I am planning a visit to South Island in March 2015. I need to stay in Christchurch for at least 1 night (could do even 2 if needed). My primary purpose is to rest (I really need a very good rest after a very long flight), make a visit to the Antarctic center, and have restaurants (vegetarian friendly) nearby at walking distance (will not have car with me for 1st day).
After doing a bit of research I had zeroed in on YMCA in central city. But with the earthquake and building closures, I am not so sure if it is the best choice. Restaurants in the area are very few, and they don't seem to stay open beyond 5:30 pm or so. Hence, is it better to stay near the airport? The Antarctic center is close to the airport, and I found a couple of veg-friendly restaurants nearby also. I am not sure if I will be allowed to go inside the airport and eat at the restaurants in the terminal.
So folks, please give me some advice as I am really confused whether to stay at the Y or near the airport. Thanks!