Tag Archives: B and B

Dunedin

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Especially for Steve
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The Station
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First Church

From Queenstown, we drove across to Dunedin on the east coast, taking a detour from the main road to visit a small, pretty, historic town called Clyde on the way. Dunedin, named after Edinburgh, is the oldest city in NZ, the drive was as scenic as ever, lakes, mountains, plains and vineyards, we are starting to get blasé about the wonderful scenery!! We stopped on our way to pick up some crisps and beer to enjoy while we watched the American election results come in, filled with hope and confidence Mark picked up a bottle of Sparkling wine to celebrate… more of that later! Continue reading Dunedin

Te Anau

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Says it all

We left Wanaka on Friday morning heading for Te Anau on the edge of the Fiordland National Park, the journey took us over the Crown Range of mountains and this time the road conformed to expectations. We drove through the valley and then up over the range, we emerged from the pass at 1080m and stopped to look at the countryside laid out below us. The road then wound down steeply and led us to Queenstown, we didn’t stop, we will be back here later in the week and will have time to look around then. We carried on heading south and then turned west and eventually reached Te Anau another little lakeside town.  Continue reading Te Anau

Wanaka

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New game of golf!

 

The drive from Franz Josef to Wanaka was to take us through the Haast Pass, the most southerly of the three passes through the Southern Alps, we were all set for a journey of steep climbs, hair pin bends and stunning scenery. The first surprise came when we programmed the address of our next B&B in to the sat nav, the journey details popped up as usual, “distance to destination 287km. Directions, in 283km turn right”, no chance to get lost then!! We set off and headed down the coast to Haast village (last petrol for 80km) and then the road turned in towards the mountains. We have got used to very good quality roads in NZ, even in quite remote areas, sure enough the road out of Haast was a great road, two lanes, good surface and started off at a gentle but steady climb. We climbed, and climbed, following the course of a river valley with wide sweeping bends – any time now the real climb will start we thought, but no, that was it all the way!! It was an easy journey and a good road right through the mountains, we were really surprised. After three and a half hours we arrived in the pretty lakeside town of Wanaka. Continue reading Wanaka

Franz Josef

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Arthur Pass top height

We left Christchurch on the Trans Alpine Express, a daily rail service that links Christchurch on the east coast with Greymouth on the west coast. The route took us across the Canterbury Plains and then up over the Southern Alps via Arthurs Pass. The journey through the mountains was spectacular, we followed the course of two rivers (one of them called the Arnold River after a former head of Rugby School) crossing tall viaducts and passing through tunnels, one tunnel was over 8km long. In places we could see the track used by settlers and gold miners to cross the range in horse drawn carriages. As we started to descend from the pass we noticed that the river was flowing the other way, we had crossed the divide. Continue reading Franz Josef

Christchurch

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It says it all!

The drive to Christchurch was once again very pretty, we drove south through farm land and started to see lots more sheep and some very large herds of cows. We didn’t stop for breakfast in Kaikoura, we decided to get on our way and keep a lookout for somewhere to stop en route, we were keen to get to Christchurch in time to have a look around. We passed through a couple of little towns but didn’t see anywhere interesting, then in what felt a bit like the middle of nowhere we saw a sign for the Mainline Station Café, we rounded the bend and there it was an historic wooden station building looking very welcoming. We stopped and went in to find a lovely, cosy old fashion station café still serving breakfast! The staff were friendly and the coffee and food excellent (as we are coming to expect in NZ) it was exactly what we were looking for and in just the right spot. We had a chance to look at a photo album showing how the station building had been moved from the railway line to its current location next to the main highway, it has been lovingly restored and a garden created alongside. Continue reading Christchurch

Napier

Now, before I tell you about our time in Napier I just want to apologise for getting a bit behind with the blog. To be quite honest we are having such a good time in New Zealand, and there is SO much to see and do we just haven’t had time to bring you all up to date. We promise to try harder in future, assuming we can find time out from our adventures! Anyway…

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Earthquake poster

 

…Napier is a small seaside town on the east coast of New Zealand, it is the centre of the Hawkes Bay region which will be familiar to any of you who read wine labels and is notable as an Art Deco town. Napier was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 and when it was rebuilt the builders chose to reflect the Art Deco style that was popular at the time. Two things about this stand out when you visit Napier, first the sheer number of Art Deco buildings, particularly in the centre of town where whole streets of shops reflect the style; and second that many of the buildings are very simple, homes, shops, village halls etc. In many places Art Deco buildings were commissioned by wealthy patrons and are often grand houses or business premises, in Napier the style was adopted for ordinary homes for working people. We saw an interesting exhibition in the museum in town that captured the detail of some of these homes inside and out. Continue reading Napier

Rotorua

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Fellow guests in Rotorua

Rotorua, centre of geothermal activity in New Zealand, we were both looking forward to our visit. The town is set on the side of Lake Rotorua, a flooded volcanic crater with a lava dome forming an island in the middle. When we got there our first task was to find a shop selling hats; we have been advised that the clear air and thin atmosphere in NZ means the sun can be very strong and you can burn very easily so we wanted to buy a couple of proper protective sun hats, we soon found the right shop and purchased factor 50 sun hats with built in insect repellence, perfect. Next we drove down to the waterfront, the weather was closing in and it was quite late so most places had closed down for the day so it felt a bit like English seaside out of season! We found a café and had coffee and a doughnut before getting back in the car and setting off to find the City Lights B&B. On the way we pulled into a park which showed on the map as having geothermal sites, we walked around a whole range of hot mud pools, steam vents and bubbling hot springs, the whole place felt very otherworldly and had a distinct aroma of sulphur. Continue reading Rotorua