ANZ Bank Currency Exchange
I have to include this tip - we found it just so unusual.
The currency exchange is on Cathedral Square, and had the best rate on the day for us to exchange NZ dollars back into $AUS.
But what's really unusual about this place (besides the too vibrant colour scheme - I was becoming used to seeing these types of buildings all the time) is that while you were waiting for a teller, you could either sit on a vibrant lime green velour couch in the window, or on 2 equally vivid bean bags, and watch a video set in the wall, telling you all about Christchurch's main tourist attractions.
Quite a novel idea for a bank!
Although those twelve bronze busts are perfectly executed - despite Margaret Mahy looking like a man, well, she might look like a man... - I find this display of Christchurch Heroes a bit odd.
They are rather a new addition to the not always lucky hand Christchurch has with displays of street art, and were unveiled on 18 March 2009 on Worcester Boulevard in front of the Art Centre.
The twelve heroes - all from the second half of the 20th century, were chosen by a steering group of former Christchurch Art Gallery Trust chairman Chris Brocket, Arts Foundation of New Zealand trustee Ros Burdon, Twelve Local Heroes charitable trust chairwoman Susan Wakefield, and Jim Wakefield. The architect Sir Miles Warren joined the steering group after he had been chosen as a hero.
To me, for a start, someone is a hero when he saves other people's lives. Hubby added he does not consider someone a hero who is a convicted drink driver, as is the case with thr great children's book author Margaret Mahy. (She was convicted in July 2008 and banned from driving for six months.)
At the time it was also a point of discussion if it is a great idea to display sculptures of people who are still alive, even if they are heroes.
But for the records:
The sculptor was Mark Whyte.
The "heroes" displayed are:
Elsie Locke, journalist and activist
Bill Sutton, artist (those two were dead before the start of the project)
Charles Luney, building industry leader
Sir Robertson Stewart, industrialist
Sir Angus Tait, electronics pioneer (they died after the start of the project)
Dr Don Beaven, diabetes treatment pioneer
Frank Dickson, former Canterbury Savings Bank chief executive
Sir Richard Hadlee, former cricket great
Diana, Lady Isaac, conservation, arts and architecture benefactor
Sir Tipene O'Regan, Maori leader
Sir Miles Warren, architect
Margaret Mahy, children's books author
Photo 2 gives the full view of the area where the bust are displayed. In the meantime real grass is growing there.
Photo 3 shows Margaret Mahy's bust. Decide yourselves...
New Brighton Pier
A walk along the New Brighton Pier is a must for any visitor and if you are keen to do some fishing from the pier this is also possible. The New Brighton Library is located on the beach front and provides wheelchair access to the pier as well as views from the large windows if you prefer to stay inside.
A major event that happens every year on November 5th is the fireworks extravaganza on the pier that is spectacular and can be viewed from many vantage points along the beach.
A new Maori Experience on the Styx River
At the start of November 2007 a new Maori venture has been launched. Katoro Maori Tours offer tours in a waka, a Maori canoe that seats up to 14 people. The waka travels on the Styx River to historical Maori sites. You can learn a lot about the history of Ngai Tahu, the South Island's biggest Maori tribe, and learn about traditional fishing techniques and harvesting.
You are picked up by a Maori story teller, then transported to old Maori sites (pa), and the Styx River - Paharakeke in the Maori language Te Reo. This river is in the northern suburbs of Christchurch, and the waka are located at the lakes at the eastern end of the Styx river.
After a prayer (karakia) the training of the paddlers - you! - will begin, and after that the newly formed team will start its journey down the river. The guides explain Maori values and culture, give information about the history and ecosystem. You will see native plants and learn about the wildlife you see along the way.
If you want you can add a visit to the Willowbank, my favourite wildlife park in NZ, to your programme. There you can see kiwi in a night house, and you can attend the Kotane Maori show.
Morning sailings start at 9am, and you will be back in the city by 1pm. Pick-up for the optional programme at the Willowbank is at 4.30pm on Cathedral Square.
Afternoon departure at 2pm
Costs (as Feb. 2008)
Waka tour NZ$ 95
Waka tour plus Kiwi Wildlife Tour at the Willowbank NZ$ 116
Waka tour, wildlife tour plus Maori show Kotane NZ$ 140
Pennyfarth around town!
I could not resist the opportunity to write a tip about penny farthing in Christchurch. Although I have not been able to find a place that rents the fun looking bicycle, I am sure it would be fun to ride one anyway.
Well, after a little research, there is a place to check out Penny Farthing in Christchurch! It is called Penny Sports Limited on Manchester & Tuam Sts.