|Volcanic rock formations in Akaroa harbor|
I woke up to find it was a bit too early, and after lazing for a while got dressed to explore the streets of the city. Previous night I tried to connect in to the Wifi network and as I did not succeed, I walked down to the lobby of the hotel to find no one other than a cute Korean girl. She was also struggling to make her own Internet card work. We settled in the sofa and soon were able to successfully log onto the network.
Cold winds and the fresh air filled my lungs as I walked on the deserted streets admiring the old building of
Canterbury Museum and continued further on to a long stretch of
road along the ! Tall trees and
bushes are spread over miles of the park area right in the midst of the city.
No wonder, Hagley
is called as the ‘Garden City’! Christchurch
After returning to the room we got ready for going by bus to Akaroa, which is a tourist destination about 84 km away from Christchurch! Akaroa stands for ’long harbor’ in Maori language. The bus arrived in time and the friendly driver John ushered us into the bus! We were the only passengers traveling so after settling down the driver continued to chat with me as he showed us around the city and the country side. He told me that Richard Hadlee ,the
cricket team fast
bowler of yesteryears was his school mate! New Zealand
|Welcome sight of Hector Dolphins|
We were shown around the multihued rock formations created by volcanic eruptions hundreds of years ago. There are very few places in the world with such biodiversity making the area fit for survival of some of the most unique creatures like ‘Hector Dolphins’( smallest in the world measuring just about 3feet !) There are just a few thousand of these left. The skipper of the boat narrated the story of French settlers, the Maori tribes and their unique customs as the boat moved along. After half an hour the boat slowed down as the small dog which was also in the boat excitedly started to bark! It seems the dogs can smell the presence of Hector Dolphins and lo and behold, they came in small swarms and danced in the air and enthralled us with leaps in air!! It was like a group of excited school children giggling aloud as they played! Swimming with the dolphins is very popular during the summer months.
We next moved to see a colony of seals which were very tiny and were scampering over the rocks! Small seals and blue penguins inhabit the land masses along sea shore that hide in the holes created by hot gases from the lava thousands of years ago.
We were rewarded in more than one ways including a treat of home baked chocolate cookies offered by our hosts as we sailed back into the harbor! The Akaroa harbor has Salmon fish farm too! The boat trip lasted a little more than two hours through one of the most pristine and un spoilt waters!
A short wait in the nearby library and the bus arrived to take us back to
On arriving back in the city we were greeted with rains! How lucky, that it did
not rain during the day! Christchurch
PS- This is the second post on the recent trip to
New Zealand to
share some exciting moments with all the lovely readers. One more post on some
more moments of exhilaration would follow before bringing down the curtain.
Seagulls as companions to eat in Akaroa harbor