Having finally recovered from my encounter with ‘the bird,’ we moved onto Arthur’s Pass, which was fantastic. Such great driving and hiking (even though the weather was crappy.)
From here, we drove to Christchurch. We weren’t really sure what to expect, we’d heard differing opinions about the city but we really, really liked it. Such cool architecture, cafes, gardens and even though the reminders of the earthquakes are everywhere to see, it doesn’t feel run down or eerie. Instead, there’s a lot of building work going on showing how the city is getting back on its feet and regenerating. I found an awesome yoga studio to go to for a few days and so Sam worked on….well, I’m not entirely sure, but it was bound to some something tech related!
We then headed east through the Banks Peninsula, to a teeny town called Akaroa. Again, the weather wasn’t great and this kind of limited what we could do.However, the drive there was spectacular- stunning views everywhere we looked.
Yes, admittedly the weather is great in this particular shot but this was on the way out!
We then made our way over to Hanmer Springs, somewhere I’d heard lots of great things about. It’s basically a small village inland, with lots of hiking and biking tracks as well as there famous Hanmer Springs Thermal Spa (guess which part Sam was excited about?!) The weather finally played ball and it was beautiful the whole time we were there. We hiked, spent hours in the thermal spas and had an awesome date night- if you’re ever there, I’d recommend No. 31 bar and restaurant, worth the splurge. Annoyingly, our camera ran out of battery so we couldn’t take many photos.
This morning, we’ve scooted along to Kaikoura- a great little coastal town, where we’ll hopefully see whales and dolphins on Sunday (not particularly optimistic.) We plan to spend a few days here and then off to Blenheim for more wine!
We realised that we’ve been in NZ almost 10 weeks now- time has FLOWN! We’re feeling strangely attached to Vanatar and are kind of dreading giving him up because then it’ll be back to packing up our bags every couple of days and having to get buses and boats to places. Although these boats will be in Fiji so I guess I can’t complain. Life right now is pretty good for the Atkinsons!