2011 February 11 – Day 37 – Lyttleton (Christchurch), New Zealand.

Lyttleton is the port city that serves cruise traffic stopping in Christchurch.  It only takes about 20 minutes to drive from one place to another.  Christchurch had received damage from a quake at Canterbury on Sept. 4, 2010.  The quake measured 7.1 and there were still aftershocks in 2016 – over 17,600 reported.  Eleven days after our visit in 2011 a 6.3 shallow earthquake with the epicenter in Lyttleton killed 185 people, injured several thousand, and did much damage to buildings not yet repaired from the 2010 quake, plus many others.

Our bus driver pointed out several of the buildings that had been damaged in 2010.

This church was undergoing repair from the 2010 quake and was virtually destroyed in the 2011 one.  The blank lot in the other photo is from where another building was too damaged in 2010 to repair and was removed completely.Obviously there is some parental disagreement going on here.

We stopped for a walk-about at the beautiful Mona Vale Garden.
 My rose-loving sister would have loved this rose garden. I am sure this beautifully sculpted yard has full-time staff.

Then it was back on the bus for an hour’s drive towards Arthur’s Pass and the Torelesse Range of the Southern Alps. Lunch stop was at Flock Hill Lodge and Restaurant.  They had some lovely flowers and a beautiful view of the mountains in the distance. Flock Hill Station is a 35,000 acre sheep ranch.  They run one sheep for every 5 acres.   At the station we left our regular buses behind and transfered into all-terrain buses for the ride through the Torelesse Range from east to west.  It took about an hour and a half and the wide-open scenery was fabulous. We were out in the middle of nowhere so bathroom facilities were provided en route. On the western side of the range we stopped beside the green glacier-fed Waimak River.

 We were the second group to ride the jet-boat down the river.  The boat had two 4.5 liter V-8 Nissan engines that produced 600 horsepower.  It took 13 minutes to travel 15 km. The boat owner’s young dog was learning the ropes and was an excellent passenger at the back of the jet boat. The regular buses picked us up at the drop-off point and took us an hour’s drive back to Lyttleton; just in time for dinner.

What a fabulous day that was!  So very much fun!

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