Posted by Ian
Country: New Zealand
Region: Canterbury
Date: 22nd August 2006
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Location: Fly in from any where. They have an International Airport.

I just wanted to say a few short words of encouragement to anyone who is
thinking of visiting New Zealand. It is amazing, wonderful, beautiful, astounding.
The views are simply spectacular.

We booked our flights on and although they stuffed up our
bookings to begin with a very helpful senior staffer soon put it right and we flew
into Christchurch International Airport as scheduled. We had previously booked
our motel on and also booked a hire car through so
it all flowed very smoothly from touchdown to liedown. The friendly green bus
from EZY car rentals picked us up from the terminal and took us to the nearby
rental house where we collected our late model Nissan sedan for the low cost of
$24 per day (not including insurance).

From there we proceeded immediately to Bealey's Motel on Bealey Avenue just near
the city centre. We went into the city that night and had really good Japanese
food and then went to a Karaoke bar for the remainder of the night.

The next day, somewhat vague after a night of drinking Saki and Soju (Korean
Liquer with a kick like a horse), we visited the Antarctic museum at Christchurch
Airport. It was an interesting place to go with quite a bit of
information and things which you would not usually experience. For example there
was a snow room where the temperature was minus 8 degrees Celsius and then
every 20 minutes they would have a snowstorm which demonstrated how wind
chill brought the room down to minus 40 degrees. At this temperature any
exposed parts of your body actually hurt from the cold. My hands were painful. I
couldn't believe it. Every hour there were rides in the Antarctic All Terrain
(called Hagglunds). My wife wanted to throw up as she was severely alcohol
affected from the night before but our seven year old daughter loved it. I thought
it was a very educational experience for children and quite enjoyable and
informative for interested adults.

As we had started the day early we also had time for a trip to the Air force
museum in the afternoon. I love planes so it was a
real buzz for me to see all of the planes that they have there. There was a plane
from every era, old Biplanes as well as a Skyhawk jetfighter and an Iroquois
Helicopter, a Dakota transport and a Canberra Bomber from WW2. In all they
have about fifteen planes in original condition. Full size and the real thing, not
models! There is also heaps of information about world wars 1 & 2 as well as
uniforms and life size models in uniform.

The people in Christchurch were all very friendly and we all really enjoyed our
short stay there. The exchange rate is favorable and prices are reasonable even
for tourists.

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