of Hokitika’s plush Jade retailers is a small studio displaying curious paintings on stones. In the centre William Steyn has his work bench.

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  •  The view from the new TranzScenic carriages.  © Kiwi Rail

    Charlie & The TranzAlpine

    By Roy Sinclair
    Saturday, 29 July 2006

    Charlie and the TranzAlpine may not have quite the same ring to it as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but having seen the movie and travelled on the train, I am comfortable with the comparison.

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  •  Gore Bay - North Canterbury  © Gemma Dixon

    Living the Hurunui Good Life

    By Karen Goa
    Saturday, 29 July 2006

    Some secrets - like my grandmother’s recipe for chokecherry wine – should never be unleashed on the world. Others are best shared. Here are a few – Peter the butler at Sherwood Lodge. Gore Bay baches and beaches.

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  •  The Christchurch Tram.  © PhotoNewZealand

    Family Fun in Christchurch

    By Heather Hapeta
    Thursday, 27 July 2006

    Family fun in Christchurch is great for both the visitor and local alike. Why? Because Christchurch caters for children with fabulous events in the school holidays and heaps of activities for them during the rest of the year too...

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  •  Public artwork in Blackball, West Coast, New Zealand.  © Amelia Norman

    Blackball

    By Lynn Clayton
    Tuesday, 25 July 2006

    The town of Blackball (pop 370) lies 20 minutes from the West Coast highway. As a child growing up in the South Island, one of my favourite treats were ‘blackball’ sweets or boiled lollies (black and white balls).

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  •  Hiking near Lake Ohau, Twizel, Mt Cook Mackenzie  © Destination Mt Cook Mackenzie

    In Hillary's Steps

    By Roy Sinclair
    Wednesday, 3 May 2006

    No matter how hard we might dream, few of us who love mountains will emulate the adventures of Sir Edmund Hillary and stand on top of the world.

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  •  The Christchurch Tram.  © PhotoNewZealand

    Christchurch Tram

    By Roy Sinclair
    Wednesday, 5 April 2006

    For over a decade the clang of tram bells has become a friendly feature of Christchurch.

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  • Touching an Iceberg

    By Roy Sinclair
    Tuesday, 21 March 2006

    Icebergs make one think of the Titanic sinking, or of those glistening beacons of nature typically found in polar regions. Floating giants – two thirds are underwater – they are as beautiful as they are treacherous.

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  •  Ship Creek weblog Travel Story

    Ship Creek

    By Roy Sinclair
    Tuesday, 21 March 2006

    Wisely, my companion is someone who will seldom pass up an opportunity to fossick along a lonely ocean beach.

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