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Day 23: Goodbye Christchurch and New Zealand

This was our last day in New Zealand. Three weeks driving from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island and ending in Christchurch. We bought some presents for others and a couple of mementoes for our home. Christchurch put on a sunnier day than the last two, so we […]


Day 22: Akaroa

We stopped for morning tea at Little River, which is also the name of a town near our home in Victoria. Approaching Akaroa, we passed French names such as Duvauchelle and signs to French Farm and Le Bons Bay. Akaroa is every bit as pretty as Paihia and Russell, if not prettier. If you can’t […]


Day 21: Christchurch minus any earthquakes

We stayed with Lesley’s friend Carol in Woolston  for three nights, so no more motel reviews on this trip. Much of the city centre shows evidence of the recent earthquakes that began on 6 September. The Cathedral was only slightly damaged and its cross was taken down for repairs following the smaller quake on Boxing […]


Day 20: Moeraki Boulders to Christchurch

We filled up with petrol – lost the receipt but it was about NZ$100 – and stopped briefly to take a look at the steepest street in the world – Baldwin Street. We didn’t attempt to climb it as there is nowhere to turn, except in someone’s driveway. Other cars didn’t mind doing that.   […]


Day 19: Dunedin revisited

We met in Dunedin in 1979, where we were working at the time, so this was like a second homecoming, particularly for Ash who had lived here for five years. Ash went to Otago University and all his classmates also went back to their home cities or countries after graduation. He was an active radio […]


Day 18: Bottom of NZ – Bluff

On Monday we were hoping to go to Milford Sound and Te Anau before reaching Bluff, but it would have taken us at least 12 hours of driving to reach Dunedin. The fuel tank was nearly empty, so it took 53.19 litres at a cost of NZ$105.26. The skies were cloudy and it rained a […]


Day 17: Skipper’s Canyon and Shotover River Jetboats

On Sunday, we decided to take a combined Skipper’s Canyon tour and jetboat ride. Before doing that we took a gondola ride to the Skyline observation deck and spent an hour admiring the views, watching paragliders and luge riders. We then went to the Kiwi Birdlife Park where we saw kiwis, tuataras, keas and a […]


Day 16: Hokitika, Wanaka, Hawea to Queenstown

We checked out of the Beachside Motel at 9 am and grabbed some breakfast in the main street near the clock tower. Hokitika is where most of NZ’s greenstone is mined and sculpted into jewellery and other objets d’art. We visited a large showroom and bought some presents for friends. The car needed petrol and […]


Day 15: Lake Rotoiti, GPS troubles and Punakaiki Rocks

Our destination today was Hokitika, on the West Coast of the South Island. After picking up the new rental car (a 2009 Ford Falcon XR6) we drove past wine country for a while. The Marlborough region is home to several great grapes and wineries. Lake Rotoiti The Nelson Lakes National Park near St Arnaud is […]

Places we saw