Category Archives: New Zealand

My favourites list from New Zealand 

So many fantastic experiences but in the end it is all the unexpected things that I loved the most. 

The city of Christchurch – managed a day there on the way home and it is full of vigour, determination, laughter and funky art – the people there are looking forward not backwards and I loved that. 

Scenery and sea close together – like the Pancake Rocks.

The food and wine – especially the glut of green lipped mussels that I imbibed (and that is the right word) -I just kept slurping them up with wine to wash them down of course. Roll on Bluff oyster season.

And, again unexpectedly, the interesting things you can do like jumping off a mountain and flying over Queenstown and here finally is the proof of that:)

Green lipped mussels, Pancake rocks, parasailing and funky Ronnie Van Hout art in Christchurch

Any complaints? Only very wiggly roads, weather even more changeable than Melbourne and the downside of the peace and quiet – intermittent wifi/roaming access (but I suppose that is the whole point?).

Final days in New Zealand – Arthur’s Pass, Castle Hill

Drove from Dunedin through Arthur’s Pass in the centre of the South Island to stay at another Wilderness Lodge.What a glorious part of the country.Braided rivers, more boulders at Castle Hill (I’m getting a bit of a thing about boulders), lovely flora and fauna – really hard to finally leave what must be one of the most wonderful landscapes I’ve ever visited. 

You Kiwis are right – you live in scenic paradise – and you keep that quiet so that it remains that way. Good on you – smart move:)

Arthur”S Pass Wilderness Lodge where I stayed for a couple of days including the braided river.

The Castle Hill Boulders – definitely a place to shoot a movie

Flora around Wilderness Lodge.

Dunedin – a touch of Scotland in New Zealand and we experience “Steampunk” in Oamuru

I quite liked Dunedin. It is very Scottish – buildings look similar and there are a lot of churches – in fact we stayed at a great hotel called Brothers which is opposite the cathedral pictured and used to be the home of the Catholic brothers. No ghosts seen but rumour has it…..

It is not a very busy place – uni students were only just starting to come in for the start of the year – and as you can see the station is impressive but not very busy. Nevertheless, I liked the movement towards more street art and it did mean that en-route to our last lodge in Arthur’s Pass we got to see two very cool places.

Downtown Dunedin

First stop an hour outside of Dunedin was the Moeraki Boulders – at first they look much smaller than you expect them to be but as I wandered down the beach on a glorious day I became more and more enamoured of them. So here they are.

The Moeraki Boulders including what’s inside if you crack one open.

And finally we stopped at what we thought was the quaint little town of Oamuru – it seems idyllic and quiet but then you find it is the home of STEAMPUNK and you realised that not all towns in New Zealand are what they appear. For the uninitiated Steampunk is …. well an art form, a movement, something to do with using industrial products to make other things – all very weird, wonderful and decidedly quirky. A few tasters below – but I suggest you visit if you ever find yourself in this part of NZ – it is quite an eye opener 

Steampunk centre in Oamuru – not what we were expecting in the apparently sleepy town of Oamuru.

Last NZ post coming soon and then it is off to Tasmania.

New Zealand, Queenstown – I never go jet boating without my Louis – naturally…..

Queenstown – my midlife crisis has been satisfied!
First piece of news is that after 12 years of no driving at all and 21 years of no driving on the left hand side of the road – I actually drove the rental car – (round some very wiggly NZ roads I might add). So it is true – you don’t forget how to do it – but personally I still much prefer to be driven (chauffeurs always welcome) so I can look out of the window. Big thanks to Marjory for sitting next to me and not gripping her chair too often!
But that’s not all – in Queenstown I bought a fab piece of art by a cool local artist – Louise McCrae – who paints abstracts on a large piece of wood, then chops it all up in different widths and sizes and then puts it all back together again in a different form – so real creation, destruction and reconstruction – pretty cool.

Then I went jet-boating – actually second time for me as Nigel and Rae-Ann took me out a few years ago but this time we did some spins too.

I never go jet boating without my LV

Queenstown thrills and food. See that view – I ran off the mountain just above there…..


And for the finale – I ran off the top of the mountain in Queenstown – luckily while attached at a pilot and a parasail. Pretty cool after you actually leave land. Would do it again. Proof to be provided later as pics are all on USB stick. Honest!

Hokitika – can you say it properly?

Second time visit to Hokitika ( we keep trying to pronounce the right way to say this word but even the New Zealander’s are not consistent. “Hoe Ke ticker” is my best phonetic attempt but happy to be corrected again!

View from my bedroom in Hokitika at Rimu Lodge

I am clearly enjoying NZ cuisine too much – here is a before an after of a chair I sat in!

I only sat on it for a minute…..