There’s a wee cluster of them in the airport by the baggage pickup. And once you get into the city centre, they are the first thing you’ll notice in the central square.
Apparently it’s all part of a big public art project. They’re on display over the summer; there is, of course, a smartphone app and a trail to follow.
There’s no shortage of colour around. Re:Start mall is looking vibrant, with tons of cool boutiques and souvenir shops housed in containers. And as we passed charming New Regent St I did a double take. Plus, there are countless cool murals on walls around the city centre.
But it is still very quiet in the city centre – almost deathly still in the off hours we were there (Saturday evening). It was probably 90 percent tourists, and a couple of rough looking characters (the Christchurch housing market is squeezed, although for different reasons than Auckland).
Abandoned buildings are scattered throughout. The iconic cathedral now houses pigeons, lined up on a perch under its roof, open and yawning onto the square.
On the upside, the few eateries near our hotel that were open were humming. We had dinner at The Himalayas, a pulsing Indian restaurant. I wasn’t in love with my butter scallops, but I think it was more a personal issue with the texture of seafood in curry than a reflection of the food quality; the curry part was definitely fantastic. Chicken tikka masala = unreserved thumbs up.