I recently enjoyed an educational and entertaining journey
through the streets of Christchurch city centre in New Zealand on board a beautifully restored Heritage Tram. I simply love trams!
The Christchurch Tram is a great way to get to see the city centre. Whenever I visit a new city I always find it helpful to be driven around so that I can get a feeling for the city or to make a note about which places I might want to go back to.
The Christchurch tram gave me the opportunity to learn a little about the city, from someone who knows it very well and combine some of my sight seeing with a little history, without walking the route myself!
The friendly and knowledgeable driver taught me a great deal about the cities landmark buildings, local sights and the devastating effects on the city after the most recent earthquake. Christchurch suffered a series of earthquakes between September 2010 and January 2012, with the most destructive of them occurring at 12.51 p.m. on Tuesday, 22 February 2011, in which 185 people were killed and thousands of buildings across the city collapsed or suffered severe damage.
Christchurch is gradually re-building after the quake so I found the drivers comments particularly interesting when he described which buildings had been destroyed or damaged and how the city is planning for the future.
My day-long ticket allowed me to get on and off the Tram as often as I wanted to. I got on the tram at Cathedral Junction and got off at the Christchurch Museum and Botanic Gardens.
If I had wanted to travel the full circuit it would have taken about fifty minutes to an hour passing through its 17 tram stops.
At the Avon River I could have got off and relaxed on the river lying back in a punt but instead I sat back and relaxed in a small comfortable, quiet electric shuttle on the Botanic Gardens tour. Our guide on the gardens tour was brilliant. She appeared to know the names and properties of every plant and tree we passed on our tour. We stopped briefly and strolled around a glass house and rose garden at our leisure for fifteen minutes, before continuing our tour.
I really enjoyed the gardens tour and would fully recommend visitors take up the option. The gardens are big so I doubt very much whether I would have managed to walk around them. I would certainly have missed out on the valuable information about the trees and plants and history of the gardens our guide provided. It was a very relaxed and enjoyable way of exploring the gardens.
The Gothic-style Arts Centre, the Canterbury Museum, the Bridge of Remembrance and New Regent Street are just four other places of interest which can be seen from the comfort and convenience of the Heritage Tram.
I thought the tram provided excellent value for money and I would fully recommend to visitors to Christchurch.
Before I left Christchurch I also enjoyed a trip up one of the adjoining mountains on a scenic gondola. The ride to the top took about 10 minutes with some stunning views.
From the observatory deck at the summit I got to walk all around the building and enjoyed some 360 degree views of the mountains and right across the city to the sea. You can spend as long as you like up on top so I sat back and enjoyed the fantastic views with a cake and cup of coffee.
Tram City Tour – Tram Restaurant – Avon River Punting – Botanic Gardens Tour & Gondola Ride
Cathedral Junction (Shop 13)
109 Worcester Street
Christchurch 8011, New Zealand