We had a very lazy start to the day and we didn’t go out until around 13:00.
We just went for a walk in the centre of Rotorua whilst Tom cycled. The centre is quite smelly, due to the sulphur around the area, but we walked up and down the streets anyway, just looking around and taking in the sites.
We stopped at a Vietnamese cafe where us two and Maggie got a Vietnamese coffee and we both got a Banh Mi each too. When it was brought out, we had an extra Banh Mi, so Maggie got one free!
We left here, went to the shop and walked back to the car and chilled out when we got back home.
Tom got back from his mountain biking and we had some dinner. We just had salad, as we did yesterday.
We did absolutely nothing for the rest of the evening and itwas brilliant. We have plans, at least for the next couple of days, one of which is crazy!
We got onto the boat and got right into bed in our cabin, planning to get to sleep as quick as possible.
Some of us slept well but Curtis only got about 30 minutes!
We were woken at 05:30 and had to grt up and ready to leave the ferry.
We got into the car and down the ramp into Wellington fairly quickly. Curtis wanted to take everyone to a cafe he went to in Wellington whilst there for work as they had humongous coffees and excellent food.
We arrived at the cafe and it looked a bit different, so it was already odd! We got XXL coffees, which are rightfully huge, and then looked at the menu, which was again different.
We got some fairly adequate food from here and ate it, but it was no where near as good as Curtis remembered and had clearly been taken over by new owners.
We left here and got on the road towards Napier, where we are spending one night.
Once we eventually got to the AirBnB, noone was home and we couldn’t get hold of them, so we had to go out.
We went down to the beach where Kim had a swim in the very cold see and we took in the incredibly hot 35° sun.
We went back to the house and our host was in, so we met him and got aquainted with the house.
Curtis fell asleep for an hour or so, and so did Tom.
Kim and Tom went to the shop to get a little bit of food for dinner and then we sat out on the balcony looking at the tremendous views.
We plan to sleep early as noone really slept too much last night.
We were up around 08:00 and got ready to leave Christchurch.
Once we left, in the incredible heat again, we drove on towards Murchison.
We had visited Murchison on our previous road trip so we knew how awesome it was and that we had to visit again!
The drive there was beautiful. Very hilly & scenic. This drive took around 3.5 hours.
We arrived in murchison and were a little confused at the amount of people as when we were previously there, it was almost empty!
The temperature was over 30°C, so it was certainly very hot. We were all rather peckish, so we found a place to eat. We all had a large coffee and a bite to eat. Kim had pancakes and Curtis had an eggs benedict.
We walked to the Antiques store which was just around the corner. There was an old car, type writers, old cash machines and lot of other items, all for sale!
We left the antique store and got back into the car.
We drove down to the campsite we stayed at last time to show Kim’s parents as it was a really nice area. We then drove onward to Nelson.
The drive to Nelson only took us a short amount of time. In Nelson, we visited Kim’s friend Matt. We met at his house, where we met Hannah, his partner.
We sat and chatted with them at their house for a little and then Tom and Matt did some mountain biking whilst we went with Maggie down to a beach.
The beach was very, very long and beautiful! The sand was perfect and the water was the perfect temperature.
We strolled along the beach, in the water, for a while and then went to get an ice cream. we got the standard ‘Mr Whippy’ ice creams, which didn’t last too long!
We walked back on the beach again, for a long while, eventually reaching the dog beach and petting all the dogs.
We left the beach eventually and walked over to a pub where we booked earlier in the day and sat down for some food.
We had to wait a while for Tom, Matt & Hannah to arrive, but once they did we were all very hungry and couldn’t wait for our meals.
We ordered but the food took over an hour to arrive! We shared a meat platter which was just OK.
We left here around 22:15 and said goodbye to Matt and Hannah. They were lovely and we’d love to keep in touch!
We then drove all the way to Picton, where we are catching a ferry at 02:15. We stopped én route to Picton and looked at the stars which were stunning.
We got to the ferry port and we will be boarding the ferry. Once we get onto the ferry, we will have a cabin to sleep in for 4 hours or so, and then we will be up around 06:30 to head off the ferry.
We only left the apartment around 12:00 as we caught up on sleep from being awake late last night.
By the time we left, the weather had improved and we got into the car with some scorching sun!
We drove to Banks Peninsula which is around 1.5 hours away from Christchurch, up in the mountains. Google Maps took us to the top of a mountain, but we got exquisite views from there!
