Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier

Christchurch suffers a major earthquake in 2011. Empty lots and signs of destruction are still everywhere.

Shakin’ all over

We visit Quake City, an informative exhibit about the quake and its aftermath. A worthy initiative – appropriately named ‘Gap Filler‘ – is to deliberately not leave vacant lots empty.

Everyone loves the Dance-O-Mat

We enjoy this garden made of pool noodles.

Tube-y or not tube-y…

In the Christchurch Art Gallery, we find this whimsical installation by Bill Culbert.


On our way out of town, we stop at the International Antarctic Centre.

On the right track

You can pet the dogs at the IAC. We arrive just as their wrangler brings buckets of ice. Which the dogs immediately love to lie on to refresh themselves.

Ice is nice

Across the street is the US Antarctic base supplier. Christchurch is a major point for shipping stuff down there.

You can see several ski-equipped C-130 Hercules aircraft used to do the heavy lifting.

The labours of Hercules

We drive to the other side of the island over Arthur’s Pass.

Eastern Canterbury Ranges

Along the way are attention-demanding roads and spectacular scenery, including waterfalls. These falls are sluiced over the roadway.

Streaming live…

We spend the night enjoying the mountains around Jackson’s Retreat, just past Arthur’s Pass.

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Planning our route

The next day, we carry on to the Franz Josef Glacier.

Sight or Insight of the Day –

At Jackson’s Retreat, we are visited by troops of boldly curious wekas casually strolling around the campground.

Franz Josef Glacier
Weka – also known as the ‘tourist kiwi’

We are told that one reason wekas are doing better than kiwis and other ground-dwelling NZ birds is because they are much more aggressive than these other birds in defense of their eggs, their young, and themselves. Good for you, wekas!