New Zealand: Oamarau to Christchurch

Leaving Oamaru

Cris heads to the shower

Our second last campsite was shrouded in mist when we awoke, and we took this as a signal to take things slowly. We had a relaxed breakfast and took long showers before we noticed that we were well past the campsite departure time. We decided to skip the dump station (which we had still not used) and head straight out.

We debated stopping in Oamaru for a cup of coffee but decided to drive for a while before stopping. The road rolled out before us, straighter and flatter than any we had drived since leaving the North Island, and we drove on until we reached Timaru.


We wanted to stop in Timaru to see the cathedral which the guide book had said was worth visiting.

Outside Timaru i-site

We were surprised by the size of the town, really a small city, when we arrived but were able to follow the signs to the local i-site and parked near by.

As usual the staff at the i-site were more than helpful and soon pointed out the most scenic route to get to the two cathedrals (one Catholic and one Anglican).

The Anglican cathedral was just a short walk through the town centre which gave us the chance to admire the many coffee shops and resturants. Once we got to the cathedral itself it was closed so we satisfied ourselves with a quick walk around it before heading away from the centre towards the Catholic cathedral.

Timaru Cathedral

The walk between the cathedrals went through an industrial part of the city and wasn't quite as pleasant as we might have hoped but the cathedral was worth the visit. Especially when we discovered that it was open and we could sneak in to admire the interior.

Once we completed our sightseeing we went back into the city centre to one of the resturants where we treated ourselves to lunch before climbing back into the camper.

On our way out of the city we took the Port Loop Road down to Caroline Bay Park which featured an interesting spiral in the road. However the park itself didn't appeal to us much and we left almost straight away.

Tirmau to Christchurch

Road from Oamaru to Christchurch

The trip to Christchurch was fairly uneventful, we amused ourselves spotting the llamas that dotted the countryside.

Giant Salmon at Rakaia

We only made one stop, and that was to take a rather typical tourist photo when we arrived to Rakaia with a giant salmon.

Finally we arrived to the outskirts of Christchurch where we stopped to refuel and to purchase a street map of the city itself.


It was quite a change of pace to arrive to a big city after almost a week in the a more sedate rural environment. Our first challenge was to try and find a parking space in the city centre so we could see some of the city centre before heading to the campsite.

North Hagley Park, Christchurch

This however proved rather difficult the majority of the city centre car parks seemed to be either private or multi-story. We eventually found a parking space in North Hagley park but discovered that the gates to the car park would be closing in less than hour.

We took some photos of the park and got back into the camper and headed our to the campsite, finding it with only the minimum of difficulty thanks to Cris' navigation.

Prev | Index | Next