People are very friendly in New Zealand. Impressively so. They have shuttle buses from all their major airports called ‘Super-Shuttle’, and I have used it for all my connections to and from airports here. They put your bag in the caboose, and the van takes about 6 people or so, or maybe just you. I pre-book them but you can just get them from the kurb at the airports. They are much cheaper than taxis and way more fun.
Often they have women drivers and they talk about the earthquake and are very knowledgeable. They know where they ate going, speak English and don’t smell – what more could you ask for. Bit like a guided tour. When I arrived we went the long was into the CBD as some of the passengers wanted to be dropped off all over the place. It’s a fixed fare so it didn’t matter to me and the driver was so interesting. Every trip so far has been great, and they don’t have to pick many people up so I don’t worry about being late to the plane.
At staff at my Christchurch hotel are also very engaging and helpful. They are very friendly too. The breakfast waitress made me a take-away pack of croissants when I had an early flight to Queenstown. I think it is because there are so few people in the city that they have time to actually talk to the visitors. I eat in the hotel in Christchurch because there are no evening restaurants in the city. No one us here except tourists and the restaurants are all in the suburbs now. There are coffee shops for lunch and breakfast, but I eat in for dinner.
Even the team driver waved to me in the street when he passed me an hour after I had taken the tram ride – it goes for about a kilometre and has only just reopened on a fraction of the old tram route as most of the streets still have to be all repaired.
It really is very quiet in the city.