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Day 8 : Saturday 12th March 2005

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Further away from home than ever before!

We rose at about 8am and readied ourselves for our flight to Christchurch in New Zealand, my first ever visit to that country and the furthest away from home I had ever been! Well, you can't get much further away!

We checked out at about 9:30am and headed straight for the airport, where we checked in for our Qantas flight at the Business class counter, thanks to my BA Silver status.

QF185 Sydney Kingsford Smith Intl (SYD) - Christchurch Intl (CHC)

We got a taxi from the airport into our hotel, the Holiday Inn on Avon. We dumped our bags and then headed straight out, keen to see as much of Christchurch as possible before the sun set. It was immediately obvious, and not that surprising, that it was much cooler in New Zealand than in Sydney. We began to feel rather chilly fairly quickly after we set out!

Our hotel was positioned on the river Avon and we walked along the river to get into town. The river is really no more than a very gentle stream, but the setting is beautiful with willow and oak trees lining the route.

We walked into Cathedral Square but the light soon faded, so after some quick photos, we headed firstly to an internet cafe to check emails, then to a pub for a beer and lastly to the "Strip", a row of a dozen or so restaurants on Oxford Terrace near the river, although the other side of the city from our hotel (which was also on Oxford Terrace near the river!) Confusing! Dinner was a meat lover's pizza, which was of course too big to finish .

Initial stroll in Christchurch