Archive for the ‘Christchurch – wider’ Category

Ten days after the Royal Wedding The Colombo is still in patriotic mood.  You enter to be greeted by an effigy of the Queen, complete with handbag.

Surely there was a time when this would have been considered lèse-majesté?  Union Jack bunting is everywhere, together with photos of Harry and Meghan, and there’s a display case full of royal memorabilia:

It all seems unecessary and outdated to me.  No such decorations in South City, which perhaps has a more Republican ethos.

“We are so far across the sea
no need to go on bended knee.”



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I was startled when I walked into the South Library to be confronted by a display of Union Jacks.  For a moment I wondered why, then remembered there’s a royal wedding looming.  It’s not for another week though, and the decorated desk is actually a City Council Service Centre.  Are all the CCC Service Centres similarly decorated, I wonder?  It seems totally unnecessary to me.

“I wonder why there’s all this fuss
for people far away from us.”

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On a beautiful autumn day we headed for Kaiapoi Lakes.   Online information suggested this was a 30 minute walk, perfect for bird watching.   The lake was peaceful with lovely autumn trees.

Part of the path was an excellent boardwalk presumably provided by the developers of the nearby Sovereign Palms subdivision.  It was strange to turn around from the tranquil lake and see brand new houses flanked by tall phoenix palms.

There were ducks, canada geese, black swans, and, to our surprise, coots, easily identified by their white beaks and loud krark.

This was the first time we’d seen coots in New Zealand, and I discovered they are Australian Coots who first bred here in 1958.  They are a diving duck, like our scaup.

We had expected that the track would go right around the lake, and were surprised when it came to an abrupt end, so we simply retraced our steps.  Another time we might try the lake on the west side of the main road.  There were a couple of people fishing there, and it looked as though a track might go right around.  Afterwards we enjoyed a pleasant lunch at Red Eight Cafe in Kaiapoi, and visited the new New World Supermarket at Prestons.

“We were surprised to see the coot
as we walked on the lakeside route.”

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Olden Ohoka

Just a half hour’s drive north from Christchurch there are interesting buildings to be seen at Ohoka.

Eyre House

Eyre House was the original Eyre County Council Offices.  The Council was formed in 1912.  The house is now a private residence with a “C” classification from Heritage N.Z.

St Albans Church

St Albans Anglican Church at 528 Mill Rd (wrongly entered as 582 in the Ohoka Walkway booklet) was designed by William Mountfort and consecrated in 1882.  The original bell still rings to call worshippers to the monthly services.  In 1952 a Guild Hall was built (on the left of above photo) to provide a meeting place for the Ohoka Ladies Guild.  We sat on the hall steps to have our morning tea, and found a public toilet behind, complete with soap and towel.  This church is on the Waimakariri District Council Heritage List.

Methodist Church

The Eyre settlers, led by Samuel Bradley and Isaac Wilson, built their church at 401 Whites Road in 1865.  The last service in the church was in 1978, and the building was sold by auction in 1985.  The new owners converted it into a dwelling and redesigned the garden around the established trees.  The two topiary trees at the front are Spanish Firs.

“Ohoka buildings – some are old
and must have stories to be told.”




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Ohoka Odyssey

The Ohoka Stream Walk was our destination on this sunny autumn day.  On the way we admired the beautiful red and golden trees at Wilson’s Siding.

In 1870 Isaac Wilson milled flax on the south bank of the Ohoka Stream, and in 1872 he built a flour mill there.   In 1876 he built a private railway siding on the Kaiapoi-Eyreton line to service his mill.  A plaque was erected to mark the site in 1987.

The Walkway starts at Keetley Place, opposite the Ohoka Domain.  It follows a gurgling stream behind a number of houses.  On the right is an area with examples of pottery from the Rangiora Pottery Group, and tributes to local pukeko.

Pottery Pukeko

Pukeko Cafe

Pukeko Pre-school

Notice for Ohoka Rail Trail

When we came out onto Mill Road we were pleased to find Florence & Greta’s Little Shop of Lemons – only $2 for a bag.

On the way back we saw several historic buildings – more about these tomorrow.

“The walk is far from mediocre
along the stream in old Ohoka.’



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A lone kitesurfer braved the strong nor’easterly to ride the waves at Waimairi Beach.  Their kite sail looked spectacular as they skimmed along at great speed, tacking back and forth.

“There has to be a lot of skill
to stay upright and not to spill.”

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A generous friend gave me a nursery voucher, and suggested I might buy a plant to remember Denny by, or something to lift my own spirits.  It was a treat to go to Oderings to choose something.  I wanted a more suitable pot for my new Anthurium, but that was hard to find.  So many of their pots had no drainage holes.  The salesperson told me they are bought as decor items rather than pots for plants.  They did have some ceramic ones with holes and saucers, but the saucers were too small to contain any overwatering.  I was told a number of customers had complained about that.  In the end I chose a pot and saucer I liked in plastic.

As a ‘remembrance’ plant I wanted purple/blue tulips, but Oderings had only spiky white ones, and weren’t expecting any more.  There were plenty of blue iphaeons and bluebells, but I already have an abundance of these in my garden, and I wanted tulips.  Eventually I settled for mauve hyacinth bulbs.

Then we went to Portstone, where there was a better range, and I got bright purple tulips.  These and the hyacinth bulbs will have a cooling off period in the fridge before they are planted.

“Bluebells are pretty, yes indeed.
It’s purple tulips that I need.”


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