Welcome to Banks Peninsula, home of The Hector’s dolphins and eco-tourism pioneers Black Cat Cruises

Monthly Archives: June 2014

Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights – Street Party Tonight!

Every year, in the middle of a cold  Christchurch winter, Lyttelton residents bring a bit of brightness back to Banks Peninsula with the harbour’s Festival of Lights. This years it’s running from June 19th – 21st The Highlight…….?  The ‘Matariki’ Street Party!

 

When: Friday June 20th, 5.30pm – FIREWORKS 7.30pm

 

Where: London Street, Lyttelton

 

What: A fantastic winter street party. Usually held to coincide with both the Matariki Maori New Year celebrations and the winter solstice, Lyttelton’s London Street transforms into a buzzing and beautiful scene. Light displays, sculptures and installations, music, dance and spoken word bring the community out of hibernation for this spectacle. Throw in a Friday night Street Party crammed with stalls amongst lanterns and light based artworks, followed with a spectacular fireworks display, and it’s easy to see why people in the know come out of the cold for this yearly event.

 

History: The Project Lyttelton team began the event in 2005 as something for the 3000 passengers on board a cruise ship moored in the port for the Lions Rugby Tour. But after seeing the spirit from the community in response to being part of the festival, they decided it was something that needed to stay. So each year the organisation collaborates with the council, libraries, and local businesses, working together to ensure there’s always something on for everyone. And this year is no exception.

 

Getting there: Take bus 28 or 35, carpool or use the free shuttle bus from the gondola (from 5:30pm). Parking is strictly limited. If you’re coming from Diamond Harbour the Ferry will be running it’s usual service all night. For the schedule click here
Tip: Bring your own reusable cup or buy one of ours at the festival tonight. If you’re a true foodie don’t miss the Mid-Winter Chirstmas Market tomorrow from 10am – 1pm!

 

You can be sure that the spectacle is worth the trip out to the harbour. There’s no better excuse for getting out in the winter weather to welcome in the Maori New Year and celebrate the winter solstice than heading over to the Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights.

 

Lyttelton Harbour Lights up the sky at the Festival of Lights

 

Find out more about the Festival of Lights on their Facebook page:

 

 

or to find out what’s going on in Lyttelton, visit their website: http://www.lyttelton.net.nz/festivals/festival-of-lights

72 hours in Canterbury

What would you do if you had just 72 hours in Canterbury ? Come to Akaroa of course………

Imagine you were told you could write a wishlist of the best New Zealand activities Canterbury has to offer….and it would come true!

Well Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism recently ran a” Win your dream 72 hours in Canterbury” campaign  over in Australia asking entrants to describe how they would spend their 72 hours.  The prize; your dream 72 hours will come true!

The competition came to a close and the lucky winner has just spent this past weekend having the time of his life with his wife visiting Christchurch, Akaroa, the Waipara Wine Region AND Hanmer……..His winning itinerary you ask?

DAY 1

Location: Christchurch

 

    • After flying into Christchurch it was a trip straight to the i-site to book all of their tickets.

 

    • Then it was a visit to the re-start mall to take in what’s happening within the Christchurch CBD
      Re:Start Mall in Christchurch

      things to do in christchurch or akaroa

 

 

 

    • For lunch it was off to Madras Street for Pizza followed by some fun wheel action on the Segway Urban Wheels.

 

    • A leisurely afternoon was then spent punting on the Avon. An iconic and classic Christchurch activity, before settling in for the night at a hotel in Christchurch.

 

DAY 2

Location: Akaroa

Day 2 is ”all things French” as they headed off to Akaroa. En-route from Christchurch they stopped off for an early morning Gondola ride to take in the majestic views down Banks Peninsula

After taking the 90 minute scenic drive to Akaroa there was time for a stroll in the streets to enjoy the shops, galleries and a french inspired lunch

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

Akaroa Harbour & wildlife cruise

Straight after lunch it was all aboard the Black Cat boat to enjoy an Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise. An opportunity to enjoy the marine and bird life whilst taking in the breathtaking views of the extinct volcanic harbour. The team at Black Cat were so pleased to host the winner and his guest. It’s wonderful to play a part in makeing a dream trip come true!

After two hours on the water with Black Cat it was back on land for a drive along the summit road. A spectacular peninsula drive with great New Zealand photography locations along the way!

All finished off with dinner at Vangionis

DAY 3

Location: Waipara Valley, Hamner Springs

Sad to leave Akaroa it was then on to a day of pure indulgence as they headed to the Waipara Valley and Hanmer Springs.

The 3 hour drive to Hanmer was broken up by visiting numerous wineries along the way in Waipara wine region and lunch at a local winery.

Waipara Wine Region in Canterbury, New Zealand

Waipara Wine region things to do canterbury

Arriving in Hanmer called for one thing only – a stop off at the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa followed by a body treatment for him and her – one word, Divine!

Late afternoon was then spent meandering through the shops and boutiques in Hanmer before choosing a spot for dinner and home to beautiful retreat for bed!

What a wonderful 3 days!!!

There is so much on offer in the Canterbury region we would find it hard to choose (apart from the Black Cat experience in Akaroa of course!) What would your dream itinerary be if you had just 72 hours in Canterbury? We recommend using the Christchurch and Canterbury Toursim website to help plan your trip!