26/11/12 - Christchurch
So, the coolest thing about this city is the hostel we're staying in. It's a historic jail, built in the 1800's, and only closed in 1999. Our room is a tiny cell, with a bunk bed and a tiny window. There is no heating, so it's absolutely freezing at night. (NZ = COLD. Way colder than Sydney on a cloudy day). But they give you an extra quilt and offer you a free hot water bottle, which is cute! A few cells have remained the same to create a sort of mini-museum, along with artefacts and paper clippings from over the years. There's a really unsettling one about a breakout that occurred, where all the officers were beaten unconscious. My favourite part is a cell containing a prisoner's artwork on the walls. It gives a chilling insight into the mind of a prisoner - one of which was one of the last inmates of 1999.
Yeah so not much to say about Christchurch at all. The city is still in the process of picking up the pieces from the 2011 earthquake - there's still a cordon in the centre. But unless you have a car, to drive to the outskirts and the lovely scenery, (which we don't) there's not a lot to see or do at all. So we've just recharged our batteries, and booked our coach up to Kaikoura.
I feel the same about NZ as I did at first about Australia - not overly impressed, but there's no way I can judge the whole country from this one city.