Christchurch wander and museum

This morning has been a little educational and very good for the legs (lots of walking).
We got up quite early but applied for a few more jobs before actually getting up and getting ready to go out for the day.  When we did get up we headed out into the main town.  Apparently we forgot that it was Sunday as there was next to no-one was out.  Other than maybe a few other travellers.

A little quirky street.

The wander was really nice, it was a little on the cold side but still sunny out. It is strange to walk around a city that is so flat after all the mountains we have driven through.  The devastation of the earthquakes are still very visible throughout the city, look at the church below, half of it is still fully intact and the other half is just gone.

There were a few other quirky things around, like the large grass sofa and chairs.  I am not sure what they represent, but they were quite comfy to sit on.  I did feel tiny in the chair though.

Faux grass sofa and chairs.

There is also a shopping arcade where a tram drives straight through it.  There were notices around the arcade where they state they continued to build the arcade whilst the tram continued on it’s daily route.
Still trying to get my head around how that would work.

Cathedral Junction

The below was created by an artist called Chris Heaphy, he was one of two artists who were invited to help transform the Christchurch Cathedral Square before its grand opening in 2013.  The square was closed for nearly two years after the earthquake on 22 February 2011 which had a magnitude of 7.1.

Planted Whare, 2013

The structure is constructed of steel scaffolding and covered with plastic bread baskets filled with local and exotic plants.

The below is a garden dedicated to the first peoples.  It is meant to show how the area may have looked 700 years ago when Christchurch was a vast tract of wetlands. The first peoples chose to settle here because of the rich resources from the wetland. They built their whare (home) on the high ground along sandy shores above the Otakaro River.
Freshwater Springs on the Northern boundary of the settlement provided clean water even when there were floods.
The site gave access to fibre plants for clothing, baskets, fish traps and cordage. Harakeke raupo and ti kouka grew here in abundance. The waterways provided fish, eels and waterfowl. Towards the west the forest provided timber for the whares and canoes.

After this area, we headed over to the museum, it was free to get in and there were a lot of things going on in there, below are just a few things which I found interesting.

The building for the museum.

Moa were large, flightless birds which lived in New Zealand until about 600 years ago, but are now extinct. There were even 11 species of moa. Their

Three different Moa breads.

There was even a house – which was a little creepy – covered in shells, the walls even had puau’s all over them. I couldn’t bring myself to photograph all of those, but I did photograph a full cabinet of shells which were very pretty.


After that, we heading into the Maori section and there were a few totems and carvings which were all very interesting.  Every carving has a different meaning.

Maori carvings.

The one at the top behind the guy in front are panels from the front of a carved pataka (storehouse). The carvings represent both human figures and manaia (mythical creatures).

More carvings.

Pounamu (greenstone) – although the presence of nephrite was known to the Maori from moa-hunting times, it was not until later that it became important in their culture. This very tough, hard beautiful stone was used for ornaments, wood working tools and fighting weapons.
The largest mere (a jabbing, club-like weapon), Te Paa, is owned by the Te Aika family, of Tuahiwi. It has been passed down through many generations and was used in the defence of Kaiapoi Pa, North of Christchurch.
A more translucent but softer and less durable form of pounamu known as tangiwai (bowenite) was sometimes used.

Pounamu Greenstone

This was a painting on the ceiling of the penguin area of the museum.  It’s pretty cool and really big, you cannot even stand under it to take the photo, you have to stand above it.


Then we got to the dinosaurs!
I am pretty sure this is where I become a kid.

Below is a replica of a Triceratops which is a herbivore and had specialised beaks and teeth for pulping food.


This is a Allosaurus which lived in the late Jurassic period of 150-135 million years ago.  It also had about 60 curved dagger-like teeth that were used to kill and tear apart it’s prey.


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