Colonial Inn Motel

43 Papanui Rd., Christchurch, New Zealand
Colonial Inn Motel
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The belfry stands some metres away from the churchThe belfry stands some metres away from the church

Forum Posts

June holiday in South Island

by Kilnworker

Travlling to South Island for a week in June. 3 nights in Christchurch, 2 in Queenstown and 2 in Lake Wanaka. Doing the fly/drive thing with friends. Any suggestions on the must see/do? How cold does it get? Not a seasoned traveller so any info is good info.

Re: June holiday in South Island

by itzkriz

If you are a member of an Automobile Association in Oz, bring your membership card so that you can get all the free help (maps, accomodation guides, must see/do) from the New Zealand Automobile Association which has an affiliation with your Club there.

Yep, be prepared for the cold in Wanaka and Queenstown but with brilliantly fine weather you will go crazy. Also with these two towns, especially Queenstown, you will have a great night life and be prepared to find more winter visitors from Europe and North America than kiwis. It will be a buzz.

You look young, so I would take 1 day off your Christchurch stay and tack that onto Queenstown. Just a thought. BEST WISHES !!!

Re: June holiday in South Island

by BritBabe1

I totally agree with Chris' suggestion to take a night/day off staying in Christchurch and add it onto your Queenstown stay...

Re: June holiday in South Island

by Kakapo2

If you are just interested in partying the other two VT members are right. (Although I can tell you that some visitors just 20 years of age even spend a week in Christchurch and did not get bored.) If not, Christchurch is a great base for great trips, as to Banks Peninsula/Akaroa, Arthur's Pass, Hanmer Springs etc. It is fantastic to sit in the hot outdoor pools in Hanmer and snow all around. The trip to Arthur's Pass is absolutely spectacular in winter, wonderful landscape.

Also in Chch you can do a lot of things, like Willowbank (NZ wildlife), Antarctic Centre, Gondola, punting on the Avon, etc., also great walks. And come over the Port Hills to Lyttelton Harbour.

You can find 150 Chch, Lyttelton and Banks Peninsula tips on my travel pages, and check my Canterbury page for trips around Christchurch.

Referring to the weather:
Also in Chch it can be cold in June. The coldest months normally are July and August - but even then rarely under zero degrees. Actually we have about 20 deg on most days.

Re: June holiday in South Island

by Wibowo

You can find many hotels and accomodations in Christchurch. If you are a backpacker like me, I recommend to stay in YMCA in Heresford St. It takes 10 minutes walk to city center and cathedral square, and it's the opposite of Botanic Garden, just across the street. YMCA is clean and has the complete facilities, such as internet, gym, etc.

From Christchurch to Queenstown, you can take Atomic Shuttle (NZ$50). Queenstown is a beautiful city for the adventurer, who like skiing, bungee jumping, and other exreme sports. I'd been there last week, and it just -5'C in the morning (lol).
From there you can visit Milford Sound as it is highly recommended. If you want to join the tours, you can use Kiwi Discovery. June is the off season. When I was there, they give me 50% discount (the normal price is NZ$155)

Travel Tips for Christchurch

The view from above

by kris-t

The Summit Road, drive it or bike it or take a bus then walk it. Breathtaking views over Christchurch City, the Southern Alps, Pegasus Bay, Lyttleton Harbour and the Banks Peninsula - often all from the same vantage point. Don't miss it.

Ellerslie Int. Flower Show Has Moved to Chch

by Kakapo2

The first Ellerslie International Flower Show in Christchurch took place in Hagley Park from 11 to 15 March 2009. But already before the start there were discussions if this is a good date, as flowers will not be at their best in late summer/early autumn LOL And Auckland has announced they will have a new show which will compete with Christchurch’s.

Impressed by the success of the Chelsea Flower Show in London, the Ellerslie Flower Show had been set up in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie in 1994 as a fundraiser. In 1998 it moved to the Regional Botanic Gardens in Manukau. And, as said, now to Christchurch. Of course, the Council thinks it is logic that the Garden City needs this flower show although their first plan to establish a garden show in Christchurch horribly failed. The only thing gained was that this plan killed another existing garden show in Hagley Park… Let’s see how the now really big event kicks off.

