In an effort to kick start a return of tourist attractions in Christchurch, Welcome Aboard this week invited people from the accommodation industry and i-site visitor centre for a famil on the Grand Tour that was re-instated on December 1.  The half-day tour was enjoyed by all and it is hoped they will recommend the Grand Tour along with other worthy attractions, including the two excellent Tranz Scenic rail journeys, operating from Christchurch.

Punting from the quaint old Antigua boat sheds was an obvious hit.  The tour stopped for a view near the Sign of the Takahe on the Port Hills and paused 45 minutes in Sumner for a coffee break.  At the Mona Vale walkthrough the Paradise ducklings spotted last week were thriving under the watchful eyes of parent ducks.  The rose gardens, blooming superbly, were a stopper.

The Grand Tour coach, spruced up last week, was comfortably chocker.  Tour driver Dave Street, believing it was time to mentally move on, refrained from dwelling on earthquake woes.  He was soon recalling his compelling patter of growing up in Christchurch; collecting chestnuts along the riverbank, trout fishing in the Avon and other delightful memories.

The best of it was demonstrating many of the attractions we cherish in Christchurch still exist.