Thoughts on New Zealand
Blog written by Tina.
Three sets of siblings over two generations, three in-laws, Irish, English and French, 3003 km travelling from Christchurch to Auckland in two campervans and a Ford between 30th December 30th and today, January 24th.
Our route took us from Christchurch in the south island of New Zealand through Akaroa, Dunedin, Queenstown, Wanaka, Fox Glacier, Murchison, Picton, Poharo and Rotorua. We finished our road trip in Auckland.
We had never driven a 7 metre long and 3.2 metre High vehicle so
|Sunset at Akaroa|
New Zealand is an incredible country for many reasons. The landscapes are stunning and often breathtaking. Most of our time was spent in the South Island. This is probably why I came away with a preference for the south. There are less people (out of the four million or so new Zealanders only 800,000 live in the South Island), incredible mountains, lakes and of course this is where I discovered the Tasman Sea, somewhere I had heard about but never really thought I would see.
Akaroa was our first stop off. It’s not far from Christchurch on the East coast by the sea (Pacific ocean) and is a French town. A Frenchman laid claim to the territory sometime during the 19th century when he embarked in this part of NZ. It seems he went home to get some paperwork done and by the time he came in the British (well, English actually) had stepped in and taken over the country. You can imagine that our trip began well when we discussed this amongst our English and French in-laws. It was lucky the Irish were there to mediate!
|A good camper comes prepared .|
Dunedin was the Scottish stop. The highlights of Dunedin were its train station that is the oldest in the country and the visit to the world’s only mainland colony of the royal albatross. These birds are just spectacular and the setting, at the end of a peninsula, was splendid. Edmond and the children liked the Cadburys factory too!
|Dunedin Train Station|
|The Remarkables Mountain Range and Queensland|
I don’t necessarily think the reader is interested in a blow for blow description of what we did all the time but I feel that a few words about our lifestyle during this time might be of interest.
|Wash dishes or jump?|
|John and friend (or maybe not...)|
The Eastern side of the south island was completely different in terms of landscape and scenery.
We kept heading north and eventually said our sad farewells to Barbara and Andrew who were leaving from Christchurch and not going over to the North Island with us. We had a lovely last supper together, lots of hugs and “see you soons” before parting our ways. The biggest mistake we had made while we were a group of eleven was not to have had a photo taken with all of us together.
And then there were nine. We spent our last few days in Rotorua in the centre of the North Island. We had splendastic weather and pitched up beside the Blue Lake for three days sunbathing, swimming and generally relaxing. One of the highlights for everyone was the pontoon in the lake where the children spent endless hours trying to tip each other off into the lake.