South We Go

The North of the South Island Week 1

This post in Francais

We started our week in Christchurch, where we saw the destruction that was caused to the Garden City. We enjoyed the city the best we could, it was once an stunning city. Our next stop was Hammer Springs, where we walked in the forest, and went to the hot springs to recover. We then went to Kikoura, where JB ate crayfish, and saw seals. We hiked up Mt. Fyffe, and tasted wine in Blenhiem. At the end of the week we pick up friends and hit the road to Queenstown.

7th November 2011 Christchurch

We spent the day in Christchurch, using the internet. We drove around the town trying to do some paper work, but we found of course that most things were closed or half open. People were really helpful and friendly. You can still all the damage that was done to the city during the earthquake. I felt sad for the town and its people, but they are so upbeat abd getting on with their lives.

We organized our car so it would be easier to live in on a beach just north of the city. We cooked out first dinner with our Gas stove and watch the sky change colours before we went to sleep.

8th November 2011 On the way to Hammer Springs

We woke up on the beach, it was very windy, we managed to have our breakfast outside before we headed into town.

We spent the morning in the Canterbury Museum, which is very big and has very interesting displays. We had lunch in the museum café which over looked the botanical gardens, which is not let open to the public, but is very pretty.

We then when to the doctors to get our medicals done, we saw Dr. Wilson.

Afterwards we drove up to Hammer Springs.

Hammer springs, is a lovely mountain town with chalets surrounded by the forest in the middle of the mountains. We stayed in a campsite for the night.

9th November 2011 Hammer Springs

We woke up and headed into town to get some food for our picnic at lunch. We walked a track in the middle of the woods that lead us to a 40 meter waterfall. We had a picnic with real cheese and ham at the end of the track.

We then went to enjoy the natural hot springs in the centre of town. There we really nice and classy, lots of different kinds of hot pools with different water temperatures. We enjoyed the afternoon there relaxing in the hot water.

In the evening we drove down to Kikoura which is known as the whale watching capital of New Zealand. It was raining when we arrived. We stopped at New World to get some ready cooked food for dinner, as we would not cook in the rain. That’s where we saw the duck that was trying as hard as he could to get into the supermarket. He was so cute.

We found the free camping spot, where all the other camper vans were parked and parked alongside them for the night. We made plans to go walking in the morning with another camper. We fell asleep listening to the rain.

10th November 2011 Kikoura

We woke up to the same sound we fell asleep listening to, the rain. This meant that our morning walk has been cancelled. We could not have breakfast outside so we went to a café to have a coffee and a muffin.

Afterwards we went to the information office to find out what we could do in the rain. They only wanted to tell us about things we had to pay to do, so we left. After a while the rain stopped and went for a walk along the coast. We saw some more seals, they are so cute.

We spent most of the day walking around the town and relaxing in the car. It was very windy and cold, we were wearing our winter coats and bennies.

We ate fresh Crayfish for lunch it was great, grilled on the BBQ from a roadside stand.

We slept in the same place we had slept the night before, but instead of the rain we had clear skies and the moon was full and lit up the sky.

11th November 2011 Mt Fyffe

Sunshine!! That is woke me up this morning, the sky is blue, there is not a cloud in the sky and we can see the Kikoura mountain ranges, they still have some snow on top and look wonderful.

After breakfast we headed inland to Mt. Fyffe which we climbed up to get to a look out point that was amazing. We were surrounded by mountains and we could see the sea. We had lunch at the end of the track down by our car.

We hit the road again and drove back to the coast and then up to the town of Bleinhem. We booked into a campsite in the middle of town for the night and did some laundry, had dinner and wrote our journal. We tried to get ourselves a powered site, but due to a kiwi joke that didn’t work out. There are lots of baby ducklings in the camp groups and they keep running up to me hoping a will find them cute enough to feed them.

12th November 2011 Blenheim Vineyards

It is raining again! So far our trip has been sunny one day and raining the next. It makes travelling challenging.

Anyway today we spent the day visiting some of the regions vineyards. We tasted wine in 2 places the first one had a cellar that we could visit, it was a very classic vineyard that we liked very much. We had lunch at Waripu river vineyard, it was great, Fred had a smoked salmon salad and I had a cheese soufflé.

We then drove back to just north of Christchurch and stayed on the same beach we did a few days before, it was really windy and cold.

13th November 2011 On the road to Queenstown

We woke up early to transform our car back to a car with more than 2 seats and a sleeping area, as we drove down to Queenstown with Remy and his girlfriend. On the way we stopped at Lake Tekapo, the water was clear blue and the views were stunning. As we got closer to Queenstown it started to rain, but it soon stopped. I was happy it stopped raining, because last time I came to Queenstown it rained for the 4 days I was here.

We set ourselves up at a campsite and then headed into town just as the sun was setting to take photos of the lake a sunset.

We had a wonderful gourmet dinner at ‘The Bunker Room’, very lovely food, well cooked, by a wood fire. We had a after dinner drink at Macs on the wharf.

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