Christchurch Botanic Gardens & The Canterbury Museum – Day 216
Free things to do in Christchurch City Centre!
Today we are checking out the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Canterbury Museum. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities then fly on over to our epic YouTube Channel!
Today we’re gonna be spending Boxing Day away from the craziness of the shops and we’re gonna go to the Canterbury Museum and we’re also going to explore the Christchurch Gardens. Because Christchurch is a garden city.
Today we are not only checking out two free things to do in Christchurch but two free things that are easily accessible right from Christchurch city centre. We’re heading to the Botanic Gardens and the Canterbury Museum.
We park up at the Botanic Gardens and head straight toward this really awesome sculpture and one of the many art pieces that you can see around the gardens. There’s heaps of ducks here loads of different wildlife and they’re going pretty crazy for all the bread people are throwing into the pond for them.
However we don’t stay here for too long because there’s 21 hectares of the Botanic Gardens to explore. So we hot one of the many walking trails passing the beautiful flower beds and going first to check out the New Zealand Garden with lots of native New Zealand plants and to this really awesome glass house which is full of really interesting and wild exotic vegetation.
This tropical garden is only one of the many features of the Christchurch gardens there is also an azalea and magnolia garden, an Asian garden, a rose garden, a water garden, a New Zealand garden, a fragrant garden, a herb garden, a herbaceous border, and a heritage rose garden. that’s a lot of stuff to see in only one of many gardens of the city.
And as soon as we exit this tropical garden we arrive right in the middle of the rose garden. there is a sundial right in the middle which is a really good opportunity to learn how to use a sundial just in case we get lost in the woods but one of the main features of the rose garden is obviously the beautiful fragrance all around.
Obviously, the bees are going absolutely crazy for all the roses all around they are having a real feast but Laura and I are taking the time to smell all the different ones and it’s actually really crazy how many of these roses have actually a very different smell. it’s really interesting and something I never really paid attention to before. It’s really great thing to learn about today.
It actually smells really nice. Smells like the flowers I never got for my Christmas present. Joking…
Among the many different themes gardens there’s loads of different walkways so you could literally take different passage through the Botanic Gardens every time you walk through here. And that’s probably why the Botanic Gardens are actually so busy today full of locals that absolutely love this place.
Along one of the walkways we find one of our favorite features of the botanic gardens which is this awesome water fountain. It sort of works on a clockwork mechanism that you can control yourself with different controls and it’s only one of many water fountains in the gardens. We’re going to be heading to probably the most famous photo spot in the gardens which is the Peacock Fountain. It’s surrounded by colourful flower beds.
Gawd, what’s girl got to do to get some water around here?
And right next to this absolutely gorgeous fountain is the Canterbury museum. the Canterbury Museum is free of charge so it’s the perfect activity in Christchurch for anyone on a budget and it’s also the perfect activity for a rainy day just because it’s a museum.
The first section of the museum that we spend time in is the Iwi Tawhito exhibition it is an exhibition about the early maori that settled in New Zealand and the way of life that they used to have.
It’s really interesting there is a lot of toki which are stones carved by the maori and there is a lot of wooden sculptures as well because they were master crafters back in the days.
Because the Maori culture is so far from our own, both Laura and I are from Europe, we spend most of our time in the Maori exhibition it’s the most fascinating exhibition to us and the most interesting one.
The Maori culture is really cool. they had really unique hunting techniques, fishing techniques as well as carving techniques. This is actually how they were recording their history and the status of everybody in the tribe for the next generation to come. It was all happening through carving. It’s amazing.
While the Maori were the first settlers in New Zealand it was the Europeans that came next and this is the next exhibition that we are checking out now. this exhibition is called Christchurch Street which is a mock up of what the city used to look like back in the day when the early settlers arrived.
The next really interesting exhibition that we’re checking out is this Antarctica exhibition because Christchurch is known as the Gateway to Antarctica for nations across the globe. And we learn about some of the early pioneers of Antarctica like Scott and Shackleton, as well as Edmund Hillary which is known as a national hero here in New Zealand for doing the first motorised crossing across Antarctica.
There are also a few temporary exhibitions at the Canterbury Museum and the one that’s here when we arrive is the Air New Zealand exhibition marking 75th anniversary of New Zealand’s famous airline company.
We spend a good couple of hours here at the Canterbury Museum so we definitely recommend it anyone exploring Christchurch City centre but for us now we’re heading back through the lovely Botanic Gardens once again to our campervan where we’re spending the night at Jucy Snooze.
There’s kids throwing bread into the duck ponds and it’s like crazy it’s like yeah it’s like a… I can’t say massacre can I? It’s like a massacre of ducks in there. Trying to get this bread.