Getting Started in Christchurch

October 4, 2017

In late April, we said “bye” to our Wharncliffe family in Margaret River. Then, we took a bus to Perth and the next day we took off, direction new adventures. After a layover in Melbourne, we finally landed in Christchurch to begin our journey in New Zealand. When we arrived, it was quite chilly but the sun was still rising on a beautiful day.

We slowly made our way to our new Helpx host.  were thrilled to discover it was located in Cashmere Hills and the patio to our beautiful room was over looking a vast part of the city.

After an overdue nap, we met our host, and talked and talked. We got to know more about the couple -Dale a born and bred Kiwi and Leanne a kiwi with Maori roots. Then, he told us more about the work: renovating a 1912 mansion badly affected by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Over the next few days, we started working. Wyliam helping with the foundation filling and leveling the house. On the other hand, I was doing housework, helping Leanne as a personal assistant and doing some finishing on the stone walls outside. We were supposed to do that 3 days a week for 6 hours a day. We ended up doing 8 hours because the work was really exciting and gratifying. On the first Friday we were there, we also got to do a pizza night with the 2 other Helpxes and 5 flatmates. A hell of a party with that many people, with a kitchen that big you have to though. That night brought me to a quest to this Perfect Homemade Pizza Dough, which is a delight.

On our many days off, we were mainly looking for a car and ski/board gear. Also, we went to a Christchurch Crusaders rugby game with our hosts and many flatmates. True to ourselves, we took the opportunity of living in a new city to visit the movie theatre and indulge in Wyliam’s movie hobby. Being in a major hub was also the perfect place to go on a op-shop “hopping” and find many second hand treasures. Because why buy new products when you can get nicer ones for a fraction of the price? Right, there’s no reason to buy a new French press, when I can find a Bodum in perfect conditions for 2$!! We also found a new ride via Trade Me, New Zealand Ebay, and it took us up and down the ski mountain multiple time.

“We absolutely liked those weeks in the city”

Anyways, Cashmere Hill was a really nice place to stay for 3 weeks. We could hike the hill and enjoy the multiple city views, or drive to the other side of the hill and walk around Governors Bay. That place was stunning with its old jetty and turquoise blue water, perfect to admire the sunset with a beer.

Early on Saturday mornings, there is a market going on in Lyttelton. A small town also across the hill from Cashmere. It’s full of local specialty food like cheeses, bakeries and veggies. That place also has a wonderful view on the bay port.

After a last sight from our balcony, and a good Starbucks Shaken Lemonade Ice Tea and a Frappuccino, we were on our way for a winter in Lake Hawea.

In conclusion, we absolutely liked those weeks in the city. That’s is mainly because we had the nicest Helpx experience and our host were amazing. They were really into talking about New Zealand and its natural beauty, and the Maori culture. We really enjoyed that and it made an unique experience. We would go back there without any second thoughts!

That’s about it for now! Is there any topic in this post you would like me to elaborate on? If so, Say it in the comment section below!

À plus,



By Lea Tess

Right after graduating from a Arts & Science Bachelor in 2015, I took the first plane to China with my partner. Since then, we have visited many countries, lived in Australia and, currently, in New Zealand. I am passionate about food and making memories!

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