Tag Archives: Cars


Mount Cook Village and one night in Christchurch…

Lupins at Lake Takepo, NZ

The last stop on our NZ tour was Mount Cook Village, a cluster of accommodation in the centre of the country at the foot of Mount Cook the highest mountain in NZ. The drive from Dunedin was wet with lots of low cloud, it didn’t bode well for a good view of the mountain but we pressed on. About one hour north of Dunedin we stopped briefly at Moeraki Beach and walked along the shore to see the strange round boulders at the waters edge. The Moeraki Boulders are about 1m across and were formed over millions of years in the same way as pearls with a shell or pebble in the centre gradually being enclosed in layers of crystals, very odd! There were a couple split open on the beach so we could see the insides. Continue reading Mount Cook Village and one night in Christchurch…


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

Fran 5

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


Kai 2
Street furniture Kaikoura

Marks decision to head south and pick up Highway 63 was inspired, we had a lovely drive south from Abel Tasman down through the fruit orchards around Nelson with the blossom just starting to come out. The road east took us along a wide river valley between towering hillsides, it reminded us of the Scottish Highlands. As we approached the town of Blenheim we drove through the Marlborough Wine region with vineyards on either side of the road stretching almost as far as the eye could see. We stopped for coffee in Blenheim, it was another modern low rise, town but it had a nice riverside park. From there we turned south and followed Highway 1 to Kaikoura. Continue reading Kaikoura