Overnight gales did not prevent us from making the crossing to South Island; which was more like a cruise than a ferry when passing through the Marlborough/Queen Charlotte Sounds. First port of call was Kaikoura which became, for me, the newest best place to live in the world. Mountain range, narrow coastal plain, scenic railway, turquoise sea and abundance of marine life. Christchurch was next and this was very pretty despite the recent earthquakes. A lovely botanical garden. Evening pavement cafe meal enjoyed where we were served by a waiter from Wetherby !. Small world syndrome continues. A long drive cross country passing mountain ranges and turquoise lakes on to Lake Tekapo and to Mount Cook village where MC could be seen in all its majesty. Struggled to find a room at first but eventually managed. Walks up the glacial valleys were well worth the effort. Dunedin, little Edinburgh, was next and then a very scenic drive to Te Anau which is the centre for all the major tramps (walks). We did a small section of the Kepler Trail but the weather was not too kind for our visit to Milford Sound for which I had organised a trip that included walking part of the Routeburn Track. We were all waterfalled out!! Our next destination,Queenstown is the adventure capital of NZ and you can see why. Resisted all temptations to bungee etc and took a sedate lake cruise which was fantastic. Our motel had great views of The Remarkables mountain range from the balcony.Watched a few bungee jumps from Hatchetts Bridge on the way to our next destination , Franz Josef. We did both approach walks to Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers and it was interesting to see the rate of movement since global warming. Next day Indra had bought me a glacial heli hike as an early birthday present and although I was a little apprehensive about the flight it all went very smoothly. Our guide was great and involved us sliding through holes in the ice and entering ice caves. Still no sign of kiwis though (they are nocturnal)The next day we were due to travel to Westport but Indra knew I wanted to travel the TranzScenicRailway over the southern alps. Due to train timings etc we could not travel together but she insisted I made the journey staying overnight at Christchurch YHA and returning the next day. Thanks to indra I had an amazing two journeys over this very scenic railway line. Our final stop on the South Island was at Nelson and we had a great day chilling on a beach before making our return journey the next day over Queen Charlotte Drive to Picton for the ferry with fabulous views of the Sounds. We are now back on North Island at Napier the art deco centre of the world (they say) and looking forward for our trip to Africa later this week. Whilst in NZ we have driven over 5000 kilometres in 30 days but with good roads, little traffic and plenty of photo stops it has been relatively stress free.