I woke up to another sunny morning but unfortunately I had to head back to Christchurch. I say unfortunately because I really like Lake Tekapo but was looking forward to getting back to Christchurch too. I got up, packed the rest of my stuff, had breakfast and went to make a few phone calls. My mood wasn’t good and I was upset on the phone to my mum because I really didn’t want to leave Lake Tekapo, least of all New Zealand. I did bump into Jenny and her family, who I’d met at Kinloch Lodge, near Glenorchy. She said that they would be coming to Lake Tekapo but I thought I’d have left Tekapo by that stage. It was nice to bump into her again and it took my mind off things.
My bus to Christchurch left Tekapo at 12.40pm and on the way we stopped in Geraldine for a short tea break. Geraldine is a lovely town comprised mostly of retired farmers and these farmers have a lot of gardens which are open to the public. We stayed here for twenty minutes and got into Christchurch at 4.30pm. Lesley picked me up and we headed back to her place. It was great to be back in Christchurch again. I have a real soft spot for the place, especially after the earthquakes and it was great to see Lesley again.
I decided to go back to Christchurch a day or two before my flight back to Amsterdam. I wanted to see the city one more time before I left and I also wanted to see the Canterbury Museum. I didn’t have the chance really to see it when I arrived in January. It’s a great museum and has a lot of very interesting exhibitions both permanent and temporary but the main reason I wanted to go was because of the Canterbury Quakes exhibition. This exhibition is on until 1st October 2012 and if you’re in Christchurch and you have the time, I would strongly advise you to go see this exhibition.
I think it’s the best collection of information about the quakes in Christchurch all gathered in one place. It tells about the city beforehand, the quakes themselves – the magnitudes, depth of each quake, where each quake hit in relation to the city. It goes on to explain about the liquefaction, shows various videos about people’s experiences during the quakes, tells about the rescue attempts, the efforts the rescue and emergency services put in, how the resilience, strength and commitment of the people comes through, how they helped each other out, how the council hopes to rebuild the city etc. The steeple of the Cathedral that fell down during the February quake is sitting on display there broken, as well as the Timeball from Lyttleton. It took me nearly two hours to go around it, read and see everything. It’s an excellent exhibition and has been a huge success, which is great to hear.
After that I went to have a look upstairs. There is an Antarctic section about the explorations there, a section about the geology of the Canterbury coastal region, the birds of NZ, a section on an Egyptian mummy and one of my favourite temporary exhibitions downstairs was the “Off The Wall” World of Wearable Art Exhibition. It was on only for about a month and closed on the 18th March 2012. WOW founder Suzie Moncrieff and guest selector Richard Taylor from Weta Workshop, selected thirty exceptional works of art from the WOW historic garment collection to tour across New Zealand. There is an announcement on the Canterbury Museum website, dated 16th April 2012, with an update on 28th May, to say that there is a temporary closure of the museum whilst further engineering reports are commissioned and assessed. I hope it opens again soon.
Update: Canterbury Museum opened its doors again to the public on 2nd July, for the first time since it closed on 16th April, while engineering reports were being carried out. The Canterbury Quakes Exhibition will go on tour for the next 3 years, with the Otago Museum, in Dunedin, being the first regional museum to feature the touring exhibition in November this year.