A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

South Pacific Adventure

February 12 - April 5, 2020

Avis and Linda are happily getting ready for our next adventure to the South Pacific. We leave Calgary on Feb. 12 for Vancouver, then fly to Auckland, New Zealand where we arrive at 5:25 am on Feb. 14 (we lose a day going but gain it back on our return). From Auckland it is a short flight to Christchurch on the South Island where we pick up our rental car and start the New Zealand leg of our journey. We travel the South Island until Feb. 29 and then fly to Wellington on the North Island. After picking up our car in Wellington we have 18 days of travel on the North Island before flying from Auckland to Melbourne, Australia on March 19. From Melbourne it is a brief flight to Hobart, Tasmania where we pick up our next rental car and start our Tasmania journey. After 16 days of exploring Tasmania we fly back to Calgary on April 5. We are looking forward to sharing our experiences with you. Thanks for reading!! Avis & Linda

Here is a map of our route. You can zoom in and out to see more or less detail

We are looking forward to:

Beautiful landscapes - South Island, New Zealand

P1010755.jpeg

One of our favourite experiences - Hobbiton movie set, Matamata, New Zealand

P1010918.jpg

Historical sites - Richmond bridge, Richmond, Tasmania

IMG_0668.jpeg

Wildlife experiences - Tasmanian Devil

P1020364.jpeg

Incredible nature - Kauri trees in the Waipoua forest, North Island, NZ - can you see Avis?
P1020156.jpeg

Posted by linfays 14:25 Archived in Canada Comments (3)

Christchurch, South Island, Day 1 and 2

We are here

semi-overcast 19 °C
View South Pacific 2020 & New Zealand on linfays's travel map.

We are so happy to be here in New Zealand. It is lovely and warm with the scent of flowers everywhere. We didn’t accomplish much on our first day other than to get here, pick up our rental car and check into our motel. Our accommodation is very nice. We have a large room with a kitchen, and a big bathroom. The property is surrounded with roses and they are in full bloom.
Today started out kind of gloomy and rainy so we decided to go shopping. We drove to a sheepskin outlet store and this is what we each bought
Fuschia coloured sheepskin boots
6ED35831-08FA-4ED8-8730-52D81F95053F.jpeg
We bought some other items too, like possum merino wool gloves and a hat for Linda and a raincoat, picture frame and trinkets for Avis. It’s always fun to shop in a foreign country.
The weather improved this afternoon so we drove to the Christchurch Botanical Gardens. The first thing we did was take a half hour punting tour on the Avon River which was so relaxing. Here we are getting ready to go. B4F7C6DB-73C5-45F0-B1BF-FF28630D8C39.jpeg A67895C9-CE83-4DC8-9D26-CFBDA04A7684.jpegOur punters name is Liam and and he gave us a commentary of some of the interesting sites along the way. The scenery was beautiful. 8A74C31B-E8A5-4751-94B3-40792C84DEA9.jpegAfter our punting experience we headed to a pub for an early dinner/late lunch of fish and chips. Then it was time to explore the botanical gardens. They are truly magnificent, especially the giant trees. DA79BE31-5ECB-4377-8BA5-7B393749639A.jpegA09E445C-CC7C-46EB-A891-5F0E19D9D3BF.jpeg 4BBA2472-482A-4B52-8F03-CD864DA368D9.jpeg Avis says even though the weather was a bit uneven we feel like we made the most of our day. Tomorrow we take the Tranz Alpine Train Journey.

Posted by linfays 23:58 Archived in New Zealand Comments (7)

Christchurch, Day 3

Train ride

semi-overcast 26 °C
View South Pacific 2020 & New Zealand on linfays's travel map.

Today was our journey across New Zealand on the Tranz Alpine Railway. We had to get up early and be at the train station at 7:45 a.m. but it was so worth it. What a spectacular journey in so many ways. The train cars were specially designed for this journey and extremely comfortable, offering viewing from every angle. The scenery was incredible and along the way we listened to a commentary about the history, geology, geography and way of life of this part of New Zealand. We travelled across the Canterbury plains into the highlands where we crossed huge sheep stations, then deep gorges and rivers and through the southern Alps. We left Christchurch at 8:15 and arrived in Greymouth on the west coast at 1 pm. Our return journey departed at 2 and we were back in Christchurch just before 7 pm. I am including some photos but they just don’t do justice to the magnificent landscapes. Here is a map of our route. 76C4EE24-96F3-40AF-9757-234CA16A6A93.jpeg. This is the exterior of one of the rail cars 934AFE1A-1216-439C-929E-1C032125CEA8.jpeg Here is the interior of the rail car with Avis taking in the view. B706BE31-5EE2-4265-B35F-5E153F166734.jpegHere are some scenery pictures 99A05995-2081-4C59-8A0A-E2951E70AB27.jpegB4023FBE-FB62-46D4-852E-769CBBE4025A.jpeg2DB8890F-FA1D-4629-8BEE-759F2DB53BE0.jpeg
Tonight we are packing up and we leave tomorrow for Oamaru. Here is Avis’s comment for the day “due to the rain and moisture in the air our skin is youthful and dewy but the hair is another story. But we are still having fun.”thanks for your comments.

