It was time to temporarily leave this most excellent city and back on the road we went, pausing to speak to family a long the way. Today, we had to drive all the way back to Christchurch to return our van as it was needed in Auckland in a couple of days *sniff sniff*. Tomorrow was our original departure date but when we delayed the flights our van was already booked up and we had to return it. It was a slight pain but we made the most of it by driving a different route to that we will take when we head to Christchurch for the final time, thus seeing more of this beautiful country.
We drove for seven hours, covering over 500 kilometres. Our route took us past the original AJ Hackett Bungy, which was only 43 metres, and the Nevis Highwire Bungy (134 metres). It was another beautiful day and the bridge where the original site was was very busy, with lots of people cheering and participating.
We drove through Cromwell, which is another little town and stopped quickly before driving on to another two very beautiful lakes. The first one, Lake Benmore was quite a deep blue, whereas it's neighbour, Lake Aviemore was more of a turquoisey colour. Both very different and only a couple of kilometres apart. We stopped in a little picnic spot by the latter lake and had a lovely lunch over looking the water. It was very hard to get back in the van and continue driving. The weather wasn't helping either, not the sort, you want to be stuck in a van for!
I took the next leg and drove towards the SH 1 highway where we started heading North, running alongside the coast briefly before heading inland for the final 150 kilometres. By this time it was late in the afternoon and we were bored and fed up. The SH1 is not the most scenic of routes and by now the majority of mountains were a long way away in the distance. We just wanted to get to Christchurch and stretch our legs.
At 6pm, we finally arrived and stopped at the supermarket to grab some food for dinner. We found a camp site relatively close to the airport and crashed for the night.