One of the main regrets I’ve heard from previous students who studied abroad in Christchurch is that they never actually spent time in Christchurch. Besides the first week I spent here with IES Abroad, I was starting to become part of this group. During the 4 months I spent in New Zealand, I only spent three weekends in Christchurch. During the week I would go on day trips to Riccorton, New Brighton, or Sumner, but I always chose to travel rather that stay in Christchurch on the weekends. Looking back I don’t regret this because it allowed me to get to see a lot more of New Zealand, but there are definitely some Christchurch activities that I did not want to miss. Some of my favorite Christchurch memories are surfing at Sumner beach, eating noodles at the Lantern festival, running around Hagley Park, weeknight hangouts at Ilam Apartments, and of course, Saturday mornings at the Farmer’s Market.
If you are anything like me, and plan on spending every opportunity you get traveling around New Zealand, the Christchurch market is definitely something you will want to go to. To be honest, the only reason I wasn’t off backpacking the weekend I went to the markets is because the snow was so bad on the Mueller Hut Track that it wasn’t safe to tramp. But this meant I finally had a free Saturday! A few friends and I took a very short bus ride (it’s only around a 25 minute walk but the cold weather made the bus look little bit more desirable) to explore the markets.
When I am home in California for the summer, my mom and I love going to our local farmer’s market, so walking into Christchurch’s market brought back great memories. There were so many booths selling fresh, local goodies, and so many familiar faces from UC Canterbury. Because of that weekend’s bad weather, most close by tramps required crampons and an ice axe, so a lot of students decided that a weekend in Christchurch would be nice.
One of the most popular tents is “Posh Porridge.” Their menu includes 5-6 different flavors of porridge that customers can top with cream, brown sugar, and maple syrup. I chose the porridge that had toffee syrup mixed in with bananas on top, and of course I topped it with almond milk and brown sugar. On a cold morning this was the perfect breakfast to keep me warm. During the spring and summer months there is an abundance of fresh fruit being sold here, but since I went at the end of May, there were only apples and lots of squash. Another one of my favorite booths sells vegan cheese. I know this probably isn’t exciting for most people, but vegan cheese is not something that is sold at the supermarkets in New Zealand. Come to think of it, most vegan specialty foods are hard to come by in NZ. The lady at this booth makes different types of cheese each week and even takes orders from customers about what type of cheese they would like to see at upcoming markets.
Before leaving the market, my friends and I bought lunch to bring home at a food truck that was at the entrance. I bought a veggie burger to bring back to my apartment for later. Since I had a few finals the following week to study for, a premade healthy lunch was perfect for a study break.
If you come to Christchurch, definitely reserve a Saturday for these markets. And if you love it, there are night markets and flea markets you can explore too.
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<p>I'm Caroline, a native to Southern California, and a student at Texas Christian University. I'm studying Social Work and hope to eventually work in the field of child welfare, where I'll give children who haven't had the best start to their lives a chance to be successful. I love to play soccer, surf, go on backpacking trips, and eat delicious, healthy food. I'm hoping to meet new people, explore as many places in New Zealand as I can, and gain cultural awareness through my experience abroad. I'm ready for some new adventures and in New Zealand, those aren't hard to find.</p>