We just spent two days on the Banks Peninsula, 75 km from
Christchurch. The village of Akaroa is very touristy in a way – sort
of like Salt Spring Island with the locals very distinct from, but
dependent on, the visitors, and many artists plying their trades.
Everyone is very friendly and polite – something that really is true
of New Zealanders everywhere.
The scenery is impressive and we've driven some narrow winding roads.
The rental car brakes get overheated on the downhill parts and the
engine does on the uphill parts, so we have to shift down on the steep
stretches (it's an automatic).
Enjoyed Birdlings Flat – a large beach of rounded river rocks that
have been moved north by ocean currents from the river outlet and land
at the base of the peninsula.
Went for a 2-3 hour walk/hike today and then ate fish and chips.