Down South

January 2011, by Gini

After travelling for over 6 months we thought it was only right to keep on going in our own country! So the Turner clan boarded the ferry with two cars with fairly plain sailing ahead.

Coming into the South Island with the water so blue made it feel good to be home. Graham was adamant we would see the South Island in one day and so we drove and drove. Almost 6 hours to Franz Josef with the idea of seeing the Glacier the next day. After tasty fish and chips and a drop of red wine for dinner we hit the pillows, only to wake the next morning to the sound of rain! It would seem they never cancel a tour even in rain, we coated, panted and gloved up at the tour centre destined for wetter pastures (or iceblocks?!)

It was a wet walk to the glacier, but we got to try out our spikes on our boots for a light stroll around on the ice. Beautiful blues at every turn but it all was a bit too wet for all of us! We got to see only half of the glacier as the mist had come in to stay for the day but it was an amazing sight with the surrounding landscape of normal bush and river stones.

We managed to drive across Arthur's Pass, through the national park which was just amazing landscape, you can really see why so many photographers flock to the South Island! Not to mention painters! After sharing the driving we arrived at our rented house No 24 in Sumner, Christchurch in time to pick up Nola, Lisa's mum, who had flown in from Australia. We all settled in to the very luxurious house with an ensuite off every double bedroom - an amazing house!

Over the next few days we visited the botanical gardens, stopped to smell the roses, popped into the Cathedral, enjoyed Ron Mueck's sculptures of the human form in all shapes and sizes. We even got to celebrate Graham and Lisa's 3rd year anniversary!

The boys took to the sea for a spot of surfing and whole clan managed to brave the waves on New Brighton beach. A little on the chilly side for the Brisbanians though!

On another day we took to the hills in search of Akaroa, the only French settlement on the South Island with beautiful old buildings lining the main street. Sat in the rain munching on fish and chips. Even got an outlook over Lyttelton harbour with only blue in view.

After 5 days of Christchurch living, we said goodbye to our lovely house as it was time to make our way back to Wellington and reality! With a quick bite to eat in Kaikoura. We made the ferry in plenty of time but it was a rough crossing back, I think we all felt better sick by the time we came into harbour. When one sees the waves coming up over the windows and no horizon line in sight - you can only last for so long!

It was a lovely New Zealand experience to welcome us home with and I'm glad we managed to see Christchurch in all its spender before the terrible earthquake.

G

Entering the beautiful Sounds on the ferry

Entering the beautiful Sounds on the ferry

Keeping warm on the ferry

Keeping warm on the ferry

On our way to get drenched at the Franz Josef glacier.

On our way to get drenched at the Franz Josef glacier.

The happy couple

The happy couple

Overlooking Lyttelton? Can't remember.

Overlooking Lyttelton? Can't remember.

Awesome surfer dudes.

Awesome surfer dudes.

One final beach swim in Christchurch

One final beach swim in Christchurch