Wreckage in Christchurch, New Zealand

It may not seem very appealing, but one of the best places that you can actually go to see wreckage, carnage, and a beautiful city reborn is Christchurch, New Zealand. After an earthquake ripped apart the city, it had been almost completely destroyed. Now it is being rebuilt in a way that can really make your vacation a lot more interesting.

Visiting Christchurch or living in the city can provide a number of different opportunities related to the earthquake that most people will not immediately consider. As someone deeply interested in New Zealand and all it has to offer, I think you shouldn’t skip Christchurch on your next trip here. In this article, I will show you that the wreckage of the earthquake can be an interesting thing to visit especially now that the city is reborn.

Sites of Wreckage in Christchurch

There are plenty of emblematic locations in Christchurch, New Zealand that were destroyed during the earthquake that hit the city only a few years ago. Many of the largest and most well-known buildings have been hit hard and there are a wide variety of entities still in shambles. Many of the wrecked sites are fixed, however, which can show some insight into the resilience of the New Zealand people and their ability to rebuild.

Rebuilding New Zealand has become an integral part of the national identity after such a large earthquake hit such a small country. For people that really want to understand the culture of New Zealand in the modern day, seeing the wreckage and the sites that have been rebuilt is a huge way to do so.

Existing Wreckage and Survivors

There are a lot of survivors that you can speak to at just about any bar or restaurant in the city. Even if they were not in immediate danger, most of them remember getting into a position that nearly cost them their life. For those who want to discuss it, a lot of information can be learned by speaking to the survivors.

Also, looking at the existing wreckage of buildings that were never built can offer a lot of insight into the city and how it has grown as well. Sometimes buildings were not worthy enough of rebuilding and the destroyed foundations are a sign of the carnage that was wrought by this earthquake. It is also a reminder for the people of Christchurch and the visitors to the city to live every day as if another disaster could strike at any moment.

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Why Heat Pumps are great for Auckland

Auckland city in New Zealand has a wonderful climate. It never gets too cold, even in the winter. Because it is closer to the equator as it is at the top of the North Island (as opposed to, say, Christchurch or Dunedin that are in the south island) it stays nice and warm. On the other hand, being situated right next to the sea stops it from getting overly hot as the sea regulates the temperature. It addition, if you live in Auckland and want a Heat Pump, then you are in luck – the temperature is great for one.

Heat Pumps in Auckland

Why Heat Pumps require a moderated temperature

One of their ‘quirks’ is that they require a moderated outside temperature. That is why you don’t see many heat pumps in a city like New York. You’d think it would be perfect for them: but it isn’t. In the winter, it gets bitterly cold, well below freezing. While it can dip a bit below freezing, at a certain point it gets too much. The reason it matters, is because heat pumps take the air outside and either heats it or cools it based off what you set the unit to do. It then circulates it throughout the room (or house, if you have a ducted system). So if the temperature outside is too hot or too cold, then it won’t work – making Auckland perfect.

The benefits of it verses other systems

New York gets very cold, and the buildings require a lot of heating to stay warm. That was why I was surprised they didn’t have pumps, until I learned how they work. If they could use them, then their power bills would be significantly lower. This is because they are very energy efficient, and they use very little electricitiy compared to other systems. This makes them eco-friendly, which is great for environment. This is especially important in a country like New Zealand that prides itself on its clean-and-green image. It does cost a lot more up front compared to say, a fan heater, but over the years not only will the cost even out – but the comfort you will get from it will mean you won’t regret your investment.

Auckland heat pumps

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Tips for travelling around New Zealand

Getting around New Zealand is both hard and easy. It is hard, because the roads are not well made and there are a lot of hills in the way. On the other hand it is easy, because everything is so close together. New Zealand is very strange, and it is one of the only places in the world where you can literally see a volcano, the beach and a snowy mountain in a single day. The thing about New Zealand is that while everything is close together, it takes twice the time as it would in other countries to get to it. Our small population means we haven’t had the money to invest in massive travel infrastructure (such as high ways and freeways) so as a consequence, it takes longer.

