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  • Writer's pictureHayley Roberts

2 Weeks in New Zealand’s South Island. Day 16 : Akaroa and Christchurch

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

It was the scenery of New Zealand’s South Island that had us embarking on a two week road trip but it was a wedding that brought us here and today was the day! To make the most of every sight seeing opportunity we got up super early and headed to Akaroa, about 1.5 hours south east of Christchurch. It’d been suggested that we drive the scenic Summit Road but be warned that its windiness was a great cause of stress for my mother and the views not much better than the main road. Do beware of the motorbike riders who don’t seem to value life as highly as the rest of us! Akaroa is a pretty French themed harbour town with a fascinating history (the locals will be quite happy to tell you all about it) and of the many places we visited in New Zealand Akaraoa was the one I’d heard hyped the most. After everything else we’d seen on our trip I was surprised to find it all a little underwhelming although the souvenir shops were interesting and there’s plenty of wildlife tours to do if you have the time.

The rest of our day was devoted to wedding preparations but if you have the afternoon free visit the Cardboard Cathedral and Earthquake Memorial followed by a guided tram tour of the fascinating earthquake ruined city centre.

We were excited that the wedding was to be held at the top of the Christchurch Gondola. If you fancy a wedding with a view then there’s no better than this and it was great to have after hours access to the views after the tourists had all gone home. We will, however, not speak about the party guest who was left dangling in the gondola after the staff forgot about her.

A night of drinking and dancing marked the end of our trip which brings my New Zealand travel blog to a close. After dreaming of visiting New Zealand for so long we learnt that our dreams weren’t big enough to contain the majesty that is New Zealand’s South Island. It exceeded every one of our expectations with its relentless beauty and the welcoming locals. I hope you’re inspired to make it there yourself one day, just be sure to invite me. 🙂

We stopped at: Akaroa, Christchurch Gondola (and because we has one extra morning the Cardboard Cathedral and Earthquake Memorial and the Christchurch Tramway)

Distance: Christchurch to Akaroa is approximately 1 hour 20 minutes drive

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