Travel Writing

TripAdvisor review: Canterbury Museum, Christchurch NZ

This museum is very interesting. The exhibits are quite informative, and so you’re bound to learn something new. It’s a great place for families and kids, as there’s plenty to see- natural history, cultural history, artifacts from contemporary life. It’s great value for a free day out. The museum is quite respectful and objective when depicting New Zealand’s past and I was really pleased to see such cultural sensitivity. The cafe at the top is always busy and the grounds are quite lovely. 

Gap Cache Log Book

If you walk down the lane, you find a small park. The park that is filled with subversive art installations. There are murals on the wall, planted natives for the future, a giant kaleidoscope… Christchurch is has hidden quirks. 
There is a tree-stump about shin height. I looled down and found this small door. 

I opened it.

Inside I discovered a Gap Cache Log Book. It recorded entries from people who chanced upon the logbook, as I did. 

Christchurch after the quakes is a place full of human strength and resilience. There are signs of life, if you choose to pay attention.

TripAdvisor review: Avon River, Christchurch NZ

The Avon River in Christchurch is an autumnal masterpiece. The weeping willows dance across the surface of the river, gently tousled by the breeze. This taste of England runs through the city, ducking under bridges in the CBD and skirting around parkland. It’s refreshing to have such a beautiful element of nature trickle through a city so badly effected by earthquakes. 

There’s punting on the Avon, a popular tourist attraction. However I was content to just follow it- from the Canterbury Museum around even to the restart mall. The council has made a lovely feature of it, providing spaces to sit with quotes and memorials. Peppered with yellow confetti-like autumn leaves, this river is not to be missed in Christchurch. 

TripAdvisor review: The Elizabeth Hotel, Singapore

The Elizabeth Hotel suited our needs. It was a short walk to Orchard road, but not right in the hustle and bustle, which provided us with a little oasis. The staff were very welcoming and hospitable. They helped us understand the city and organise tours and activities. 
The facilities are great, the pool is lovely, the gym is good enough and the buffet breakfast is exciting and delicious. In fact, the restaurant is a highlight as the windows offer a beautiful view.
 Our rooms were satisfactory (beds a little hard though). One thing we did appreciate was that the hotel supplied a mobile phone for personal use, local and international calls, and Internet which is super handy when trying to navigate the city. 

I would definitely go back to The Elizabeth.

TripAdvisor review: Conical Hill, Hanmer Springs NZ

This view is breathtaking. It can be hiked in about an hour round trip, but we took it as a leisurely stroll for an wonderful afternoon. The first hundred meters or so are quite steep, but after that it switchbacks until the top, so it’s a reasonable hike for anyone of any age. There are cute little (poisionous) red and white spotted toadstools, and the pine forest is alive with tiny birds. There’s a picnic table at the top.The view from the top is spectacular. It’s 360 degree views of the Canterbury plains and we saw them in their autumnal glory- reds, ambers, yellows. 

The air is crisp and the trees whisper through the silence. This walk is a wonderful short break from reality, a chance to get back to nature.

TripAdvisor review: PJ’s Chalet,  Hanmer Springs NZ

This small burger and fish & chips hut is a dine-at for all travelers through Hanmer Springs. The prices are great value for hungry hikers, and they serve hordes of youth and families. 
The chicken burger is as big as your whole extended hand and is truly a satisfying feed with bacon, cranberry, cheese, salad and a schnitty. It’s excellent value for money and really hits the spot after some hard physical bushwalking up in the hills. 

It seems like a family-run business. I was served by a father/son power team and the dad was so kind, accommodating and hospitable to the customers.
Totally  recommend this for burgers and chips.