I’m sure Christchurch residents are wondering why they’ve been stricken by a 7.1 earthquake when Auckland, in the midst of 50 dormant volcanoes, remains unscathed. Some kind of divine irony perhaps?
We’re not acting smug and unsympathetic up here. How can we be? We’ve been warned by the media (oh for about 20 years now) that a big one will hit Auckland at some point, whether it be earthquake, volcano or tsunami, so it’s kind of a given. But, like they say, a watched pot never boils.
In case anyone wonders, we Jaffas are doing our bit to help tourism to the Garden City. No one has removed the billboard over the Stanley Street overpass, though I’m sure it has caused a few wry grimaces over the last week.
Should we stay or should they go?
In fact a rocking great quake might help things in the adventure tourism area. From what I’ve seen online people are making the best of a bad situation and there’s quite a few hotels cutting room rates. Tourists are being encouraged to visit quick smart before word gets out Christchurch is a no go for the next 10 years.
Although most tourist operators are back to business as usual, of course people are going to be put off. This has been the biggest quake in New Zealand since 1931.
And for the people of Christchurch who have had to endure the whole thing, there’s always the free ‘Break from the quake‘ package to Greymouth or Hokitika sponsored by Tourism West Coast along with Solid Energy, KiwiRail and Lyttleton Port of Christchurch. Just two nights mind you, they have to go back to the wreckage after that.
So frock up for an eventful weekend in Christchurch, you might get more of an adventure than you bargained for.