Welcome Aboard Blog

The latest news from our iconic Christchurch attractions

Blast from the past

I discovered this photo gem while looking for something else (that was never found). A blast from the past, it recalls the early days of Punting on the Avon, instigated in 1986 by Geoff Ellis who developed the riverside Edmonds Band Rotunda Restaurant. This scene quickly became one to identify Christchurch. The trick was to… Read More

Botanic Gardens light up

A light up leafy event promises to be spectacular in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens during the July school holidays. It will be part of the Botanic Gardens 150th celebrations this year. The event also coincides with TVNZ Two’s Kidsfest. It will be a rare treat to see our magnificent Botanic Gardens presented this way in… Read More

Special Visitor

Many Welcome Aboard people will remember a key staffer Annelies Vranken, responsible for functions and all manner of added value programmes.  She was also great with her computer skills.  Her position was taken over by the outgoing and very capable Sharon Sharpe (ne McKey) when Annelies departed to support her fiancé’s Ph.D. studies.  They spent… Read More

Tram refurbishment

Along at the Ferrymead Tram Barn a team is busy sprucing up a fleet of heritage trams in preparation for the opening of the city tramway, presently scheduled for October. No.11, the cute box car has been repainted following extensive wood repairs.  Nearby, its powered bogie truck is being rebuilt.  The Brill, No.178, is getting… Read More

First snow at Gondola summit

It is still autumn, just, but the first winter snow has transformed the Gondola summit.  It became a magical fairyland as the sun shone following a day of blizzards.  For me, there are no better views near Christchurch – the snow covered Alps with the quake-sculptured Castle Rock dominating the foreground.  The shattered Castle Rock… Read More

Views from the streets

Cruising around Christchurch by bicycle, I paused at the so-called Anglican transitional cathedral.  It’s looking great with most of the coloured glass windows installed.  I believe it will be completed within a few weeks.  Not for the first time I felt regrets at becoming a lapsed Anglican.  The idea for utilising cardboard tubes in the… Read More

Around Town

Overdue for my autumn fix I headed to our Christchurch Botanic Gardens last week.  I had left it a tad late in the season but found some great colours.  The maples were at their peak and there were some spectacular autumn oaks.  The new visitor centre is progressing and I was pleased to see one… Read More

Autumn shades and reminiscing

A maple tree exhibiting amazing shades of oranges and reds outside my window has me thinking about a previous autumn experience, in the Kansai district of Japan.  It was an impressive autumn shared with a long-time Osaka photographer colleague.  81-year-old Tatsuro san is a brilliant photographer with a love of New Zealand.  His exhibitions in… Read More

Remembering Gordon Kirk

Gordon Kirk was my neighbour.  That was many years ago.  I thought of him during Mike Esposito’s Speech at the official re-opening of our Welcome Aboard Gondola. Gordon Kirk had a long-time passion for the Port Hills.  Aged in his 70s, his long stride was hard to match when walking on the hills.  I once… Read More

“Where is the challenge in that?”

So goes one of the outstanding comments by Welcome Aboard Christchurch Managing Director, Mike Esposito, at the official opening of the Port Hills Gondola attraction on April 19. The Council-contracted geotechnical engineer who presented a report following the February 22, 2011, seismic event advised the Gondola attraction would never re-open.  It was recommended we take… Read More

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