New Zealand | Christchurch Part II


new zealand, south island, lytlleton harbour, rainbowLyttleton Harbourfront.Due to my 7+ month hiatus from writing (and the fact that I was somewhat behind to begin with), I’m writing about our second New Zealand campervan adventure more than a year after it ended. So my memory is a little fuzzy. Luckily, I took scrupulous notes each day of our journey detailing what we did, where we hiked and camped (including GPS coordinates), what we ate (and, importantly, what kind of wine we drank), and general highlights/anecdotes.These notes have been particularly helpful because there’s no way I would have remembered everything. Some of them are pretty funny — perhaps due to the aforementioned wine consumed.christchurch, new zealand, south island, street artChristchurch.After our getting-stuck-in-the-mud-and-backing-into-a-tree debacle, we attempted to locate a freedom camping spot somewhat close to Christchurch since we were due to return our campervan (cleaned, refilled, etc.) the next day. Unfortunately, the first site we selected was too muddy due to a steady downpour that seemed to have followed us from Lake Tekapo. Here’s what my notes say:

Drove to Winchester Bridge Reserve freedom camping spot; decided it was too muddy; the day was ruined.Continued on to Lyttleton Harbourfront freedom camping spot. Drank wine. Decided this vacation is the worst one we’ve been on, together and independently.Made up. Decided this is the best vacation we’ve been on, and that we will love each other forever!

Was it the weather and stress of the previous several hours of getting stuck in the mud, hitting a tree, and trying and failing to find a decent freedom camping spot? Or was it the wine talking? I think probably both. Needless to stay, the journey Lyttleton Harbour became our new Oamaru-to-Timaru.We spent the next morning cleaning and packing up before setting off for a final dump/refill stop and, finally, bidding farewell to our beloved campervan. We still had two nights to spend in Christchurch before departing New Zealand for the final leg of our R&R in Australia.christchurch, new zealand, south island, the last word, hot toddie, new regent streetHot Toddie at The Last Word, a whisky bar on New Regent Street.In Christchurch, we stayed in a hotel closer to downtown so we could explore the city more easily on foot. Our hotel was kitty corner to New Regent Street, a cute pedestrian area of restaurants and bars.We explored some of the same sites as we did on our previous visit to Christchurch: the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Re:START container mall, Christchurch Cathedral. The weather was much more pleasant this time around so we spent more time walking and sitting outside at coffee shops and restaurants. Weirdly, we ate multiple (delicious) Mexican food meals.One “new” thing we did was work out at a Les Mills gym. Les Mills, for those of you who don’t know, is an international brand of group fitness classes and gyms founded in New Zealand. I was pretty excited to do Body Pump! I made Kail take a picture of me in an empty exercise studio before anyone came in.christchurch, new zealand, les mills, body pumpI’m awkward.Mexican food and a good workout: We ended the New Zealand portion of our monthlong R&R on a high note. In case you missed them, here are all the posts from our 2016 South Island campervan adventure:

See more photos from New Zealand.The Details: Lyttleton Harbourfront Freedom CampingGPS Coordinates: -43.611185, 172.705820Google Map:

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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