Posted by: The Travelling Mallorys | January 17, 2011

Hello Christchurch, New Zealand

After having to get up at 3am to get our flight from Melbourne to Adelaide, we treated ourselves to a lie-in for our flights to New Zealand and didn’t have to be out of bed until 5am.

Auntie Chris said she didn’t mind giving us a lift to the airport as the dogs and puppies would have her awake every hour or so based on recent days. In the event, it was the first night they slept all the way through so I had to go and wake her up! Sorry about that Auntie Chris.

We got to the airport in plenty of time and found our flight was delayed by an hour, but for the first time ever we were happy to be delayed. Why? Well, we were flying back into Melbourne, Australia and then onto Christchurch, New Zealand from there but in order to keep the flights as cheap as possible we had a full day waiting at Melbourne so any delay on the first flight meant less time hanging around there.

It did mean hanging around at Adelaide though, but I had a Burger King (they call it Hungry Jacks in Australia, but I was pleased to see in NZ normal naming is resumed) breakfast and all was well with the world.

We got to Melbourne and our luggage came of the carousel last. Still no worries as we weren’t in a rush! After an explore of the airport we found a seat, bought a newspaper and tried our hardest not to spend all our money!

The flight to Christchurch was pretty busy as one had been cancelled earlier in the day. When we arrived we found out why, but more on that later.

Cathedral Square in Christchurch

Cathedral Square in Christchurch


Once we got there we went as quickly as we could to passport control because it was getting close to midnight at this stage and the people we were staying with were waiting for us. More on them later too! 

After waiting an age to get through passport control (and making it thanks to Jo’s tip about being able to prove you had a ticket out of NZ, even though we actually just showed them an itinerary from a travel agent quote we got) we got our bags and then had to do this stupid thing all the airports in Australia and New Zealand make you do where you have to tell them if you have any food and then x-ray your bag and make you empty it out and then  either confiscate stuff, fine you if there is stuff in there you didn’t declare, or in our case make you go out the back into an area marked ‘customs staff only’ and make you clean your boots! That was where I found out why the earlier plane had been cancelled – they had another earthquake that morning. Apparently it’s still aftershocks from the boxing day quake, but it’s yet another natural disaster for us to contend with!

After all that we got through the gates about 12.30am and saw a sign saying ‘Erin and Gavin Mallory – Welcome to Christchurch!’. It was our host family Chris and Judy who had very kindly come to meet us from the airport.

Chris and Judy live on the outskirts of Christchurch and rent their spare rooms out to foreign students and travelling folk like us. We hadn’t ever done anything like this before so we weren’t sure what to expect, but we were well chuffed!

Erin on the doorstep

Erin on the doorstep


Judy and Chris are both lovely, and the house isn’t clean – it’s immaculate! A really nice place to stay and it’s just a quick bus ride into town which is nice. I think we prefer that to actually staying in the centre of everything.

Christchurch is well good. Right up there with my best places we’ve been so far, although that might have something to with the Monteith’s $5 pint happy hour at the pub really close to where we’re staying. I have tried all but one of their ales and they are all good. Why go anywhere else?

Well, we did go somewhere else for you didn’t we?

Yes we did my darling wife. We also went to The Twisted Hop in town which put a pint-sized smile on my face.

Me at the Twisted Hop in Christchurch

Gavin at the Twisted Hop in Christchurch

We’ve done some more cool stuff too like go to The Canterbury Museum which included a replica of Myrtle and Fred’s Paua House and an Antarctic section where you can ride a skidoo.

On a skidoo, indoors, not looking where I'm going!

On a skidoo, indoors, not looking where I'm going!

We also went to a free concert in the Botanical Gardens which was nice and we had a good look around the art gallery and the contemporary art gallery.

We still have another week here which we’re going to use to go to the beach, visit some more places of interest and relax so expect more Christchurch news soon.




  1. Hey Gavin and Erin,

    New Zealand was one of our favorite countries so hopefully you’ll enjoy it. Our memories of Christchurch were one of survival after we ended up ‘couch surfing’ with some possible axe murderer! We were there in winter so got some great deals, ended up traveling around in a ‘Spaceship’ for five weeks.

    We went a bit crazy with the budget in New Zealand as it was towards the end of our trip and we’d been living on a shoestring for 12 months by then. We went swimming with dolphins in Kaikoura. Visited an amazing Observatory at the amazing Lake Tekapo and had perfectly clear skies!

    If you like outdoor activities then you MUST head to Queenstown. I never thought I would but I did a bungy jump & skydive there and haven’t stopped talking about it since. The views from 15,000ft over Queenstown are amazing!

    Another good place to visit if you have time is Milford Sound.

    Very beautiful. We splashed out on a log cabin for the night and did not regret it. 8′ x 10′ window looking out over the river and mountains.

    Sorry to go on, just brings back so many good memories! Anyway, hope you have half as much fun as we did there. Look forward to the next post.

    Safe Travels!

    Matt Vermeer

    • Cheers Matt. I was looking at your blog the other day to see what you got up to here. There are so many cool places to visit! Certainly loving everything so far.

      Hope all is well with you.

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