A Travellerspoint blog

New Zealand South Island

We arrived on the South island where we plan to spend 3 of our 5 weeks in New Zealand. We got off to a good start with a walking tour of Christchurch to check out the earthquake damage and find a spot to celebrate the arrival of 2011. The earthquake damage ranged from total to subtle. The venue for the evening would be the Irish bar on Cathedral square. The square itself playing host to an open air celebration with fireworks once we got bored, or kicked out, of the pub.

Christchurch__2_.jpg

Several Guinness later and a round of Auld Lang Syne and it’s 2011 – Happy New Year.

We hired a car for our time in New Zealand and the roads are a joy to drive. Only three complaints – the roads through the mountains are quite windy and my driving makes Niamh sick. Second is the lack of radio stations (if you exclude the AM stations playing Christian rock.) The final complaint is the number of campervans which might be more numerous than the sheep.

If a person sat down to design a country to serve as the world’s geography field trip then New Zealand would be it. Glacial valleys, river valleys, volcano craters, tourism, hydro-electric power are just some of the GCSE curriculum available here. Thanks to Niamh’s coaching I am now bandying around terms such as terminal moraine with the best of them.

Mount_John_Walk__17_.jpg

Our tour has taken in mountains (which I wanted to climb but sensibly wasn’t allowed to,) glaciers (which I was allowed to climb on,) valleys and hills. We have driven, kayaked, walked, ice walked and power jet boated.

Franz_Jose..ier__8_.jpg

We’ve seen penguins, seals, sea lions, harris hawks and dolphins – all in their natural environments. We’ve yet to see a Kiwi though.

Caitlins_S..st__69_.jpg

Some of the sites have just been amazing, Milford Sound, Mount Cook and the Speights Brewery being a few that particularly stand out. Even the places you drive through, to get to whichever extraordinary destination you are heading to, would be a destination in its own right back home.

Mount_Cook_3__5_.jpg

Other than the wildlife and landscapes we have also managed to catch up with a couple more friends. Saul and his lovely girlfriend, from university days and James and Gayle from Cayman days. Both ended up in too much consumption and a painful drive the following day.

Queenstown.jpg

Banks_Peni..aul__5_.jpg

Next we head to the North Island where we hope to find volcanic activity and radio reception.

Posted by steve1000 20:09 Archived in New Zealand

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

O Mr Lottery man or Ernie please just enough to get me to see these amazing places and wonders in NZ! It all sounds so beautiful and the pics are so breathtaking. Enjoy it all and bring lots more photos home for us to see. keep safe. Love mum & Dad xx

by Valvic

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint