Christchurch & Akaroa – ideas for free time

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Christchurch city is undergoing ongoing repairs following the earthquake but it’s worth taking time to have a stroll around to soak up a touch of its resilience and enduring culture. Between the building work you will find a plethora of charming cafés, scenic riverside walks, lively street entertainers and interesting art galleries. Christchurch Botanical Gardens provide a peaceful haven, with a wonderful range of colourful displays throughout spring and summer, and an autumnal glow later in the year. The beach suburbs of Sumner and New Brighton also have a vibrant café culture and offer lovely walks along the long stretches of sand. You can also take a surfing lesson or go for swim if it’s warm enough.

In Akaroa we would highly recommend taking a scenic cruise or a wildlife watching trip but there are also some great walking tracks through the surrounding hills, often with good vantage points over the bay. The Akaroa Museum is small but an interesting place to learn about the history of the peninsula and to see local artwork and artefacts. The Peninsula is also home to a number of boutique food and wine producers and it’s possible to find some real culinary delights both in Akaroa and in other nearby bays such as Robinson’s Bay Olive Oil, Barry’s Bay Cheese, Akaroa Winery and the Sweet As Bakery, also in Akaroa.

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