Wellington, Greytown, Goodbye North Island, Hello South Island

Spent last weekend in Wellington and Greytown having a fabulous time with Hazel and extended whanau (family) who were having a Christmas get together which involved a lot of great company, food, drink and fun.

Before heading off we had a bit of a mooch round Wellington, taking in the view, having a relaxing coffee, checking out the underground market and admiring the various excellent sculptures dotted around the city.

Wellington Man

Wood and Metal

Wooden sculptures

Wellington Fish

In the afternoon we headed over the “hill” (which was more like a small mountain – or to you and me just a mountain with twisting roads and hairpin bends winding around it) to Greytown to meet the whanau and indulge in something of a great feast where the bubbly just seemed to keep flowing (and yes I did indulge…).

We had an overwhelmingly warm welcome and it was great to get another slice of Kiwi family life in the company of such very special people. So thanks to all of you for making us feel so welcome and taking such good care of us.

After spending the night in Greytown, it was back over the “hill” but not before taking a stroll around town taking in the sites including this huge historic gum tree.

Historic Tree sign

Historic Tree

Spent the afternoon doing more mooching around Wellington taking in the view but mainly checking out the ever wonderful Te Papa Museum.

Maori War Canoe

In the evening caught up with some friends for dinner in town and then went over to theirs for a cuppa in Karori just outside the city.

Next morning it was time to say goodbye to Hazel, Dougie, Roz, Wellington, and North Island (at least for this trip). Not before having to pay a hefty sum for the wind damage to the  roof vent while camping in lake ferry.

Roz and I said our goodbyes at Gate 16 – Roz heading for Oz and me heading to meet up with Ace (my travelling companion for the next for weeks),  in Christchurch.

First night on South Island was spent at the idyllic campsite at Little River. Really tranquil place for Ace to recover from the best part of 36 hours + travelling.

Parked up then headed across the stream and up the track to take in the view from the hill above. Beautiful…

Little River

Woke the next morning to low cloud and drizzle. Spirits undampened we made and ate our breakfast of fruit, yoghurt and lovely manuka smoked bacon sarnies. Yum… Off to Akaroa for the day.

Akaroa Harbour

Marcus at Little River Camping Ground said if it was raining there was a cinema in the town which might be a nice way to while away a couple of rainy hours. Most Fortuitously we turned up at the cinema 20 mins before the start of The Sapphires – a film we’d missed during its run in London, and really wanted to see.

The Sapphires

Just enough time to get a fish sandwich of the end of the wharf for lunch. Very, very delicious it was too.

Great, great film. Very entertaining and heartwarming, and a fantastic place to watch it in the cute little cinema.

Akaroa Cinema

After the film, had a wander round town and strolled up to the cute little lighthouse.

Akaroa Lighthouse

Back in the van to head back to camp for our second night of tranquility before the South Island leg of the road trip begins in earnest. Hairy drive back along the summit road – normally a great view, but today, shrouded in low cloud and fog adding a sense of eeriness to the the twisty turny route back.

Akaroa from Summit Road

Woke to a beautiful sunny morning, perfect start to our days’ travel to our next stop, Lake Tekapo. We stopped off at the nearby Birdlings Flat to stretch the legs for an hour or so along the wonderfully desolate shingle beach with gem stones apparently scattered in amongst the grey pebbles.

Birdlings Flat

All along the track flashes of colour afforded by the plant life.


So now we’re all pretty much up to date again thanks to a stop in Ashburton for our internet and blogging fix. Catch up with you next time…

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