The last of New Zealand! Christchurch, mirror lakes, French town and cadbury's world!
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
New Zealand - Dunedin, Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, Akaroa and Christchurch
In the last stage of New Zealand we made our way from chilly Queenstown to Dunedin which is all the way over on the east coast. Then we drove up the coast, stopping off to see the amazing boulder rocks and headed inland where we spent the night freedom camping by Lake Tekapo. After admiring both lakes in the morning we drove towards Christchurch, stopping off at Ashburton for a free game of squash thanks to the kind people who arranged it for us at the i-site. By the time we reached battered Christchurch it was dark so we decided to drive on to Akaroa (little French town surrounded by bays) and slept at a pic nic spot on the way. Little did we know but this was going to be our last night in Bob because the following 2 days, after checking out Akaroa, we spent in luxury at Aliza's house thanks to the kind hospitality of Sharon, Peter, George and Nana. It was seriously luxury though as we had our own apartment at the end of the house, we were allowed to use the hot tub and we were even lent a car for the day when Bob Marley was returned! Sharon gave us a lift to the airport the next day and at 13.05 we were in the air to sunny Fiji!
1. Cromwell - On route to Dunedin we stopped at Cromwell where we had a photo abusing a model sheep in the i-site (information help center).
2. Dunedin - When we arrived in Dunedin we were on a mission as we only had 30 mins parking in the car park, so I galloped along like a horse for a bit to make Han laugh, unfortunately she laughed too much and wet herself a bit because she was desperate for the toilet! haha We spent the night at a paid caravan park for $17 which was nice. Unfortunately this site did scar us for life because whilst watching tv in the chill out room, a program was turned on about bed bugs........put it this way, we have been itching ourselves to sleep ever since. Next was my little treat of going to Cadburys world since I am such a chocolate fiend! We had quite a lot of little kids in the group so whenever we were asked a question about Cadburys to win some chocolate we let the kids parents win it for them. After 10 mins the kids had been given all the chocolate and we had none so that meant war and we both started fighting others off to answer the questions! haha !n the end we came out with way too much. I helped myself to 3 cups of liquid chocolate and Han decided she wasn't going to eat chocolate again for the rest of the trip so she ate her whole bag in one helping and we both were feeling sick. After the tour I got an Allblacks shirt from a souvenirs shop in town and they gave me a free photo of some of the team which was nice.
3. Boulder rocks - We stopped off to see the boulder rocks, which turned out to be these giant round atlas stone looking things that were all naturally plonked on the beach. We tried to get on them but they were too big and round so we just slid off in comedy fashion!
4. Lake Tekapo - We camped the night at a DOC style camp site where there was an 'honesty box' to put a donation in of about $5 each. The camp site was really just a car park with a portable shower which was locked so no-one could use it and a toilet which had feaces all over it so when it came to the donation part we gave it a miss! Honest to admit to it though! We got a nice view of Lake Tekapo from several angles and had some lunch and home made hot chocolate in the van at a pic nic spot.
5. Lake Pukaki - We had seen a mirror lake when we were near to Dunedin but the picture of Mount Cook being reflected on the front of the guide book really made us want to see the same thing. Unfortunately we had the same result with Pukaki as we did with Tekapo where the lake wasn't still enough to reflect the background.....plus there was a load of cloud covering Mt Cook! O well, we still got to see another beautiful view from another lake!
6. Ashburton - On route to Christchurch we stopped at Ashburton where we not only had a quality game of squash but we also splashed out with our sandwiches, this time having our 2 pieces of cheese and only slice of ham on Italian pizza bread as opposed to the Countdown value loaf we usual opt for! The game of squash was really cool. We played in a really nice club which we had to ourselves. I charged up the phone and we showered and got ourselves cleaned up which felt good!
7. Akaroa - The morning after finding and sleeping in the pic nic spot on the way to Akaroa, we woke to an annoying rooster that kept piping up, then opened the window to see we had parked in front of an awesome view of a lake. That was lucky! We drove the windy path to Akaroa seeing some pretty nice Bays on route. Akaroa was very beautiful and very French with road names such as 'Rue Jolie' and little French style coffee shops. After a hot choc and a walk around we headed back to Christchurch.
8. Squash in Christchurch - We managed to find the squash club that Sharon (Eliza's mum) plays at but it was locked and we were both bursting for the loo so we went next door to the physio's toilet. The receptionist from the physio's chased us both into the toilet to stop us from using it because she thought we were travelers but after explaining she calmed down and let us go! It was cool to meet Sharon when she came and we had a nice game of 2v1 with a handicap system to make things a bit fairer. Sharon was a good player and beat me and Han easily in one game.......thanks to a little head start and some lucky framers!
9. Sharon's house and Nana - Sharon put us up in her lovely house for our last two nights in Christchurch. It was so nice to be able to spread our stuff out again (we spread a bit too much though and our room was a tip) and have some home comforts like cooked meals and beer! From the moment we arrived, we made a friend with Nana (Sharon's mum) who had to sacrifice her room for us to stay.....poor Nana. She wasn't very well but you wouldn't tell from how much she spoke. The whole family were proper kind and all got to know us well. One night we watched the Allblacks game with Peter and George , which was awesome because they were getting really into it. I had my Allblacks shirt on in support which went down well with the guys. That evening we all had a dip in their hot tub which was so nice and I will definitely be buying one, one day if I make some money.
10. Christchurch town - We only did a little drive by of the town to see the devastation caused by the earthquake. All the center was closed off but even from the outer routes that we drove on, you could see buildings being torn down and churches with sides missing! Pretty brutal. We borrowed one of Sharon's cars, yet another kind offering, which we used to drive to the top of the hill where there is a view of Christchurch and we took it to the shopping mall where I had my 2nd hair cut of the travels and Han got some souvenirs for her grandad and a wax.
The next day Sharon gave us a lift to the airport which was really nice of her because she didnt have to. We were both really chuffed to have met the whole family and grateful for making the last leg of our trip awesome! Who would have thought, we survived the cold of New Zealand in the camper. Next stop, sunny Fiji!