Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Antarctic Adventure and Shopping Fun in Christchurch

On our last day in NZ before we headed to Christchurch Airport for Singapore tomorrow, we checked out The Antarctic Adventure in the morning.

Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest place on earth and more than 90% covered in ice. Incredibly dangerous, the earth's 5th largest continent radiates an intimidating feeling across its untouched vast wilderness of white.

Globally important for environmental and climate research, Antarctic is also home to enchanting penguins, seals and wildlife and features spectacular seasonal light display (aurora's), stunning glaciers, ice formations and pressure ridges. On display in the centre was the little blue penguins. Being the most nocturnal amongst the penguins, they are not particularly colourful. But they do have a colourful chorus and yes, they are such great swimmers.

On the whole, it had been an awesome experience. Besides penguin watching, we were also thrusted into the Antarctic storm - the wind was bitterly cold despite the winter clothing and rubber overshoes provided. There was the Hagglund ride which gave us a taste of what it was like being a passenger in the wildest place on earth. I loved the very informative and enthralling simulated 4D cruise in the ocean to Antarctica, the short clip on the frozen sunset. There were also the amazing stories of the historically significant intrepid Antarctic explorers, such as Captain Scott.

After a quick lunch, our next stop was Re:Start Mall. Opened in late October 2011, this colourful labyrinth of shops based in shipping containers was the first retail activity in the Christchurch CBD after the February 2011 earthquake. It was a pleasant and whimsical place to stroll.

Thereafter we ventured to Westfield Riccarton. It was a well laid-out mall with lots of dining and shopping options. But there was really nothing to shout about as it was the typical shopping mall.

We then made our way to Dress-Smart Hornby. It is the South Island's only dedicated outlet centre, with over 60 outlet stores offering up to 70% off normal retail prices everyday. There are the main street favourites like Esprit, Columbia, Cotton-on as well as sports brands Adidas, New Balance, Asics, Puma and Canterbury. We did some shopping there especially for Columbia sportswear. Not only were there great savings, they carried sizes which I could fit.

Thereafter we went for a sumptuous dinner at Robbie's on Riccarton. This was our second visit here. This gorgerous and popular, Bar and Biston served pretty mean steak, pork ribs and delicious fish and chips. Not surprisingly, the restaurant had a healthy crowd. With the coupon from our motel, we could receive 10% discount and one free house wine per couple of diners. That meant more bang for our bucks.


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