Rakaia Gorge (near Mt Hutt):
Long drive today from Mt Cook to Christchurch. We left Mt Cook in heavy rain. It rained all night and then this morning a fab thunderstorm rolled through. It was only a matter of minutes up the road when the sunshine started (bright rainbow) and hasn’t stopped. Quick lunch and park play in Fairlie. One hour to Christchurch where we will stay two nights before returning to Sydney.
We hiked up, up, up to see the (very retreated) Tasman Glacier. Today has been our sunniest in 2 weeks.
Outside our window this morning:
There is a mountain out there! Because of the rain and dark last night there wad nothing to see!
Sorry, there seems to be a glitch with the photos at the moment. WP is only allowing one photo at a time. I will work on sorting this.
Yesterday we drove to Dunedin. Actually, I need to correct myself there. We actually drove through Dunedin out to the Otago Peninsula to stay in Portobello. Once we got settled into our motel we contacted our friends who live there. They met us with their three kids and we all went down to Allen’s Beach. We saw a huge sea lion on the beach and the kids all got to know each other.
After the kids had a good run we drove back into Portobello for dinner at the local hotel. The kids played outside in the little play area while we chatted. After dinner we went up to see their house and have a cup of tea.
It was nearing bedtime for all of the children so we retired back to our motel for the night.
This morning we ate a quick breakfast and checked out. Because we only had one night here and wanted more we decided to have a quick look around before heading out on the road. We headed out to the little spit of land that houses the Royal Albatross Centre as well as two different penguin colonies. We ended up seeing no birds at all! We did spot either seals or sea lions in an area inaccessible to public. We also did a steep walk up a hillside over Sandfly Bay. It was a good workout but everything at the top was so overgrown that you couldn’t see the Bay.
Back in Portobello we had an early lunch since today’s drive would be a long one.
On the road for a 4-hour drive to Mount Cook. We broke up the drive with a short stop at Moeraki Boulders. It was good fun to walk along the beach to see the boulders but we didn’t linger. Back in the car for the endless drive. We finally got within an hour of our destination then made a stop in Twizel for breakfast and lunch supplies as well as petrol.
As we approached Mount Cook village, rain was off in the distance and the sunset faded into darkness. Tomorrow it is meant to be rain-free but cloudy. The drive up here was truly spectacular. I can’t wait to see it tomorrow.
Four more nights of holiday! Two here then two in Christchurch. We are fighting the end-of-holiday blues…
Alex’s fluffy at lunch
Sofia at the beach near Moeraki Boulders. I didn’t want 100 tourists in the background here, hence no boulders, just stunning beach.
Up close with boulders
This morning we were up 6:30ish. Out the door at 7:30 for a day trip to Milford Sound. We left early to beat the traffic. It took 1.5 hours and there were very few cars on the road. The weather looked sketchy on the way out there but turned out to be beautiful, if a bit cloudy. We took a 2 hour cruise on the smallest boat available and it only had about 12 people on board. You really couldn’t ask for anything better. The skipper let each kid take a turn at the wheel and they loved it! He even announced it as each one had a turn. Along the way we saw fur seals on rocks, frolicking bottlenose dolphins, waterfalls, and stunning scenery in the fjord. Upon our return we had lunch at Milford Sound Cafe just up the road from the boats. We also stopped at The Chasm for a 20 minute stroll through the forest to see a waterfall and chasm. Now we are back at our house for our last night before we travel on to Dunedin. Laundry and organising in my future for the evening as well as UNO with the kids and maybe a walk by the lake.
Once we return home I will be able to share proper photos from the camera rather than only from my phone.
We drove about 40km up a gravel road to see this lakes area north of Te Anau.
This is the view from our rental house on the lake in Te Anau, Rainbow Lake House. It is for sale for a cool NZ$1.4 million.
This morning we day goodbye to Queenstown as we make our way to Te Anau for three nights. We are driving south along Lake Wakitipu around the Eyre Mountains. The sun is shining and it is 20C outside. Bliss!
Blustery winds today. It isn’t meant to rain until late afternoon/evening so we are seizing the day. Lunch at The Fork and Tap in Arrowtown now. We plan to look around the Chinese settlement and browse through shops before going back to Queenstown. We would like to take the gondola and let the kids do the luge but it may be too windy. Sofia also wants to go to the Kiwi Birdlife Centre.