This is our final blog from our travels.....
We started off in Christchurch visiting Sarah, David and newborn Oliver and then headed off for a 37-day campervan trip around the South Island. The scenery is to die for here - you can see why this was chosen as the set for Lord of the Rings.It's great for campervaning with so much to do from skydiving to caving.
We headed to the French settlement of Akaroa, the islands oldest town with beautiful French architecture set on the harbors volcanic edge. We then made our way down on the Southern Scenic Route via Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook National Park. The scenery was breath taking, we tramped over swing bridges to camp at the base of the mountain.
We then headed on to the Scottish town of Dunedin.We managed to see yellow-eyed penguins coming ashore and Brad played at some great links golf courses. The next stop was Queenstown, the adrenaline capital of the world!From bungy jumping, skydiving to canyon swinging you can do it all here, we based ourselves at neighboring picture perfect Arrowtown a historic gold mining town.We drove through the Central Otago wineries with a few tasting stops before heading to beautiful Lake Wanaka and the Mount Aspiring National Park, where the awesome Southern Alps and a crystal clear turquoise lake frame every view.
We went along the Haast Pass - a jaw-dropping route, the west coast is home to the Fanz Joseph and Fox Glaciers where we went for a cold and wet trek through the ice!Then onto a completely contrasting area, the North of the Abel Tasman Region - where we kayaked between dazzling golden bays and beaches with lovely views.
Now to Susie's highlight of the trip - the Marlborough Wine Trail!!!New Zealand wine is fantastic, with a choice of 104 wineries in Blenheim, from Riesling, Pinot Gris and Savee that the country is famous for, we're now experts after visiting 16 wineries for free tasting's and nibbles!We camped out amongst the vineyards before being woken up by helicopters spraying the vines!
We then headed through Kaikoura with its stunning alpine scenery and whale watching on the Alpine Pacific Triangle towards Hanmer Springs. We lazed in hot thermal pools before coming back to Sarah and David's pad in Rangiora.We went caving where we waded through fast flowing waist high water underground for 1km - a big thrill, we helped transport sheep for their land, went to a friends dairy farm and night time shooting hunts for rabbits!We've also got some practice in with looking after 16 week old Oliver and enjoyed our wine purchases from the wineries each evening.
Now it's just a 24-hour flight back to the UK and one BIG party, see you soon!!
Lots of love
Susie and Brad xxx