Friday, 30 September 2011

Weds 28th Day 3

Today,after a stroll along the harbour we left Picton for the drive back to Christchurch.


We could get used to this weather. The drive took us through lots of vineyards, shame we didn't have time to stop but we've got a tour booked next week. Next stop was Kaikoura, famous for whale watching. Even the bike stands are whale themed!

 We didn't spot any but we did take a break and watched these seals basking in the sun.

You really have to look very closely as they are very cleverly camoflaged. Kaikoura has a breathtaking backdrop of snow topped mountains.

We leave Christchurch and the South Island tomorrow for the big city Auckland

Tues 27th Sept Day 2

Next day we hit Nelson which was hosting the Italy v USA match. The town was all dressed up including the trees!

Spotted this and Phil says it’s true.

After coffee and cake we took the scenic route to Picton.

We took a detour to check out a piece of local engineering.

These bridge girders were made at Dorman Long in Middlesbrough. See you can’t beat a bit of Boro workmanship 12,000 miles away!
We broke our journey at Havelock to sample the delicious green lipped mussels.

After lunch we took this beautiful route to Picton and our overnight stop.  Lots of stunning views of Queen Charlotte Sounds and secluded little bays.

Picton is where you catch the ferry to Wellington in the North Island. It has quite a beautiful marina.
 Phil had his eye on this boat and
 ...........................................................................................the mansion on the hill. Hope the lottery comes up!
Tomorrow we head back towards Christchurch for our final night in the South Island.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Mon 26th Sept A three day trek

Day 1
Today we met up with Charlie and Robyn and started a three day trek around the top end of the South Island. Yet again the skies were bright and clear as we set off.
 First stop was Hamner Springs which are natural thermal pools. This was our first bath since we got here!
It was brilliant sitting in warm water (between 34/40 degrees) and looking at the snow on the hills behind us.The Australian Rugby team were there but we just ignored them!

We passed by this magnificent waterfall on our way to our overnight stop.
Tomorrow we're moving onto Nelson and Picton.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Sun 25th Sept Back on the road again.

Time to leave Dunedin and head for Christchurch, ready to meet up with Charlie & Robyn. We decided to drop into Moeraki and see the amazing boulders.
These are a bit of a prehistoric phenomena, round boulders, a bit like giant marbles. We set off with bright blue skies, we’ve been so lucky with the weather.
Moeraki is also the home of Fleur’s Place (think Kiwi Rick Stein). We have seen her on Masterchef Australia and thought we’d drop by. The place itself is on the boat jetty and from the outside looks like a glorified tin shack with outside toilets!
But inside it’s all wood and fantastic metal art work around the bar. Unfortunately she was fully booked so we have put it on our return list.
Outside it was really blustery so we didn’t even stay for coffee and cake. But we spotted this childhood memory.
I would have had a spin but it was a bit rickety.

Just as we walked to the car Phil spotted this visitor in the bay. He was right outside the restaurant slipway so maybe he had a lunch reservation?

Thanks to everyone who has been reading the blog and leaving comments.   

Monday, 26 September 2011

Sat 24th Sept A Happy Heart

England 67 Romania 3 what more to I need to say! Our last game in Dunedin was so much better. They came out with a plan and I know it was against a tired Romanian team but they kept up the pressure. It was a joy to watch. We decided to wear our special “Smoggie “ hats and they are now our official match day attire. If you’re watching the games look out for the hats.
After the match we headed to Rugby Headquarters (Alhambra Rugby club) to complete a great evening watching the All Blacks. We have spent many a great time here that it will be sad to move onto Auckland. But hey bring on the jocks!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Friday 23rd Sept Carey’s Bay revisited.

As this was our last Friday in Dunedin we decided to revisit our favourite restaurant, Carey’s Bay Hotel at Port Chalmers. It was delicious last time and again it didn’t fail to please. We had the Bluff oysters to start and then Phil had the fish pie and I had the shellfish bowl….. gorgeous.
Afterwards we drove up to Scott’s monument. I hadn’t realised that Capt. Scott set off from Dunedin on his doomed journey to the South Pole. We had great views over Port Chalmers.

Back at our flat we prepared for tomorrow’s game. If you watched the game our flag was on the half way line opposite the tunnel so keep your eyes peeled.


Saturday, 24 September 2011

Thurs 22nd Sept Back to Dunedin

Stop Press
Rumour has it that the dwarves are up in arms after being thrown out of Queenstown.

Today we headed back to Dunedin but first we couldn’t resist stopping at the Famous Hackett’s Bridge Bungy jump. Mad or what!
This is how they get you back down.
So now it was Philly’s turn
We spotted this coming along the road and wondered if Cliff was joining us for a sing song?
Next spot was the winery that we saw on our way into Queenstown.  We sampled a few and bought 3 bottles, not sure how long that will last?
Although the bus was here Cliff wasn’t so we popped into the Cheesery for a taste and got some local cheese. This reminded us very much of Cape Town and the vineyards we visited there.

Back into the car and further along the road we stopped at this old Gold Mine, could the little fellows be here
Is this the dwarves transport across the creek?
Didn’t find them so we carried on.
Pulled into Clyde another pretty historic mining village and wandered along the deserted  high street.
WOW struck gold….. here he is, is this one of the seven?
The journey back took us through some beautiful countryside but hardly any traffic on the road. Sometimes we drove miles before seeing another soul. Came into a lovely Art Deco styled village called Ranfurly, stopped for a spot of lunch and then headed back to Dunedin.

We had a fabulous time in Queenstown and would recommend it to anyone who is travelling out this way. This is definitely on our places to return list.