We had to be up early this morning after last nights big Rugby match in order to get to the airport. We are leaving the north island and flying to the south island which is supposed to be the most beautiful scenery of New Zealand.
The flight was about an hour and 20 minutes, once we arrived, we grabbed our luggage and called our rental car shuttle to come pick us up. Today we have to drive 5-6 hours from Christchurch which is on the east coast of the south island, to Portsmouth which is on the west coast of the island. The drive is supposed to be one of the highlights of the trip. Our B&B host gave us detailed places on where to stop on the way to her place in Portsmouth.
After getting out of the airport area, we found ourselves in the countryside. There were cows and sheep grazing on the fields of green grass and white top mountains in the distance. After driving for about an hour, we came to our first stop…amongst the hills and between the mountains were huge limestone boulder formations throughout the valley. It was called Kura Tawhiti and is open to the public for exploring. We got out of the car and walked around, taking pictures to show how massive the boulders were in comparison to ourselves. It looked like a scene straight out of Lord of The Rings. Giff decided to sprinkle some of his dad’s ashes there as well…it was a beautiful and serene landscape.
As we passed right by the mountains where The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was filmed, we agreed the scenery was much more exciting on the south island vs the north island. We reached a big sign showing Arthur’s Pass which was a major national park and drove straight to a trail in the forest called, Devil’s Punchbowl Falls. We parked our car and walked the short walk over to the bridge to see the waterfall. It was surprisingly cold outside…so we decided not to do the longer hike, but enjoyed getting out of the car to stretch our legs. The waterfall was nice and relaxing as it crashed down into the river but it was cold and we were looking forward to getting to our B&B.
There was one more spot on our list of places…we pulled off onto a small parking lot to see their man-made reservoir which actually wasn’t so impressive, but what was fun were the large obnoxious green birds standing in the parking lot. They were the opposite of shy…we sprinkled just a few cracker crumbs and they were quickly approaching…they climbed up onto the car and started biting the metal on the car. We gave them more crackers and they continued to be aggressive. The people next to us didn’t think they would come into their car, so had their window down but these outgoing birds walked right into the backseat. It was kind of fun to watch…
As we started to approach the area where we were staying the night…we saw how beautiful the ocean was, we were driving right along the water and the sun was starting to set as the waves were crashing and the fog was settling. We finally arrived after our very long but fun day at our place called, Breakers (www.breakers.co.nz). The hostess/owner who had done such a great job with detailing exactly where to stop on our drive came out to greet us. She helped carry our things in and showed us to our room. The room was spacious with a great view of the ocean…we were literally on the beach, we could have thrown a ball into the water we were so close. There was also a little dish of fresh-baked cookies on the counter which was a nice touch.
It had started raining and after being in the car for many hours we were so happy when the hostess offered to make us a pizza. She said they had made them for the other guests and had some left-overs they could throw together so we wouldn’t have to go back out in the rain. We thought she was so generous and thankfully excepted the offer. I sat at the little table by the window watching the ocean and reading while Giff got online and caught up on his much missed football. About an hour later, she brought a small hot pizza to our room and told us to leave the plate in the hall when we were finished. We thanked her again and devoured it pretty quickly. The rest of the evening we relaxed and got some Internet work done before going to bed. Tomorrow, we have a much shorter drive but want to get going fairly early.