Almost all of our time in New Zealand has been spent under the dark shadow of Christchurch’s devastating earthquake. We were leaving Auckland when I heard the first radio announcement and for at least the first hour it was reported as almost an aftershock of the September 4th 7.1 earthquake. Unfortunately, despite being of lesser magnitude, it was much shallower and soon the full scale of its destruction became apparent.
We’ve met dozens of locals and tourists who were, and continue to be, affected by the quake and it is clear the experience will haunt them for some time. Yesterday we had to travel into Christchurch to make a bus connection to Akaroa and even beyond the ‘red zone’ there is sadly still a large number of collapsed and ‘red stickered’ buildings. Noah was amazed and shocked by the power of the earthquake. When he met some kids escaping the prediction of another big one at the weekend, he realised though that living on fault lines is certainly no fun. We hope that the city can find the strength to rebuild, albeit in a way more sensitive to earthquakes and for now, we want to continue enjoying our time in this beautiful country. NZ is definitely still open to tourists.