Tag Archives: new zealand

Panorama of braided rivers



The rain stopped when we got into the mountains. The wispy clouds hugged the mountains and it was gorgeous. We had an encounter with cheeky keas trying to chew the car antennae. We are now at our motel in Greymouth where the sun is shining. Off to enjoy the rest of the daylight. Tom will post some photos later tonight.

Day 1 South Island



Rain! And more forecast.

We arrived into Christchurch without issue last night. It took an hour from the time we got off the plane to get through immigration, pick up luggage and go through customs. It was a short drive to Airport Palms Motel which was new, modern and comfortable. Bedtime was 1:15am (11:15 Sydney time). We were all up at 8am (6am Sydney). After a quick bite to eat we got dressed and packed our things to hit the road.

Today we are driving from Christchurch to Greymouth/Hokitika via Arthur’s Pass. Outside of Christchurch we cross the Canterbury Plain before we reach the mountains and then to the Northwest coast.

South Pacific


For as long as I can remember I have wanted to visit the South Pacific, no one place, anywhere would do. Visions of islands, palm trees, coral reefs, sandy beaches and the good life all settled in my head. We have been in Australia two years now and have done very little travel (boo hoo!). Last year at this time we did a big road trip down to Melbourne and then across on the ferry to Tasmania. No complaints there, it was fab. Tom and I have been discussing the South Pacific since we got here. Fiji. Vanuatu. Tahiti. Bora Bora. Where should we go? Tom loves his travel planning and is really good at it. He managed to find us a trip using some of our thousands of airline miles we have saved up. We ended up booking further afield than the short flight to Fiji or Vanuatu.

In nine days we depart for the Cook Islands, Rarotonga to be exact. We depart Sydney on Saturday night and arrive Saturday morning due to the International Date Line. Of course we land at some silly hour like 5am. If that isn’t torture enough we will be popping over to a hotel for some breakfast and rest before heading back to the tiny airport and flying to Aitutaki about an hour from Rarotonga. Aitutaki is one of those Honeymoon destinations, one of the most beautiful in all of the South Pacific. It is tiny, just under 7 square miles. After a three day visit to Aitutaki it is back to Rarotonga for a couple of nights of fun before we continue on.

Next on the itinerary is Tahiti, French Polynesia. We are staying at some airport hotel in Papeete for one night before hopping on the ferry to another island, Mo’orea. Mo’orea is a bit bigger with 51 square miles. We have five nights on Mo’orea and I hope we can find five days of things to do on this small island! Back on the ferry and a day an a half to explore Tahiti before a midnight departure (sounds fun with two kids, right?)

From Tahiti we will fly to Christchurch, New Zealand with a quick connection in Auckland. Here we lose the day that we gained on our way over. Friday night will not exist! Tom and I visited New Zealand in 2006 when we lived in England so we have seen a large chunk of the South Island. With two tired, weary kids in tow we decided to keep this portion of the trip light. We will spend two nights in Hanmer Springs which is only a short drive from Christchurch. We will also visit Kaikoura before heading back towards Christchurch. Since the earthquakes in Chch last year we decided not to stay in the city, but to have a quick visit on our way though to the Banks Peninsula, specifically Akaroa.

It is going to be a crazy 18 days of travelling, but much appreciated. I have itchy feet and I miss all of the travel we did when we lived in England. I have been waiting months for this holiday. Let the countdown begin!!

And when we return I will need a holiday from my holiday.