Hokitika, Arthurs Pass & Christchurch

January 20, 2016

HELLLLLO! Hope everyone is doing well! In case you missed the last post, I decided to separate the road trip into sections and post a few photos at at a time instead of dumping them all on you at once. Hmm.. Let’s see, so after the Fox and Franz Joseph Glacier, Brittany and I continued heading North along the West Coast of the South Island. The rain started to lighten up as we hit a little town called Hokitika. This was a little laid back town by the sea that had kind of a hippie vibe. It was really small and here we tried the famous “white bait” sandwich that we kept reading about. We were a little apprehensive about the cost as it was $12.50 for one sandwich, but, when in Rome.. so we ordered it and took a seat with our coffee. As we watched the sleepy town pass by we suddenly were greeted with our breakfast. I wasn’t sure what to expect but as I looked down, to our surprise was two pieces of regular bread with what looked like thin egg omelet inside. No sauce, nothing. Upon inspecting the egg searching for the white bait part we noticed a thing white spirally thing cooked inside the omelet. I guess this was the white bait portion? We took a bite and looked at each other thinking “what the hell?” It was extremely anticlimactic! Haha So we got some Sriracha sauce from the car and tried to flavor it up a little! Oh well, we tried!

After the tasteless sandwich we went to check out the little town. It had a unique feeling about it, It was small and most places were independently owned shops with handmade signs outisde. There were a lot of green stone jewelry stores. In New Zealand, it’s custom to wear a green stone around your neck or to have it in your pocket during the day. There is a catch, you’re not allowed to buy it for yourself, they must be a gift! Andy got me one as a present before I left which I still have around my neck. I love it. Brittany also received one from a friend and wanted to turn it into a necklace. We stopped in a store to ask a woman if she could help. She told us she couldn’t and told us where to go down the road. Of course, in Kiwi fashion, she then spoke to us for a good 15 minutes asking about our travels and sharing hers with us. She was really interested and engaging even though she knew we weren’t going to buy anything. After our chat with her, we set out to find the other store to make Brittany’s necklace. When we found the place the guy told Brit that he could help but that she had to drill the hole in the stone herself! I think it was a traditional gesture because he was the kindest old man. He set up all the tools and then let Brittney drill away! Luckily she didn’t mess up and left with the stone around her neck as a necklace. The guy had a really calming characteristic around him. We said that he reminded us of an old Morgan Freeman! Hah! Afterwards, we checked out the beach before continuing onward.

After Hokitika, we cut inland away from the West Coast heading East. We crossed over Arthurs Pass which is supposed to have great hikes. When we got there it was raining buckets again and upon seeing that Christchurch was a quick drive away, we continued onwards and skipped it all together. We kept forgetting how small New Zealand is.. I think we got to Christchurch in 4 days when we anticipated 7 or 8! We drove from the West Coast to the East in mere hours. We stopped a couple places on the way once the rain subdued. We found this epic campsite tucked deep into the valley and said one day we would throw a huge party there! Not sure if that will actually happen, but the idea was nice. We also did a little hike around these caves and saw people all decked out going into and coming out of the cave itself. After the few pit stops we headed our way to Christchurch.

Christchurch is the biggest city in the South Island. On February 22, 2011 it was struck with a devastating earthquake. The entire downtown CBD area was hit and it is still being rebuilt to this date. It’s shocking to see the extensive damage that you can still see 5 years later. Furthermore, I can’t imagine having this happen to the city I grew up in. In a matter of minutes, most of the buildings are either destroyed or damaged to a point where it’s unsafe for people to return. I saw many sites where old buildings were still standing yet no one allowed inside. I assume they will get around to knocking them down and rebuilding them in time. What was really impressive about this city was how I perceived the peoples reactions to such a hard time. The city center is filled with different artwork and colorful additions to brighten up the town. I like how the city turned it into something beautiful and didn’t just roll over and give up. I respect that.

In Christchurch, we met up Poppy, an old Coronet Peak workmate. Poppy grew up there so she took us on a little tour of the city! It was nice to hear stories from someone who actually grew up there and experienced the entire ordeal. Her passion (and just her overall amazing, bubbly personality) helped me see Christchurch from a different angle. I am really thankful for that and just in general her being in my life, she’s awesome! Reuniting with old friends didn’t just stop with Poppy, we stayed with a handful of old friends from Queenstown who have since moved to Christchurch! It was a GREAT reunion and even though they had a bed for us, we fell asleep watching TV on the couch every night. There is something special about falling asleep watching TV with your mates because neither one of you want to go to bed and end the day! Special thanks to Lloyd, Dan, Chiara and Sammy for the hospitality! It was a nice three nights to regroup before returning back to tent life! I also met up with Bex, who I met my last time I was in Christchurch! Talk about back to back reunions!

After Christchurch is was up the East Coast of the South Island.. but lets save that for another time. wink emoticon

Previous Posts of the New Zealand Road Trip:

Fox and Franz Joseph Glacier:


She didn’t know I had my camera on a self timer and was gonna jump in the frame!


Brit sitting waiting for me to come with a coupe beers! 🙂


Serenity on the West Coast


The clouds on the West Coat before we arrived to Hokitika.


Arthur’s Pass


This is I believe at the campsite we found where we will throw our future hypothetical party!


Botanical Gardens in Christchurch


I liked this little arch of flowers in Christchurch Botanical Gardens


Botanical Gardens Christchurch




Here is one of the famous churches that was hit by the earthquake.


Here is where you can start to see the artwork seen throughout Christchurch!


Street Art


Art in Christchurch – I don’t think you are allowed in any of those three buildings in the frame, I could be mistaken though.




Random Pot Garden in Christchurch




Containers were seen throughout the town as well, this was in an effort to preserve parts of old buildings. You can see the face of the building here being held up by the containers.





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