More info on the Ellerslie International Flower Show on:

Update Feb 2010

I had planned to visit the main show in Hagley Park last year but when I saw the queues in front of the gate I left and - then after reading letters to the editor in The Press about the chaos - did not not try it again.

The dates for this year: 10 to 14 March (Wed - Sat 10am - 7pm, Sun 10am - 6pm).

Canterbury Brewery

by travelteacher

You can't miss the red and black building on the corner. The brewery tour gives a great history of beer in New Zealand, and not just those brewed in Canterbury.

Definitely call for a tour reservation. Tours cost $12 (NZD), but it's well wort it, especially for the extensive tasting at the end!

Sign of the Takahe: More than expensive Dinners

by Kakapo2

The Sign of the Takahe has just got new owners who have warmed up the tradition of using this place as an upmarket restaurant and function venue. It is a great place for weddings, with its rustic charm of a small European Knights Castle. The gardens offer sweeping views over the city.

Like the other "Signs" the Sign of the Takahe, located at an elevated position on Dyers Pass Road, on the way to the Summit Road, is an historic stone building. Those buildings were tearooms in the early days, and planned as staging points on the way to Akaroa. At the time the people did not get much further on the weekends. Whereas the Sign of the Bellbird has become a well-maintained shelter with picnic facilities, the Sign of the Kiwi at the cross-roads with the Summit Road has returned to its original purpose as tearooms, and the Sign of Takahe attracts - thanks to its proximity to the city - fans of fine dining.

I have not eaten there since the reopening but I have read a review. The food was a mixed bag, from delicious to average, and it took ages until the food arrived. The reviewer suggested to have a snack at home before going to dinner at the Sign of the Takahe. (If you are not into the details of NZ wildlife: Takahe is a big flightless bird that only survives on predator-free islands.)

The first stone was laid in 1908 but the building did not open until 1949 when the Christchurch City Council took over.

You can walk around in the gardens without being a restaurant customer. There is even a public toilet. Those gardens are the closest place to the city centre from where you have great views over the city and the Canterbury Plains.

You reach the Sign of the Takahe by bus #10 (Cashmere), it is the final stop. By car just drive down Colombo Street. From its southern end it continues as Dyers Pass Road. The Sign of the Takahe appears on your left.

It is a nice stop-over on the way to Victoria Park and the Summit Road.

Restaurant open Tue - Sat 6pm - 11pm, café and bar daily 8am - 11pm

Address: 200 Hackthorne Road

The Metro Card for great Bus Service

by Kakapo2

You get to most places by bus, and if you plan to stay several days the cheapest way to get around is getting a Metro Card at the Bus Exchange (Lichfield/Colombo Streets). If you want to apply for a card do not forget a piece of identification (passport, drivers licence etc.).

The card is free, you just have to load 10 $ at the start. By paying with it in the bus one trip costs only 2.10 instead of 2.80 NZ-Dollars, and you will not pay more than 4.20 $ per day!

If you buy a single ticket for 2.80 $ this is only valid for one transfer within two hours. This is already cheap but the cost with the Metro Card is a lot cheaper if you plan do do more than two trips per day, and you have unlimited transfers within the first two hours.

Also the trips to the airport and the ferry trip from Lyttelton to Diamond Harbour have cheaper fares with the Metro Card.

Within the inner city there is a free bus service on a one-way-route. The buses are easily recognisable, they are yellow, and the name is "The Shuttle". They have their own stops which are not far away from the stops of the Metro system.

There is no bus service to some few attractions like Orana Park but there is the "Black Bus" which offers (rather expensive) roundtrips to major places of interest. If you want to travel on the Summit Road you need a rental car. See my tip about Affordable Cars.

Update 31 March 2008
The Metro service have just announced a new bus service that passes at the Willowbank. Bus #11 from the Bus Exchange (in front of Ballantynes), towards Northwood.

Update 23 August 2008
The bus fares have gone up, I have updated them in my tip.


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