After leaving Australia, we arrived in Christchurch, on New Zealand’s south island, on Saturday, 14th November. It was a late night arrival, so we checked straight into our airport hotel, which was right next door to NZ’s Antarctic Centre, where we spent Sunday morning. The kids loved the Hagglund ride, but twice was enough for me!
Sunday afternoon saw us drive to Timaru, on the east coast, for an overnight stop. On Monday we headed for Gore, stopping on the way at the Moeraki Boulders, and the Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, where we got up close to some pretty big seals, lazing on the beach (and one in the middle of some sand dunes that we weren’t expecting!).
One interesting road sign and farmer’s fence later, we arrived in Gore, to stay with the Turners (Jean, Matthew, Joshua and Charlotte) for a few days. The weather was distinctly chillier in Gore (16 degrees – brrr!), one of the reasons that the Turners are moving to New Plymouth on the north island in the new year. It was great to see them all, even though it was for only a short time. Jean has some photos on her Facebook page of me and Sue showing our athletic prowess at the local park (not!), that I’ll copy over some time. Even though they’ve only been living in NZ for a year, Joshua and Charlotte have picked up a real NZ twang! I think it’ll be a bit of shock for their grandmothers when they arrive in a few weeks.
After leaving the Turners we headed up to Queenstown, where the highlight of the day was the gondola ride up the mountain, followed by the Luge:
For those who don’t know, Queenstown is the ‘adrenalin capital’ of NZ, although the cable car/gondola and luge was about as daring as we got. We watched a couple of people bungy jump, but weren’t particularly tempted! Lots of people were parascending off the mountain, and the weather was great for all that stuff – beautifully sunny. It wasn’t to last though!
More to follow…