Thursday, June 28, 2012

South island - Part 1

While we were living in Pukerua bay my mum came over for a few weeks. We decided we should go on a road trip together, and since we were close to the South Island and she hadn't seen much of it we chose to hire a camper van and travel through part of it for 2 weeks.

The camper van turned into a motorhome. The people at the rental company took pity on us and thought we'd be more comfortable with a bigger truck and were glad to upgrade us free of charge. Even though I was sceptic at first (it was quite a beast to drive...), I'm glad they talked us into it. It was comfortable. The only stressful part being that it was brand new. Add two young kids more than happy about their new jungle jim and you've got a recipe for disaster. I spent a lot of time trying to tame the two monkeys (especially the older one who could climb everywhere!) and worrying that one would get hurt or that some irreversible damage would be inflicted on the said motorhome. Luckily we had wine.

We started off from Christchurch and spent the first night in a small suburb north parked in front of a park. In hindsight we probably should have stayed in a motor camp just to make the beginning of our trip easier but hey, we were fine! (although a bit frozen in the morning).
We headed north the next day, through Kaikoura, and stopped at a great spot called Lake Grassmere. It's a DOC campsite, and if you're not familiar with those, they usually offer pretty basic facilities but most often are situated in some beautiful spots. This one was no exception.
Lake Grassmere. Unfortunately the photo doesn't do it justice.
The kids had a great play on the sandy shore before dinner and we all slept well (thankfully I managed to score an extra duvet at the recycling station in Kaikoura). Around the lake were some saltworks which were quite impressive with their white mountains! They looked like a mini antarctic display...

We almost got stranded going through Blenheim when we didn't stop early enough to get petrol (and then the closest gas station was closed because the computer crashed!). Then we caught up with Josh's sister in Nelson and spent a few days in the area. The kids had a ball with their cousins.
We checked out the WOW museum, the Nelson market and got to spend a few hours on the Abel Tasman. All of which I'd recommend.
Abel tasman
Abel Tasman view from the coastal walk. picture perfect.
two friendly paradise ducks
Hard work!

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