We drove from here down to Akaroa. Akaroa is a small french inspired town due to its 10th century French colonisation. Most of the shops and roads have French names and it felt just like being in France!
We needed some food, so found a cafe and got a coffee and cake. The coffee was pretty disappointing, but it was what we needed.
We left here and went to a shop where we got some ham and cheese and then went to a French bakery and got a baguette.
We sat on a park bench overlooking the harbour eating baguette with ham and cheese.
We walked around for a brief moment and then strolled back to the car.
We drove all the way back to Christchurch and got back to the apartment, briefly, and then got back outside and walked the 20 minutes to the city centre.
In the centre, we walked down a nice street which had a few shops on it, called New Regent Street.
We had the tram go past us, also. It was a nice old style tram!
Walking on from here, we went to the Botanic Gardens and saw a lot of big and unique trees.
We left the botanic garden and on the way back home, we came to one of the most affected areas from the 2011 earthquake.
There are few buildings here now, but there still stands the Christ Church Cathedral, which is one of New Zealand’s top historic buildings. Unfortunely, the earthquake tore large holes into this cathedral and so it is cordened off, though it is part of a restoration project, which is estimated to take 7-10 years.
We got back home via the supermarket and fish and chips shop (to get more chips) and we had some leftover chinese for dinner.
We sat and watched some TV before hitting the hay, with a long drive planned for tomorrow.
Curtis and Maggie both woke up with colds this morning!
We all had croissants for breakfast and then Tom & Kim went out to do some river bodyboarding.
The river bodyboarding was a 4+ hour trip in which they had to drive down to Queenstown, get picked up by a bus and get driven out to a river. Kim and Tom ended up being with an American family, but their guides were very good!
They eventually got to the river and were told that they couldn’t use the GoPro, which was a shame, so we got no footage of the event.
The first go was a bit more difficult as they had to get used to it, but on the second run it was much easier and it was all a lot of fun!
Once completed, there was a small snack area with musli bars and juice and then they had to get back on the bus. The bus took a very long time to get back to Queenstown and once back there, they went to the supermarket and then back home.
Whilst Kim and Tom were out, Curtis and Maggie chilled. Curtis got a lot of visa related things done and watched hockey.
When everyone was home, we had salad again for dinner and watched a bit of TV. All of a sudden, it was 22:00 so we all headed off to bed. Tonight is our last night in Queenstown but we have some fun planned tomorrow!
We were up nice and early at 05:30 to get showered and ready to fly!
We booked an Uber and got to the airport with about 2 hours to spare. We went to check our bags but realised they were too heavy, so had to re-jig them to ensure they were of an acceptable weight.
We checked our bags and went to McDonald’s for a spot of breakfast and a coffee.
We breezed through security, waited briefly and went onto the plane! The flight was nice and easy, we listened to some music and before we knew it, we were there.
Queenstown is very mountainous, which is the first thing we noticed.
We all collected our bags and walked outside to the transfers area where we were to wait for our free shuttle to our car rental company. We had to wait for 45 minutes for the shuttle, but eventually got there.
The car was very dirty, but to be fair to them, they are currently working on a construction site! We have the car for a couple of weeks.
After picking up the car, we drove to Arrowtown for a look around and for some lunch. Our airbnb host was kind enough to recommend a nice pub to go to, so one we walked around, we went there for lunch. Curtis had fish and chips whilst Kim had a chicken wrap.
We walk around a bit more after lunch and then just before driving to our airbnb, we had a brief walk around the old chinese settlement.
We drove to the airbnb and met our host who was lovely! We are in our own apartment out in the back garden of the house and it is perfect! Exactly what we were looking for!
We relaxed a bit and then drove down to Queenstown’s Centre to see what all the fuss is about.
We found a parking spot and went for a wander. We sat on the pier and watched some boats and looked at the mountains. It was perfectly relaxing!
Kim got a crepe and then we walked up to the cable car to do the luge!
We got 5 rides each and it wasn’t too busy.
We attempted to race but it didn’t work too well, until the last run which was a really good battle, until Curtis got stuck!
The views were exceptional from the top of the mountain.
Once we finished this, we walked down to the car and stopped at a supermarket for dinner supplies before heading home.
We got back to the apartment and had some salad for dinner with some other things and then pretty much went to bed! We did a bit of admin but got too tired so went to sleep.