Firstly, while travelling, I highly suggest that you stick to the main routes and bring a map with you. If you have a GPS that is great, but you should always have a map just in case something happens. A lot of people get lost, because they go off the main highways and end up in some remote field. There is a lot of rural areas in New Zealand and it is very easy to get lost in them. I don’t care if your Uncle Joe swears that there is a shortcut – don’t listen to him. Stick to the main routes.

Secondly, be aware of your petrol. There are long stretches in New Zealand where there are no petrol stations available for over an hour. If you enter one of these stretches low on petrol, then you could very well get stuck. Be sure to stay topped up. You need to stay on top of this yourself, because the areas where there are no petrol stations or self-serve gas pumps are not signposted, and there are no signs warning you of this. The best advice I can give you is to try and never go below a quarter of a tank of gas while outside of a city: otherwise you could regret it.

As long as you abide by these tips, and drive safely (so wear your seatbelt, don’t drive while sleep and things like this) you should be absolutely fine.

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Indian Restaurants in Auckland, NZ

Auckland, New Zealand is one of the biggest and most visited cities in the entire group of islands. Many of the local New Zealanders love the city for the vibrant feel and the authentic mixture of cultures that it brings. The important thing to consider about New Zealand is that it used to be part of the British Empire and therefore has a lot of commonalities with the other Commonwealth nations.

For one thing, Indian food is a huge staple for people in Auckland, New Zealand and there are a variety of restaurants with this in mind. Using the following article, you will be able to better identify a good restaurant for eating Indian food.

Locations of Indian Restaurants

Down by the water front, there are a few options for people that have a hankering for some Indian food. One of the main Indian restaurants in the downtown area is called Raviz Indian cousine, which seems to have fairly good reviews and is located on Hobson Street. This is a particularly tourist friendly restaurant as it is only a quick jump away from most of the tourist sites that are located downtown.

For people that want a little more selection and even some Persian fusion, the Saffron Indian Restaurant is located to the west of the city center. This restaurant is less well reviewed than Raviz, but it should entice those who are interested in a new type of cuisine that fits within the Indian profile.

A little further is Little India, which is located in Kingsland on New North Road. This is another fine Indian eating establishment, but it does not have the kind of reviews that some of the other locations have.

Best Rated Indian Restaurants

While location is often the determining factor for eating at restaurants, the quality can be an issue for some. The best Indian food in Auckland, New Zealand is located at India Gate, which is on Manukau Road near the Epsom region of Auckland. Furthermore, there are great ratings for Oh Calcutta, which is on Parnell Road as well.

These two are probably the two most well-renowned restaurants in Auckland for Indian cuisine and provide a selection of all the best dishes. For travelers who are visiting Auckland, New Zealand or just locals that want the best, these two locations are well known for their quality of service and authentic dishes.

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Christchurch rebuild: storage and EQC

EQC Storage IssuesEveryone knows that I love Christchurch. It is the third biggest city in the south island of New Zealand. It used to be the second biggest; but then it was slammed by an earthquake in September of 2010: and this changed everything. Buildings have collapsed; and as a result, there is now a huge need in Christchurch for storage after the earthquakes.

To understand why, look at what happened in the Christchurch CBD. About two thirds (if not more) of their buildings were demolished. But they were mostly commercial buildings; now lets look at residential buildings. In suburbs like Linwood and Ferrymead, they suffered immense earthquake damage, particularly after the February 2011 earthquakes which caused a lot more liquefaction in the eastern suburbs. People had to abandon their contents – and as a result, they had to abandon their items.

buildings in chch

But one area that the earthquake commission (EQC) has failed in is covering the costs for containers for residents storing their household items. They do cover some of the cost for this, but it isn’t enough a lot of the time. I have heard of too many people struggling because they have only been given enough money to cover 6 months for their units, and after that they can no longer afford to rent them; but they have no choice, because they have no where else to store them (or worse, they are paying both a mortgage AND rent, because their EQC money does not accurately cover them).

It is things like this that make me think that EQC has dropped the ball one too many times. Gerry Brownly talks as though he has the cities best interests at heart; but does he really? Looking forward to this upcoming election, the residents of Christchurch have a huge choice to make. It seems scary to take on a whole new government and political party and just choose Labour though, given how volitile the situation is. I’ll be watching and waiting with baited breath on election night.

Christchurch residents need storage

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