Friday, 31 January 2014

Dunedin - Manapouri

We spent this morning exploring Dunedin and enjoyed seeing some of the lovely old buildings.  We walked around the Octagon and surrounding area.

We visited the First Church (Presbyterian) and saw a lovely tapestry.

We went to the Otago Settlers Museum which was really interesting.  I tried on a crinoline frame (I'm glad I don't have to wear one) and Alan tried a pennyfarthing (with help).

We also visited St Paul's Cathedral, where we enjoyed part of an organ recital.  The organ has more than 3,500 pipes and the music was amazing.

This afternoon we drove through some very pretty rural countryside to Manapouri, where we've set up in a very nice park for the night.  Tomorrow we are doing a tour of Doubtful Sound.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Lake Tekapo to Dunedin

Penny and John set out early to drive to the summit of Mt John but found the road didn't open until 9.00 so they explored a little before they could drive to the top.  Alan and I headed to the Church of the Good Shepherd and explored the peninsula before the church opened.  We got in before the hordes arrived fortunately.  We had an interesting chat to the lady on duty and learned lots of interesting facts.  The church was built by donations from people from a range of denominations and they all have a say in how its managed.  The Presbyterians have run services for the last 10 years and now its the turn of the Anglicans.

We met up with Penny and John and set out at 10.00 and headed south past Lake Pukaki where we got great views of Mt Cook.

We continued south over Lindis Pass and stopped for lunch by Lake Dunstan (we got chased out by a controlled burn).  We headed east from Alexandra and hit the coast at Palmerston before heading on to Dunedin, where we're safely settled in a caravan park for the night.

It was a very scenic drive today and we enjoyed the varied countryside we drove through.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Akaroa to Lake Tekapo

We had a slow start this morning and met up with Penny and John about 10.30.  We headed south down the Canterbury Plains before heading west into the mountains and on to Lake Tekapo.  We booked into the caravan park and then Alan, John and I did the Mt John Summit and Lakeshore walk which took us just over 2 hours.

Mt John - sharp climb through trees on left, walked around summit and long gradual
descent to the right
Summit Mt John

Lake Tekapo
Sunset over Lake Tekapo

Christchurch to Akaroa

We caught a shuttle bus at 8.30 to go and collect our motor homes.  After a very efficient handover from Wenderkreisen we set out and stopped about 15 minutes down the road to go grocery shopping.  After a thorough exploration of the Pack and Save (and the outlay of quite a few NZ dollars) we were all stocked up and ready to travel.

We headed south east to Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula, and stopped at Little River for our first picnic lunch of this tour.

The scenery was very impressive and our first view of Akaroa Harbour was stunning.  We stopped at Duvauchelle at the head of the Harbour to book the Williams contingent into a caravan park there.  Then on to Akaroa for a look around.  Penny and John are spending the night with friends near Akaroa, and after we left them we explored a little further along the Peninsula before returning to our campsite.  We unpacked and got everything ship shape in our travelling home and then walked to the local pub for a delicious fish and chip dinner before settling in for the night.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Canberra - Christchurch

The Winter/ Williams travelling troupe had an early start today as we were picked up at 5.00.  We ended up on the same flight to Sydney as our flight was cancelled.  We had a good flight  to Christchurch, though we were about an hour late.  John and Penny were on a different flight to us and were in much earlier.  We met up at our motel and went to a local pub for a hot rock dinner.  We felt the need for some exercise after travelling all day so headed out for a walk and ended up  in Cathedral Square and then we meandered back through Hagley Park to the motel.  Its light so late and we walked for a couple of hours.  There are still a lot of derelict buildings in the centre of Christchurch which was quite sad to see.  The whole front / tower of the Cathedral is gone.  It was interesting to see all the shipping containers being used as coffee shops and shops.