After a short workweek, we took the car to Wellington where we saw Paul, Bridgette, Anna and Pepsi again. Their lovely neighbour was too kind and offered us her spare room, which made for an amazing stay. The drive down was long and wet, but not too bad. Even though it was quite grey, I managed to sneak in a picture of Tongariro National Park.
On Friday, we went to some little shops and had lunch at Cuba Street (the hipster street). We then went to Zealandia, a conservation park with loads and loads of birds. We walked around for about 2 – 3 hours and I took loads of pictures.
We arrived in Christchurch on my birthday and had a good wander around the city. Having fallen to ruins (sadly) with the 2011 earthquake, there was not much to do. We scouted the place and came across a lot of (part of) buildings being demolished and/or rebuilt. It was quite sad to see that a city once so lovely has succumbed to a disaster like that. We had a really nice apartment though and spent an awesome evening with Josh, who showed us to the best pub in town where we had plenty of really good beer.
Because Karen had spoken about lovely tiny blue penguins often, we went to see them for ourselves. They were to be found in Oamaru, a victorian village with stunning buildings. Even though it wasn’t very busy, it was great to walk around there. The Steampunk HQ (a museum) was open and we had a stroll around there before we went to the Blue Penguin Colony where you can see the penguins coming home at night. It was very, very, very cold but soooo cool to see the penguins up close. They are absolutely adorable. We weren’t allowed to take pictures to refrain the penguins from getting scared and not coming home to their baby penguins, so if you are interested in seeing those lovely creatures, I highly recommend going to Oamaru.
A genuine ‘Bakkerij’, sadly closed for business
We spent the night in Timaru, an hour from Oamaru. Also a victorian looking village, but sadly with absolutely nothing opened after 8 pm. We did not have a choice but to get food at the only opened place, so we had kebab. We stayed at a lovely hotel, called The Governer. With a new paint job, it would’ve been a stunning place.
Today we drove to Lake Tekapo in the most detoured way possible. We drove over gravelroads which, we found out later, are very common here. Stunning tiny roads made for an interesting drive, as Bas loves driving at a proper speed even more than I do. Lake Tekapo is a cute little town, where the restaurants are open after 8! We climbed to the Mt John Summit, quite a tough climb, but stunning views. Afterwards we had decent food and are now at a hostel where we’ve got our own little cabin. We have not planned what we’re doing tomorrow, so we’re off now to figure that out!