Imagine three relative strangers, a campervan, two weeks in New Zealand and 2500 odd kilometers to cover. Thankfully we quickly vetoed the compact 2/3 berth campervan in favour of a “4 wheel drive” and small hotel rooms – and another dream holiday was born. Traveling with Miss Emma, a uni friend, and Shano, a uni mate of Emma’s, has proved interesting, as none of us really knew each other to begin with (Shano’s perfect activity – to spend the day hiking a mountain… My perfect activity? Jama day followed by a vodka bar… Miss Emma’s iPod = Bon Jovi, my iPod = Jacks Mannequin…) Despite our differences of opinion, or perhaps because of it, we came up with a pretty decent itineray.
Traveling through Boxing Day/New Years has meant that the majority of our hotels have had to be prebooked but thankfully us chicks were relatively organized, whilst our travel partner was happy to smile and nod, something he is likely to become very good at through the duration of our trip.
Arrival in New Zealand was fun – upon take off from Melbourne we were advised that Christchurch had been hit with more aftershocks from their 7.4 September earthquake. The flight was rather exhilarating, made all the more so when we downgrade to a tiny plane in Wellington to skip over to Christchurch. Had the normal issues picking up our rental car, but it all sorted itself out in the end (and we got a free upgrade – booya!)
Christchurch has been rocked pretty hard by all the earth movement. A walk around the centre of town proved that whilst it is a beautiful town, there has been plenty of damage, with shops an roads still closed from the September quake and a few closed from the boxing day shocks. Whilst on our trip around the South Island, we have run into a few people who had taken their families on holidays away from Christchurch to get away from the movements – before this, I wasn’t aware that there was still aftershocks etc occurring. Whilst based in Christchurch, we also took the time to explore Akaroa bay and the cheese factories and fudge shops in the area. Unfortunately drove right past the Birdlings Gem Museum – oh well, next time!
Our next steps? We’re to hit up Dunedin, apparently the Edinburgh of the South, which suits me just fine, as Edinburgh happens to be one of my favourite cities 🙂
Stay safe xoxo