Well, I must say, when choosing your first city to visit while in New Zealand, you really cannot go wrong. Every city is stunning, perfectly charming and feels like a home away from home.
With that said, let me introduce you to the beautiful Akaroa, our first stop on our on New Zealand adventure. About one and a half’s hour drive from Christchurch, Akaroa is just oozing charm from every corner. From the fudge shops, to delicious brasseries, you can start your morning off in Akaroa in total gluttony and then work off those calories on an intense hike through the outer bays.
There are many options of places to dine in Akaroa, but we chose to eat at the Brasserie Kitchen to take advantage of their outdoor seating and the beautiful, warm weather. The food was absolutely delicious and sitting in the warm sun, with peaceful music playing in the background, surrounded by flowers in bloom, well, you just cannot beat it.
TRAVEL TIP: Everything in New Zealand is very expensive, so choosing where you will enjoy your meals is crucial. No need to spend money on mediocre and expensive food with no ambiance, right? Also, New Zealanders LOVE their sauces, so if you are like me, and not totally in love with your food being covered in sauces, always ask for them on the side, or else your food will be flooding with extras!
After lunch, we decided to hike up into the surrounding terrain and explore the different view points of Akaroa. After a quick stop at the local information center to grab a map, we chose the 3 hour Children’s Bay Farm walk (#5 in yellow on the map). We chose to do this particular walk because the brochure highlighted that we would see giraffes and rhinos. Confused, we laughed and eagerly awaited our encounters!
Hiking, eating and enjoying the ambiance of Akaroa was a perfect way to start off our time in New Zealand. After an evening spent in Christchurch, which was officially our first stop on our journey, it was nice to arrive in a city with people. Unfortunately, after the 2011 earthquake that decimated much of Christchurch, the aftermath has left the city a ghost town with an eery and empty vibe. I look forward to visiting Christchurch again in five or so years once the city has had more time to recover. With that said, the amount of earthquakes in the news as of late has really shaken my heart and seeing Christchurch’s struggles with rebuilding reminds me of all those affected by the earthquakes in Nepal. If you are interested in donating to the relief fund, this site, a compilation of different funds in which you can donate to, was recommended to me by a good friend who spent time in Nepal.
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