I’ve finally gotten around to editing some of the pictures from my Easter journey down to Christchurch and Akaroa. It was so strange to be back after nearly seven years. I really can’t believe it has been that long since I studied abroad in Christchurch, but at the same time it feels like another lifetime.
My flight from Wellington left after nightfall and the view of the city lights as we took off over the harbor was amazing. I wish I had been able to capture it on my camera. I got into Christchurch pretty late and went to bed as soon as I got to my hostel, since my bus to Akaroa was leaving early the next morning.
On Thursday, I awoke to a gorgeous morning and set out towards New Regent Street, where the InterCity bus departs from.
This historic street is by far one of my favorites. It shines like a colorful beacon amidst the rubble and scaffolding that seem to overwhelm the rest of Christchurch.
Luckily, I was early for the bus, so I had plenty of time to take pictures. Once the bus arrived, we made a couple more stops before heading out of the city and towards Banks Peninsula, the volcanic arm sticking out from Christchurch that shelters the little French village of Akaroa.
Akaroa is in the innermost part of that big blue harbor on the bottom right. Christchurch is to the top left.
The road to Akaroa wound up and over the hills until the driver let us off for a break at the Hilltop Tavern, a historic stopping over point with an outstanding view.
All downhill from there! We arrived in Akaroa just before noon and I headed to my quaint little hostel situated on the town’s main street. I had booked a dolphin cruise for 3:15 but had more than enough time to do some exploring first.
Akaroa was settled by the French in the 1830s and still holds fast to its heritage. Everything is incredibly charming and the architecture is so beautiful it deserves its own post. I can see why people flock to this little seaside haven from Christchurch and further afield.
I walked along the waterfront, enjoying the sun on what I felt may be one of the last truly warm days before winter.
I passed an area with a cluster of waterfront restaurants, and not surprisingly, a large gathering of seagulls.
Even the gulls look like they’re simply enjoying the view.
With more time to spare before my boat excursion, I continued on along the coast towards Akaroa Lighthouse.
The old structure has been moved from its original location, replaced like most lighthouses have been by an automated beacon.
The views from the lighthouse towards town were wonderful.
I almost lost my lens cap while getting these shots, but luckily it stopped rolling just before going over an embankment. Oops.
I don’t think I could ever get sick of photographing lighthouses.
A few of the trees around Akaroa’s harbor were starting to change colors, and the bright yellow contrasted sharply with the deep blue of the water.
Most of New Zealand’s native trees don’t change colors, so typically only the introduced species put on a show when autumn comes along.
I made my way back towards the wharf with time to spare before my dolphin cruise.
Up next, come along on my aquatic adventure into the harbor and beyond!