Look out Christchurch – here come the Thompsons on segways …

Today we needed to be in town by 10:30 am for a fun adventure but it was still a struggle to get the kids out of bed in time. We were going on a tour of Christchurch City with a difference – we were doing it by Segway.

Urban Wheels instructed you in the use of a segway then took you on a tour of the rebuild of Christchurch following the earthquakes that were almost 4 years ago now.

After about 20 minutes instruction we hit the road, footpaths, parks and malls by segway. This was a real fun way of getting around town and a line of 5 segways moving around created plenty of interest of its own. I even found time to play Ingress as we went – not a  bad way to do it.

There certainly a huge difference to what I remembered of Christchurch with 1600 buildings having been demolished and the rebuild started with a lot of activity and money being spent but I get the feeling that the locals don’t think it is happening quick enough.

A lot of the old facades are being held up with concrete filled shipping containers and the buildings behind demolished. There are art and community projects called Gap Fillers on sites that will eventually have new buildings. The earthquakes have given the City an opportunity to redesign itself and part of that will be apartments for city living being built which is a foreign concept here.

A focal point for the rebirth is the Restart Mall which is made entirely of shipping containers and has actually changed locations already with shops, cafes and banks.

We were lucky to get 3.5 hours on the tour instead of the 2 hours as he didn’t have another tour today and was enjoying our company.

To finish off the tour, Graham got us to race in Hagley Park. It is amazing that when you want to go fast, the segway actually tries to slow you down so it is not that easy to race but the overall loser was Bradley and he will be cooking our meals for a couple of nights.

Time to hit the road again but not before getting the electricals fixed in the motorhome. It turns out that the auxiliary battery was at the end of its life and this is why we were getting unusual things occurring last night with the lights and battery charger.

A three hour drive and our digs for the night was Lake Tekapo. An amazing place with a turquoise green lake surrounded by mountains. It was a little overcast with what looked to be snow falling on the mountains in the distance and the temperature was getting cold.

We were going to go up to the Mt John Observatory but luckily it was booked out as it would have cost us $600 for a couple of hours and I can see better value going to the Observatory at Arkaroola. We will get up there during the day and check out the view.

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