Canterbury Show

This weekend was ‘Show Day Weekend’ which is a bit like a British Bank Holiday but with Friday off instead of Monday. Show day weekend incorporates the National Agricultural Show for New Zealand as well as Canterbury anniversary day.

We bought tickets for the show a few weeks ago and went along on the Friday to enjoy. The weather was blazing hot which is apparently the norm and there was lots to see and do. We enjoyed looking at all the animals, some were rare breeds being displayed and some were competing for prizes.

As well as the animals, there were lots of vehicles and agricultural machinery to look at and we enjoyed watching the motocross races – and having a go on a bike!

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The food hall was particularly good and between us we managed to taste Malaysian curry, BBQ brisket with a ‘Kiwi twist’ and some Thai food too – not bad! We watched a live cookery show, avoided the fair ground, saw an interesting talk on bees and I got to make my own charm bracelet.

There was plenty more to look at and explore and I haven’t covered half of it in this blog. There were clothing stands, kitchenware stands, health food stalls, cosmetic tables and then larger items like swimming pools and log cabins for sale – plus much much more. My absolute favourite part of the show was the wood chopping competition which, as the name suggests, involves people chopping through huge lumps of wood as quickly as possible. I’d never heard of this sport before going to the show but it’s hugely popular and we had a great time sitting in the sun watching the men and women hacking through the wood.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed the show and would definitely go again in future.

As well as attending the show we managed to squeeze in a little bit of climbing with the NZ Alpine Club and this time we went to a new location at the end of Albert Terrace in St Martins. This crag has a reputation as being one of the worst crags in Christchurch due to the high level of polish on the rocks and it’s true, they’re pretty slippy on the feet as you get started. The crag is also in a really pretty spot though and is sheltered from the wind and sun unlike the crags higher up where you get burnt to a crisp hot days. It was a nice spot to spend an evening – although we must remember the insect repellent next time!

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Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week.

Arts Centre Mākete

The Arts Centre Mākete is an arts, crafts and local produce market which used to run in Christchurch every Sunday but came to an end after the earthquakes. They restarted the tradition last Sunday so we went along to support and see what was happening.

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There was a great range of different craft stalls to look around, some impressive local art pieces and plenty of food on offer from various stalls and stands.

On the whole we were really impressed and have plans to go again to buy some locally made jewellery and art.

The day before this was our local Park Run session which is now becoming a regular event for us. A large group of us from the running club (including Charlie the dog) turned up and both Adam and I got personal bests which we were really pleased with.

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This week has started well and as I found myself located in the east of the city on Monday, I took a trip out to the beach to have lunch which was very peaceful.

Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week.

More Climbing with NZAC

Last weekend was a busy one for climbing and we were out with the New Zealand Alpine Club on Saturday and Monday practising and improving our lead climbing skills. As usual, the instructors were amazing and they’d even bought additional instructors along so that they could meet demand and invite more people. We climbed up at Cattlestop Crag which is in the hills above Christchurch and were blessed with excellent weather yet again.

On Monday evening, the weather was so nice that we stayed out until the sun went down – beautiful!

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Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week.

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Halswell Quarry

Halswell Quarry is located on the outskirts of Christchurch and is now a large park area with permanent orienteering courses set up, hiking paths galore and plenty of ponds, and gardens to admire. The working quarry closed in 1990 but its history is quite interesting and you can learn about it from various information boards as you walk around. Near the entrance is one of the historic buildings, the ‘single men’s house’ that you can have a wander around in.

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We decided to have an easy stroll round the quarry on Sunday looping up and around the quarry face then back down through the trees and parkland. The views of Christchurch and beyond are lovely, and the mountain info board at the top helped us identify some of the peaks in the Southern Alps.

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At the bottom we were able to grab a couple of shakes and some brownies from the coffee van which was a really nice end to the walk.

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Wherever you are in the world, have a good week.

