Arrival in Christchurch
Christchurch Travel Blog› entry 1 of 13 › view all entries
I finally arrived in Christchurch after more than 30 hours of travel. I took a shuttle from Princeton to Newark to JFK then flew from JFK to LAX to Auckland to Christchurch. Amazingly, I never really experienced any jet lag to my surprise and delight. I met up with my friend, Mark, in Auckland and we flew together to Christchurch. He was able to space out his trip by staying in California a few days and then Auckland a few days. We landed in Christchurch mid-afternoon and met our transfer to the Heritage Hotel located right next to the Christchurch Cathedral.
After checking in, we walked down Worcester Street to the Botanic Gardens and part of Hagley Park. That night we met up with the rest of our fellow tour travelers for a complimentary welcome drink at the Font Pub. After that we had a three course welcome dinner in the cellar of Maddison's Restaurant. Though we booked the trip through Trafalgar, the entire tour was operated by AAT Kings, a Trafalgar sister company. My personal opinion is that the tour package and operation provided by AAT Kings was excellent. Almost every hotel was of a high standard and would have certainly been fairly expensive to stay at on your own. Another value was the amount of "included" meals, tours, and entertainment most of which were of a high quality. The guides were knowledgeable, interesting, humorous, friendly and extremely helpful. There was a nice combination of activity with the group and leisure time on your own. My only negative would be that the average age of the travelers was well above my own age. I was usually the youngest in the group. Most of the travelers were retired. This was the first time I traveled this way and while it would not be my usual preference, it was nice that all arrangements were taken care of and all I had to do was show up at the appropriate times.