Saturday, February 15th
This morning we took a motorcoach to Banks Peninsula and stopped at Akaroa Harbour. On our way we stopped at Little River for a comfort stop.
When we arrived at Akaroa Wharf, we boarded a boat for a harbour cruise.
On our tour we saw the dramatic cliff faces and amazing views.
Fur seals were also spotted laying on the hillside.
We would have to say the highlight of our cruise was seeing the Hector dolphins. Hector dolphins are rare, the smallest of the dolphins, and only found in New Zealand. They are endangered and it is estimated that only about 7,000 are left!
They were following and swimming around us for quite a while and at one point we spotted almost a dozen! Such beautiful creatures.
After our harbour cruise, we had some time to explore the town of Akaroa. We found The Brasserie Kitchen And Bar to have some fresh local food for lunch.
On our drive back to Christchurch we stopped at the Hilltop Lookout along Banks Peninsula and looking out at Akaroa Harbour.
When we reached Christchurch we stopped and visited the Cardboard Cathedral or the Transitional Cathedral which replaces the original church that was damaged heavily in the 2011 earthquake. The Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, did the design and the cathedral opened in 2013. Cardboard tubes were used as well as shipping containers for the walls. It is a beautiful piece of architecture that will withstand any further earthquakes.
We took a walking tour of the city center with our site coordinator.
Our last stop today was walking through the University of Canterbury which was founded in 1873.
A few other sites from our walk.