A Travellerspoint blog

Mt Cook Village

This morning we had the most fantastic breakfast prepared by Conor which we ate on the shores of Lake Takapo. We ate French toast, with bacon and maple syrup. Just delicious and the setting was terrific, the winds of last night had disappeared and we had calm waters and blue skies.
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Next step was to look after the essentials of Camper living, the less glamourous part, we found our dump and water station in the Tekapo village and got to work.
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Then we set off for Mt Cook village a very scenic journey along by Pukaki Lake of 50 kilometres less than a half hours drive, it took quite a bit longer as we couldn't pass the look out points without stopping, it was just so beautiful. On arrival we took a walk to Lake Mueller and Lake Hooker, a very busy walkway but the scenery once again was spectacular. It was quite sad to see Lake Muller with one very large ice block and several smaller ones floating on the lake having broken off from the Glacier at the northern side of the lake.
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We retraced our steps and set up for the night on the shores of Lake Pukaki, another beautiful spot with views of lakes and mountains.
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The chefs once again served up a Barbecue with Lamb, Steak, salad and garlic bread.
Not bad at all.

Posted by helencosgrave 12:15 Comments (2)

Travelling along

We arrived at our destination for the evening 'Lake Emma' set in the Provence of Canterbury, our nearest village is about 10 miles away. This is most scenic, calm peaceful place with just us the lake and the mist covered mountain.
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As it was quite late when we arrived at our site we set about cooking up the barbecue and in less than thirty minutes we had quite the feast. A game of cards a beer and it was time for bed.
Our Motorhome: compact but well laid out, all appliances are gas, comfortable beds, it's great.

Day 2 and we had a nice early start thanks to Conor being up bright and early.

After breakfast in the camper, a stroll by the lake and a ramble up the hill, Conor got behind the wheel and drove the short distance to Mount Sunday famous for those Lord of the Rings fans.
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A short hike to the top followed by coffee sitting in our deck chairs we were off again Our progress was stunted by the biggest flock of sheep I have ever seen driven by the farmer and his four dogs.
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Conor spotted a swamp hawk and yet another flock of sheep, am definitely having lamb for supper.

We had a really nice drive over the next two hours, the landscape was rather rugged over the mountains then later quite lush when we reached the valley areound the town of Geraldine one of the oldest towns in New Zealand, we did another spot of shopping there and drove on again, this time I replaced Nick as co driver.
The scenery for the remainder of the journey was fabulous, we drove through Fairlie, Burkes pass and arrived at Lake Tekapo village at about 5pm. We saw the statue of Mackenzie, a sheepdog famous in the area representing all sheepdogs without them sheep farming would be impossible, and saw also the chapel of the Good Shepherd, a small church dating from 1860
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Continued on a few more miles to our freedom parking site, the wind was howling so we searched around until we found a sheltered site behind some vegetation.
Another barbecue which tasted delicious, played scrabble, cards and hit the hay.

Posted by helencosgrave 15:47 Comments (0)

We are on the Road

We had an early start this morning, caught the bus from Dunedin to Christchurch.
For the most part nothing spectacular on the scenery we passed, we stopped for 30 minutes in Timaru I would assume it had something to do with the length of time the driver could drive without a break.
Anyway it was a welcome break as it is a six hour drive in total. A snack and a coffee at the cafe and we were off again.
The land was very flat and we did pass mostly farmland with large herds of Frisian cows.
We were dropped in the central bus station in Christchurch and got a taxi from there to the Wilderness office near the airport where we collected our camper.
Our Malaysian taxi driver filled us in on the devastation caused by the earthquake in 2011 and the damage is still very much in evidence.
The earthquake happened without any warning and most of the 190 odd casualties were foreign students staying in a high rise building which collapsed. The building work is just one third finished at this point and will take another ten years to complete. The concentration is on getting the city centre rebuilt, lots of work still to be done and the suburbs haven't been touched at all yet. Many Irish workers are employed in the rebuilding process mainly as builders and carpenters.
We met Bonnie at the Wilderness centre received our instructions and away we went literally a half mile to the nearest supermarket.
Stocked up with provisions, had a very nice self prepared lunch in our camper and are all set for a few hours drive to our overnight destination of Lake Emma I the district of Canterbury.
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Posted by helencosgrave 11:26 Comments (0)

Final Day in Dunedin

This is our final day in the lovely town of Dunedin before we hit the road.
We set off chauffeured by the very capable Conor, out the northern route of the Otaga harbour which coincidentally is Layla's running trail.
Very beautify scenery and what a place to go for your daily run.IMG_0782

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We continued all the way out past Portobello and on to Royal Albatross Sanctuary and Fort Taiaroa where we firstly learned about the Albatross and their habits, they leave the nest at about eight months and for the next five years they fly around the Southern Ocean, they eat and sleep on the water and don't hit land again for five years. They have a 65 per cent success rate of returning to New Zealand.
The ones we saw were nesting but we did see some in full flight. Amazing wing span of about three metres. IMG_0798.jpg
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We then had a tour of the Fort Taiaroa where we learned about the the disappearing gun installed about 1889, an amazing piece of defence armoury. New Zealand decided to get their defences in order when a Russian ship sailed into the port in Auckland laden down with guns, so they installed one of these guns in each of their ports.
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As this is a national holiday, Waitangi Day, lots of places were closed but we eventually ended up back in Dunedin's Octagon at The Craft Bar(next door to ratbags) where we had Burgers or Fish and Chips ( our choice) I can honestly say the burger was the best I have tasted in years.

We had a very relaxing evening, played Rummy, had a few drinks, saw Layla off to work and set about packing for the trip tomorrow morning to Christchurch to pick up our Camper.
A really nice town/city, great restaurants, bars and friendly people. Thank you Layla and Conor ye were amazing hosts, you went out of your wat to ensure we saw all the top spots. Had a wonderful time here.

Posted by helencosgrave 18:58 Comments (0)

Dunedin day 2

Slow starters today due to a late night, breakfast at home where Nick got a lesson on how to poach a egg properly i.e. The cling film way.
Conor Nick and I took a walk to the Botanic Gardens in sweltering heat, the temperature today was an unusually high 28 degrees and humid.
A stop off for iced coffees in the gardens cafe helped revive us, very nice gardens an an aviary with many parrots of varying colours and sizes. 8784512DA874C059B4C4580BCD7603E6.jpg
Saw where Conor and Layla work in the ED of Dunedin Hospital.
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Next stop after a quick change of clothes was the ice rink to have a look at the ladies game between Auckland and Christchurch.
A walk along the road above the sea at St Kildas before we headed home was just the ticket.
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We had cocktails and a really nice meal in Hurong, a gin n tonic in Zanzibar and it was home to bed.
A lovely relaxing and bonding day. 90_IMG_0758.jpg

Posted by helencosgrave 13:53 Comments (1)

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