I’ve always wanted to go to New Zealand for a day and the photo scavenger hunt was a perfect excuse.

Yesterday afternoon Howie and I headed off to the airport for our shortest holiday ever. We ate Maccas for dinner and had masses of fun on the plane.

At Maccas

Having masses of fun on the plane

We arrived in Christchurch just after midnight and were welcomed by perplexed and amused customs officers who thought the idea of turning up just to take a photo is as silly as it actually is.

“Major Tom to Ground Control”

We rang for a shuttle and got a pick up from the friendliest shuttle driver I’ve ever had. He seemed most impressed by, well, anything really. He dropped us off at our motel room and told us how to use the wifi. We thanked him and went to bed.

This morning I had a Skype meeting for Soul in the Bush, just the sort of thing international travellers do I guess. Have meetings.

Once that was done. Howie and I headed off to the city.

The city is very quiet. The whole centre of the city is fenced off and called the red zone. I found this particularly exciting. Kinda like a zombie movie. In fact, the whole of that area is deserted. There are shops with their posters from the day of the earthquake still in them. We saw one shop still fully stocked. It was very apocalyptic.

Red zone

Outside the red zone, the city is working at bringing life back. There is a shopping precinct in brightly coloured shipping containers, and buskers and flowers everywhere. But there aren’t heaps of people around. It’s sad. But also inspiring to see a city working to recover from something so devastating.

After spending a while taking photos, and also taking the photo, we wandered back towards home through the park, towards Westfield.

No trip overseas is complete without doing some things you could easily do at home. So Howie and I went to Rickarton Westfield and watched 21 Jump Street at Hoyts. It was pretty funny in case you’re wondering.

The movie tired us out, so we did some shopping at Pack n Save then caught the bus back to our hotel. Back here we’ve photographed sunsets, edited photos, eaten dinner, watched some TV. And now it’s time for bed because we have a 4am wake up for the flight. Yippah!

All in all, the perfect day trip to another country. So perfect we could be European.

The only thing I’m sad about is that we missed seeing the really deserted part of town. The lady who delivered our dinner told us the other side of the city is completely empty. While that’s sad, I do love deserted cities.

Oh well. Next time.