New Zealand Motor Caravan Association member for 6 years and having new motorhome built in which we, My Love and I will spend an indefinite period of time working and touring around New Zealand. This will be a journal of these adventures.
We are almost to our Easter desitination, Cromwell in Central Otago where we will be attending the national rally of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association. We are presently stopped at the Lake Outlet Motorcamp in Wanaka. An idyllic spot where we have amazing views of the Lake Wanaka from our camp site.
We had a 45 minute hold up on the Rakaia Bridge ( the longest concrete bridge in the Southern Hemisphere) when a trailer became detached from its towing vehicle and as you can see a following truck ran over it.
We were about 200 metres back from the crash site but according to the reported news the queues were up to 17ks long and took up to two hours to clear.
Just thought I had to throw this one in of St Peters Anglican Church at Riccarton, just over the road from where we were staying. We attended the Palm Sunday Communion service here. A lovely building with beautiful stained glass windows, those officiating and the choir all robed up with pipe organ and all the traditional Anglican trimmings.
We got across the Cook Strait after having a couple of days in Wellington which gave us the opportunity to have a day at Te Papa, the national museum. It was an uneventful crossing on the ferry with a night in Picton from where we moved onto Blenheim where we stayed at the Waterlea Raceway.
From there it was onto Westport where it was another night and after a cycle around the town we travelled down further south to Greymouth with a long stopover at the spectacular Punakaiki Blowholes.
After our usual leisurely start to the day we called into Shantytown, a model village of early New Zealand which is just south of Greymouth and from there it was to Hokitika for lunch and where we spent what seemed like heaps of money on buying some road user charges for the truck.
It was then a bit of back tracking to head up the Arthurs Pass as we had recently decided to head over to Christchurch to see "my loves" convalescing brother and also we had never done this very scenic route before. This also gave us the opportunity to wave to Dave & Val in "Chateau Daval" as they headed for Cromwell.
The scenery through here as everywhere was certainly spectacular and we did break the journey by spending the night at Otira where we were completely surrounded by what seemed very large mountains to us northerners. Although it was a nice sunny day when we awoke in the morning it took until 10am for the sun to creep down the mountains and warm our bodies.
Lake Pearson on the Arthurs Pass route which is just one sample of the hundreds of photos of the amazing scenery that we have already encountered in our first week in the South Island.
We did have a distant but good view of the Tararua Wind Farm from Palmerston North and then on our way to Wellington we stopped off at the Mt Bruce Wildlife Sanctuary where we met "Bud" the Takahe and several other species of bird, fish and animal life.
Picture to right is from Stormy Point lookout where you can see a very small vehicle several kilometres down the hill.
Our trip south took us down SH32 on the western side of Lake Taupo eventually ending up in Raetihi where we stayed at the local Cosmopolitan club for the night. It was then onto Tangiwai to look at the results of the recent lahar and from there to the Army Museum where we browsed for a couple of hours before heading for Palmerston North where we parked in the RSA carpark for the night.
We did a trip up around the North saying bye,bye for now to friends and family. Several meals were shared accompanied by numerous glasses of wine. We did have an unscheduled extra night in Kaitaia when our first attempt at heading South to Whangarei was thwarted by floods. We took this opportunity to take mother for a quick trip out to Ahipara and then had a meal and stayed the night at the local RSA ready for an early start the following day.
It was two nights in Whangarei catching up and bidding farewell and then onto Auckland to finalise the last of those things that needed finalising which included "my love" getting her Class 2 drivers licence before heading to Hamilton to spend a couple of nights with the last of the North Island family before starting off on some serious touring as we head for the ferry in Wellington.