The official Australian travel advice website warns travellers to exercise a “high degree of caution” when visiting Christchurch
By Kloe Palmer
Just as Christchurch is getting back on its feet, the Australian government has put the boot in – comparing the ‘Garden City’ to Iran, Rwanda, and East Timor.
The official Australian travel advice website warns travellers to exercise a “high degree of caution” in those countries and then puts poor old Christchurch and Lyttleton in the same category.
Aussies at Christchurch airport today were unimpressed.
“I think that's ridiculous statement and perhaps Australian politicians need to come over and visit Christchurch.,” says one.
“We had great food, great entertainment – I can't see why anyone would be frightened of coming to Christchurch,” says another.Australian visitor numbers to the city are still down 20 percent from 2010.
And Tim Hunter from Canterbury Tourism believes Canberra's warning about more aftershocks and infrastructure damage is putting them off.
“We thought it was unreasonable and we certainly didn't need that,” he says.
The Australian government says its travel advice for New Zealand was updated three months ago and won't be changed just yet.
But New Zealand's Foreign Affairs department is working to get the warning removed now.