Hahei to Tairua to Auckland Airport

Obligatory trip to Hot Water Beach today, exactly as it was seven years ago. Cafe as good (beetroot salad - brain food - need it!) Then onto the beach and the crowds of people huddles together around the hot bit, all digging holes and sitting in them. A hot spring hits the surface just under…

New Plymouth to Coromandel

Another state of emergency avoided! Ex-cyclone Gita causes fresh states of emergency to be declared. We managed to head north out of the way of this. Seemed to affect Taranaki quite badly. Looks as if the Kaikoura main route in is cut-off again. Next day we headed up State Highway 3. Until we got south…

Paraparaumu to and at Mount Taranaki

Next onto the main reason we chose the western route up the North Island: Mount Taranaki. We headed up SH1 and went through several interesting towns, including Foxton which boasts a full-sized working windmill built 2000-2003 with most of the structure and innards brought in from Holland. Also a most interesting Maori craft centre where…

Kaikoura to Picton, Marlborough Sounds

Woke to discover that our Picton booking was not available after all - their website not updated! so we rushed to the iSite (NZ’s excellent booking/information service) to try to get sorted as we had been advised that there was a wine and food festival in Blenheim that had resulted in everywhere being fully booked.…

Mount Cook to Kaikoura

A long drive but we needed to get north and we got to Christchurch quite early so decided to push on. Also the direct road to Kaikoura was open (albeit with lots of hold-ups for road-works), so we calculated that it would not take too long. The drive around Pukaki Lake was beautiful. Mount Cook…

At Mount Cook

As we'd done most of the walks before and we were feeling quite tired, we limited our exertions on what was a warm sunny day. In the morning we went to the Tasman Glacier and Lake. The walk takes you up the moraine wall to a viewpoint overlooking the lake and back to the glacier.…

Birds

We are trying to take some pictures of birds on this trip. Not many so far but we will try to add some as we go along. Gulls flying Goldfinch near Allan's Beach Diver taking off at Raumati Beach Diver at Mercury Bay Little Stint on Cooks Beach Silvereyes Gull at Mercury Bay Gulls at…

Christchurch

This is a bit out of order as we did this before we drove south to Dunedin. Flew into Christchurch from Sydney across the South Island mountains in an ESE direction, just as dusk was descending. Visibility was good and Mount Cook stood majestically in the evening sun with the glacial lake Pukako clearly visible…