After a long while, I’m finally making use of the mindless.info domain to host my blog. Thanks to nogatez for the assistance in getting me from a public blog to a self-hosted one.
The next day saw us return to Christchurch for our last couple of days on the mainland, before heading back to the West Island. It was also the missus’s birthday – nice way to spend it sitting in a car for close to 6 hours!
On the way back we also stopped at one end of the St James walkway, where Jing was up to her usual tricks:
Then it was a birthday dinner with the fam (including delicious home made brownies courtesy of our niece).
Sadly we had to return to Sydney – thankfully on something a little bigger than this.
Needless to say overall it was a fantastic holiday, and a massive thanks to everyone.
Hopefully next time it won’t be so long between visits …
After Abel Tasman National Park we tried our luck and drove over the hill to see Pupu Springs. Unfortunately by the time we got there, the sun had gone down enough that we couldn’t see much, but we saw enough to know they aren’t kidding when they say it’s the clearest water in the world.
After, we stopped at the nearby township (Motupipi I think) for dinner, having probably the worst fish and chips I have ever had – not good given the number of visitors that would go through there. Still, it was a nice enough little town …
Nelson, sunny Nelson.
Unfortunately not – when we left Christchurch we saw the forecast for cloud and rain for both full days we were to be in the area – the first day did not disappoint the weatherman, but we only had a limited time so had to get out there anyway.
On the evening we got there, the missus noticed the water was out, and it was a chance for interesting shots of stranded boats.
Then just over the road was a small railway station, presumably part of a tourist railway as I don’t think the main line ever reached Nelson.
The next day with the uninspirational weather, we decided to just hang around Nelson. The “Church on the Hill”:
The Centre of New Zealand (conveniently right at the peak of a hill):
By the water:
Drove past this interesting spot:
And of course had way too much for dinner:
After Christchurch, we headed north via the Lewis Pass to Nelson using a rental car. It was my first time driving a Kia, so I was interested in how it would go. Surprisingly for me it had some really nice features, and the interior was fairly slick, spacious, and comfortable. The way the dashboard lit up when the lights were on was very classy. Normal driving was very smooth and it seemed to do well, except the handling around corners could have been nicer, and she screamed while dropping down the gears whenever we overtook someone. I think they have a little way to go yet, but overall it wasn’t too bad.
On the way we stopped for lunch at Reid’s Store in Maruia.
It was good enough that we stopped there on the way back also – the chocolate truffles are superb.
After lunch it was back on the road, and then we came across Maruia Falls – worth a look, but watch out for the sand-flies.
Having seen on previous visits most the attractions Dunedin has to offer, it was nice to hear of a new one – the Orokonui ecosantuary. It’s quite a clever wee idea actually – take a bit of native bushland, put a Jurrassic Park like fence around it, add walking tracks, and an info centre half built from old 40′ shipping containers, and you have an attraction! I’m sure there’s a bit more to it than that, as they have provided feeding stations for the birds, etc – overall it made for a pleasant (if slightly rushed, as we got there late) afternoon, and we saw quite a few native birds while there (some too quick for the camera).