Go to Christchurch! The earthquakes have meant that businesses are floundering, especially tourist-related ones. Three of us were privileged to get Andrew Wells as our guide for the entire day up into the mountains at Arthur's Pass. The train wasn't working that day, so he drove us both ways. Gloriously informative on all subjects NZ and also (if you're interested) able to speak Japanese, Andrew did a brilliant job on us. We could even borrow waterproofs for the rainy walk in the temperate rainforest. Nothing too much trouble, and organised like clockwork even to picking us up round the back of our house. Andrew and his company deserve to prosper, but it could be difficult if nobody goes to that area. As a matter of fact, as a separate trip we also had a very interesting personal tour of Christchurch by a young lady with poodles and a pink open-top stretch limo - all these locals were delighted to have us visiting. Most things in ChCh are unaffected and undamaged - they are open for business, andthey are doing a good job!
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