| Tues 10 June 2008 - Aotearoa The Land of the Long White Cloud
The flight over the Southern Alps into New Zealand was truly spectacular. The snow capped mountains unfolded beneath the plane and it was a terrific greeting. Thanks guys for a majestic entry into your country.
Picked up car and headed up the east coast from Christchurch to Kaikoura where I was staying a few nights with a friend. Welcomed with a roast lamb dinner. What a treat!
The next day (Wed 11 June) it was a drive around the small town and beautiful surrounding countryside, heading up to Hanmer Springs - winding roads with many warning signs - "ICE/GRIT". Snow capped mountains all around, and at the centre the grand Mount Lyford.
On Thursday 12 June I ventured out of the car and completed the Kaikoura Cliff Walk - more beautiful scenery across fields and the sea. After a seafood chowder and half a crayfish from a local roadside stall (absolutely yummy!) it was back in the car a for a drive along the east coastline, checking out the surfers braving the cold waters at Mangamanu and the seal colony at Ohau Point. In the evening went out with my hostess to the local Pier Hotel for a fine fish supper.
Friday 13 June - Christchurch
Headed south to Christchurch, staying in Sumner Bay - check out the sunset pic! for the next couple of days did all the touristy bits in a town, a bit of shopping, cafe culture, movies and the obligatory walking tour around the pretty city. On the Sunday (15 June) having failed to secure a reservation on the famous steam train to Arthur's Pass, I decided to drive - well I had the car anyway. Glad I did because it enabled me to stop where I wanted to - got some great shots along the way although when I got to the pass itself it was misty and much low cloud - and not a lot of snow!