World Cruise - Arcadia Jan-Apr 2010 travel blog

The lovely old trams of Christchurch

Christchurch's Cathedral Square

Sail in to Lyttelton from deck 3 - early morning

Beautful scenery of New Zealand - Lyttelton

Port of Lyttelton

River Avon in Christchurch

Cathedral Square - old trams of Christchurch


Christchurch became New Zealand’s first city by Royal Charter in July 1856, and its Cultural Precinct is the finest in the Southern Hemisphere. Over 150 years ago, the city’s visionary founders planned a unique cultural heart for the province of Canterbury.

Today, Christchurch is a cosmopolitan city with an ocean-to-alps vista and big backyard – from lush vineyards to world-class wildlife and national parks. (Official Visitor Guide 2010)

So, the much awaited day ashore in Lyttelton (for Christchurch) got off to a frustrating start with the world’s longest crew drill, and the Bridge team obviously deciding that today was the best day for the medical team to practice relocating to our secondary medical centre (actually a cupboard that we are expected to work out of – casualties and all – in the event of an emergency.) You can imagine my joy.

We also managed to lose our stretcher party, who, when faced with simulated smoke near the medical centre, ran far, far away, rather than relocating to the secondary medical centre 2 decks up in a different fire zone. Ace. They did eventually return, which they seemed to want credit for, but unluckily for them not so much applause as yelling. I mean seriously? Anyway, they have been shown the error of their ways.

Anyway, Ruth and I eventually got off the ship about 12pm, and headed into Lyttelton on the free shuttle bus that runs from the ship. Lyttelton is a very sleepy hippie type town, and although we did have a little look around, we decided then to go straight into Christchurch. Where we dock in Lyttelton is very picturesque, it’s what I regard as ‘typical New Zealand’, and a lovely change to many of the European and American ports we dock in.

I had been up on deck before morning clinic to take some pictures as the dawn lifted, and enjoyed a quiet few minutes on open deck looking at the beautiful scenery.

Christchurch is not a large city by UK standards, so we managed to have a good look around in our limited time. We caught one of the lovely antique trams that runs in a loop around the city, and got a feel for the layout of the place. The central area is Cathedral Square, that houses (unsurprisingly) Christchurch Cathedral ,which is a lovely building, as well as a very big visitor centre and many shops, open market, cafes etc.

The tram only took 25 mins, so we went all the way around before eventually finding a nice looking Italian restaurant for a leisurely lunch! The food was excellent, and we also enjoyed a very good bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc whilst putting the world to rights and people watching...an excellent way to spend a day ashore!



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