Parts of cliffs collapse following severe Christchurch quake ... Read more

Christchurch residents flee

Last updated 09:50 19/03/2011
Clara Sweetman
PACKING UP: Clara Sweetman fills a suitcase in preparation for a trip out of Christchurch.

Relevant offers

Christchurch earthquake

Editorial: Rebuilding in the red zone a reality Community use and greenery at heart of Waimak red zone vision Quake-hit bar reopens: 'My brother would have wanted me to keep on going' Tree protection change rankles Christchurch residents Traditional buildings possible in Christchurch Christchurch earthquake study gives insight into impacts on children Helicopter demolishes Christchurch clifftop house from the sky Christchurch heritage house on Heberden Ave Sumner, built in 1852, demolished Bridge of Remembrance will be ready for Anzac Day Panel must reconsider cliff collapse properties decision court says

Tens of thousands of people attended the memorial service in Hagley Park yesterday, but thousands more were making the most of the long weekend by leaving Christchurch.

Cantabrians were given an extended break after Prime Minister John Key declared a one-off provincial holiday for the earthquake memorial service yesterday.

Holiday spots such as Hanmer Springs and Geraldine were nearly booked out.

Some of those leaving told accommodation providers they wanted a break from quake-damaged Christchurch, but others wanted to be out of the city tomorrow because of controversial predictions by "Moon Man" Ken Ring of another big quake.

Go Geraldine co-ordinator Rachel Harper said most accommodation in the town was booked for the weekend.

"There are a lot of families coming and quite a lot seem to be getting out of Christchurch for Sunday, March 20," she said.

"People aren't necessarily scared, but they're thinking `better safe than sorry'."

Geraldine Farmyard Holiday Park manager Kerrie Biggs had turned away about 60 families wanting cabins.

"People just want to be safe and they're a bit concerned about some of the predictions. They're very scared about what's going to happen," she said.

Hanmer Springs Mountain View Top 10 Holiday Park assistant manager Margaret Godsiff said the camping ground had been "inundated" with bookings.

"They were saying they were wanting to come away for the predicted earthquake, plus the public holiday," she said.

Halswell resident Chris Leigh was heading to Geraldine with his wife and three children, and will return on Tuesday.

He said the long weekend and the quake predictions were behind the trip.

"It's a bit of both. We've heard about Ken Ring and we're the first to hold our hands up and say we hope he's wrong, but we're better safe than sorry," he said.

"So we thought we'd get a break from the shakes and get the children out for a few days."

Kay Heald, of Shirley, was travelling to Twizel with her husband and daughter to stay with friends.

"I think the Moon Man has frightened me, and it's a good opportunity to just get out of town," she said.

"I'd like him to be wrong, but if he's right, I'd rather not be here."

Tourism representatives in Akaroa and Kaikoura said their towns had been busier than usual since the quake, but there was no increase in demand for accommodation this weekend.

Air New Zealand reported high demand for flights out of Christchurch from Thursday.

Ad Feedback

"We are very full," a spokeswoman said. "But we have been full every weekend since the February earthquake."

- The Press

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content