Posted by linfays 00:05 Archived in New Zealand Comments (5)

Christchurch to Oamaru

Steam punk

semi-overcast 22 °C
View South Pacific 2020 & New Zealand on linfays's travel map.

We left Christchurch on Monday morning and made our way along the inland scenic route to Oamaru. More beautiful landscapes and warm weather made for a very pleasant drive. We stopped in a town called Geraldine for lunch and shopped at a country store called The Tin Shed which really is an old tin shed. They had a big box of apples there for the customers to feed their alpacas and a donkey. Just outside of Oamaru is Riverstone Castle, an actual castle built by the wife of a local dairy mogul. There is a famous restaurant and a complex of interesting shops on the grounds of the castle. There are also acres of beautiful raised bed gardens which supply produce for the restaurant. Oamaru is a nice little city of about 10,000 on the east coast, south of Christchurch. It’s a farming community with a quirky twist. The downtown area has many of its original Victorian buildings and a Steampunk Museum. At a beach next to the harbor is a grandstand set up to view the little blue penguins that come ashore to nest every evening at dusk. We are staying at a bed and breakfast in a beautiful old home that was built in the early 1930s. Here are some pictures
Enjoying a Bundaberg lemonade for lunch 90_BA6F11C3-6DB0-4CCA-AEC7-7416B8B79738.jpeg
The Riverstone Castle C8A13BC3-4795-4188-8833-F69C46B36BF3.jpeg
In front of the shops at a Riverstone. I am not sure what Avis did to end up here but she doesn’t look very contrite! 1463CF2C-92D9-492E-B65D-B39FEAD86E66.jpeg
One of the raised bed gardens F21C2F1F-341A-4A58-B29F-48AF4BADC35A.jpeg
Outside the Steampunk museum in Oamaru. D2C303F8-F8B0-4087-BE4B-5511478332B1.jpegIf you drop a $2 coin in the slot in front of that structure it animates and puts on a 2 minute show complete with lights and sound effects. We tried it, it was quite fun.
We will spend Tuesday morning looking around in Oamaru and then drive on to the Otago peninsula. Thanks for reading.

Posted by linfays 08:06 Archived in New Zealand Comments (3)

Oamaru to Otago Peninsula

overcast 16 °C
View South Pacific 2020 & New Zealand on linfays's travel map.

We started our morning in Oamaru with a visit to the award winning Whitestone cheese factory. We bought 2 kinds of cheese to try. One is a pecorino (sheep) and the other made from a combination of cow and goat milk. Both were pricey but taste amazing so we are glad we splurged. Next we did a bit of exploring in the Victorian precinct of Oamaru. This is the downtown area where the old buildings from the 1800s have been preserved and now contain an amazing array of art galleries, antique and curiosity shops. 7FAC48EB-6484-4BC5-978A-F48A2DBFA711.jpeg
F132204E-FD26-40D1-B4DB-EA9C0787C69B.jpegWe tried out this penny farthing bicycle at the entrance to the street. 97E8D013-8070-4A8E-87FE-8D5D67B0FC5C.jpegOne of the most interesting things we saw when we dropped into a used book store was the full size replica of the James Caird, the open whaling boat that Shackleton sailed 800 miles to South Georgia after his ship Endurance was trapped in the Antarctic ice. This replica was built for a NZ documentary. F83CFF84-24BE-4D03-A7F8-208CB31C3313.jpeg
We left Oamaru about noon and made our way down the coast to the city of Dunedin and then the Otago peninsula. Along the way we stopped to see the Moeraki boulders, an interesting group of large rocks on the beach. There is a long, complicated geological explanation for why these boulders are there but I will leave that to you to Google if you are really interested.4C35744D-07EB-415A-A49D-4FFCFFDF1EE9.jpegD5E788F7-1640-4ED1-9B46-7B10FAEADEDC.jpeg. After that we stopped at a place called Shag Point to see some New Zealand fur seals. One of them was on the grass next to where we parked our car. 350151C2-55CB-459C-9E85-7012DA2174D4.jpeg These were down on the beach 186E8493-6229-40E8-AF2B-4622791B8BC4.jpeg
We are on the Otago peninsula for 2 nights. We have the top floor in a character home that overlooks the ocean. It has two huge bedrooms, each with an attached sitting room with a fridge and coffee making facilities and a tv. There is a huge family bathroom and one bedroom is en-suite. There is a sitting room and a sun room, both with beautiful views of the ocean. We are really going to enjoy all this space for a couple of days. Tomorrow we are off to explore. Here is Avis’s comment for the day - “ there is an art to driving on the left hand side of the road which Linda seems to have mastered. However, when I get behind the wheel I have a tendency to scare the crap out of her. Actually it’s my ploy so Linda will do all the driving”. My response - “ even tho you scared me when you tried to take out those huge garbage bins while attempting to turn left onto the highway, it’s not going to work. You will get your turn tomorrow “.

Posted by linfays 01:03 Archived in New Zealand Comments (6)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 34) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 »