About an hour and a half's drive from Christchurch at the end of Banks Peninsula is the little town of Akaroa. Uniquely, for New Zealand, it was originally settled by the French and so the main streets are called cheery names like the Rue Jolie.
And they are pretty. The old cottages are covered in roses and their gardens are full of flowers. The harbour setting is lovely as well and is now visited regularly by cruise ships because they can no longer dock at the main Christchurch port of Lyttelton which was damaged in the earthquake. One cruise ship arrived while we were there and I was very disappointed when I saw the passengers coming ashore to look at the town. There it was all festooned with roses waiting to greet them and there they were, dressed in black and brown polyester stretch knits looking like a lot of flies. Where were the fluttering silks and picture hats one would expect of people on an expensive South Pacific cruise in the spring time?
The town of Akaroa is really just for tourists now. After dark the flower covered cottages show no sign of life. During the year the population is only about 800 people, most of whom seem to be involved in the tourist trade, but in summer 15,000 visitors fill the place up and put quite a strain on the water supply.
I thought it would be a nice spot to show off my new cardigan made from about ten different colours of the Renaissance Dyeing Poll Dorset. It's knitted in daisy stitch which skinned my fingers while I was making it.
This little jetty looked like something from Moominland.
There is a very pretty little lighthouse which was once on the point of Banks Peninsula but has been moved into the town. Because a cruise ship was visiting the lighthouse was open and we were able to look around it.