Boulder Bay Run

Yesterday we took part in the Boulder Bay Classic 10.5km trail run at Godley Head. Adam and I started trail running in July of this year shortly after arriving in New Zealand. The first trails we ran together were those at Godley Head so it seemed fitting to sign up to the local race there. This race starts at Taylor’s mistake Beach and then winds up and along the coastal paths before looping back around to finish back in the valley. I haven’t run many trails but this has surely got to be one of the most beautiful runs in the world!

The weather was already warming up when we arrived so after the obligatory selfie shot we smeared on the sun cream, tied on our race chips and managed to squeeze in a quick coffee before the warm up.

The race started at 9am and more than 300 of us thundered along the beach and through the gates onto the coastal paths. There are a number of hills along the route with a total elevation of around 250m. I found the race hard work, hot and really enjoyable. I finished with a time of 1 hour 12, coming 41st out of 65 in my category. For my first official run, I was pleased with that. Adam did really well and came 13th in his category with a finish time of 53.58.

After the race, the atmosphere was really great. Everyone congregated on the valley floor and lounged in the sunshine, enjoying the prize giving ceremony. Adam also managed to bag a spot prize of 50 free coffees at a local cafe so that will no doubt come in handy after future runs!

This race was a great morning out and I’m sure we’ll be there again next year trying to improve our times!

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Wherever you are in the world, have a great week.

New Brighton Beach

New Brighton is a coastal suburb located toward the east of Christchurch city. It suffered significant damage during the Christchurch earthquakes and the pier has only recently reopened after being closed for repairs for two years.

A friend took us out for a visit this weekend and it’s definitely worth a trip if you’re in the area. The beach is wide, clean and safe and like most places in New Zealand, there’s more than enough space for everyone. There are views to the alps in one direction and views of the gorgeous Port Hills in the other.

Whilst there, we stopped for lunch at the Salt on The Pier restaurant and then enjoyed an ice cream at a nearby beach shop. The food was fairly average but the views were gorgeous and the restaurant had a good vibe.

All in all, New Brighton Beach is a nice day trip out but I don’t think it quite beats Sumner!

Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week!

It’s all about the running…

The last few weeks seem to have been all about the running. Adam and I took part in a our club’s trail running championships recently which was great fun. We ran up and down a famous local track known as Rapaki Track which had the usual gorgeous views but as it was a race I didn’t have time to stop and take photos! Adam did really well, coming 4th overall and 3rd in his category and I was pleased with my 13th place position and 2nd place in the female category – although I should point out that there were only 3 females taking part!

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Last weekend was the incredible Crater Rim Ultra race which is organised by our club. We volunteered as marshals and spent the day handing out wrist bands to incredible runners as the made their way around the 30km and 52km courses. We had a lovely spot on out on the hills (although chilly!) and the locals looked after us well by coming out with coffee and cookies. Adam is now looking forward to challenging himself with this run next year.

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Yesterday we had our usual club training session in beautiful Hagley Park and I decided to take a few photos of my journey along the way.

As you can see, Hagley Park is really pretty and I’ve only captured the few bits that I see as I jog to the club meeting point. The park is really large (over 160+ hectares) and includes the botanic gardens, various trails to walk or bike, a cafe, huge greenhouses full of tropical plants, ancient trees, ponds, wide open spaces for sports, a golf course, the River Avon and various arty pieces.

Much of the flora is labelled and named making it easy to identify the different species of plants and flowers as you wander around. I feel so lucky to train here every week. It’s a gorgeous place to run around and the birds are amazing!

The park is filled with gorgeous birds and I managed to photograph a kingfisher there in early spring. People all over New Zealand have been voting recently for their favourite bird of the year and the lovely Kererū won:

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I’ve not actually managed to spot one of these hefty birds yet but have been told that there are a breeding pair just outside our offices so I’ll be trying to spot them for the rest of the year.

It’s now bank holiday weekend here so we’re about to enjoy a lovely three days off. Wherever you are in the world, have a great weekend!

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