My first ever experience of Christchurch’s port town of Lyttelton, was sitting on the wharf in the cold, holding a brand new fishing rod. It became something of a ritual to head out fishing with my Dad. He’d choose the coldest days because that was when the fish were biting (or so he said). Regardless, I’d go along and keep him company. Hook, line and sinker at the ready Dad showed me how to thread the bait and cast the line. Dad isn’t much of a talker so we’d sit for hours in silence, but for the gentle lapping of waves against the rotting legs of the wharf. The air was cold and smelled of smoke and industrial waste from the anchored ships nearby. I wondered how long we’d be out in the freezing cold, as I’d count the rusty bolts on the wharf with the floor creaking beneath us. If I went too close to the edge, I’d surely fall in and never find my way out. Were there monsters living down there in the deep green ocean? If I didn’t pay attention, I might fall in and get eaten by a Taniwha!
I haven’t been fishing for years, but I do love Lyttelton and a visit to Christchurch always warrants an obligatory visit. Things have definitely changed there since the 2011 quake of course. But with the resilience of the community the area was quickly brought back to life with fun public events and a renewed energy. A vacant lot was reworked as a kind of contemporary interactive sculpture garden, complete with a mosaic seat and playing area for kids.
Fortunately there are still some cool shops along the main strip of the township, and it’s certainly a reason to visit. Here you’re likely to find curios, antiques, retro home ware and an organic produce store along with a small handful of cafes.
Strolling towards the harbour we came across Samo’s–a favourite of the local’s, there was a queue snaking its way out the door on a busy weekday lunch hour. With its relaxed, bohemian atmosphere there are tables located inside and out, and all of the cooking is done from a caravan situated just outside in the courtyard. The cafe has the types of dishes you’d expect and hope for on its blackboard menu with cooked breakfasts, salads and open sandwiches, and there was also a a good selection of cabinet food. The staff were super friendly too, so if we visit again it’s the one place we’ll make an effort to stop by.
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!