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2020 - South Island, NZ (Part 1 - Christchurch & Tekapo)

A winter road trip around the South Island.

View 2020 South Island NZ on nzhamsta's travel map.

Friday 17 July
Due to the global pandemic of Covid-19, our planned European trip had to be cancelled. So we decided to do a road trip of the South Island. This would be the first time doing this trip in winter so warm clothes were packed along with hats, scarves, gloves and good boots.

All rugged up and ready to go south.

The flight to Christchurch was fine and on time. After checking in to the hotel, we went for a walk around checking out the rebuild of Christchurch. It is the first time I have been there since the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Quite a bit different and still lots of gaps and open spaces waiting to be filled in.

After a walk through the gardens, a stop at our office so that I could check out a new piece of software they are using (Hung went to the casino across the road for an hour), we ended up at the new river side area and earthquake memorial.

The River Avon.

The quake damaged cathedral.

The Earthquake Memorial.

First it's red...

... and then it's blue.

After dinner in the new river side precinct, we found and acrobat, a juggler and someone in a strange paper suit.

The evening's entertainment.

An acrobat.

A juggler in Christchurch.

The talking tree.


Saturday 18 July

After a good brekkie at the hotel, we collected the car and departed, heading firstly west towards Darfield and then south west to Geraldine.

The Rakaia Gorge.

The Rakaia Gorge.

This is where we had the saga of the missing oil cap. I could smell oil, but thought nothing of it until I got a call from the hire company asking me to check my car as they had found a stray oil cap. Popped the bonnet and yep, I did not have one and there was oil sprayed everywhere. Now Geraldine is a small country town and there is not much open on a Saturday afternoon.

However, next to the main petrol station was car parts shop that was surprisingly open. We pulled in and the very helpful owner (well, previous owner as his son is now the current owner) rummaged around his stock of both new parts and a box of old spares and managed to find an oil cap that fitted. When I got out my wallet to pay for the old cap that fitted he told me "You're on holiday, bugger off". I protested but he would not take any payment.

So, my thanks to the owner of North End Motors of Geraldine.

The rest of the day was a lot less smelly (but still cold).

We drove over Burkes Pass and stopped at the bottom with the mist following us down the mountain.

A frosty tree.

The Southern Alps, coming into Tekapo.

We arrived late afternoon with the mist still following us. One of the the main attractions is the Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1935 to commemorate early settlers. It is only open during actual church services due to it being probably the most photographed building in the country, my contributions being:

Hung and the Church.

The Southern Alps and the Church.

The Church of the Good Shepherd.

The mountains behind Lake Tekapo.

An arty black and white picture of the church.

Frost laden tree.

The mist settled at about 5pm and it got very cold indeed. There are not many dining options in Tekapo and I think they make the most of it, dinner being a rather average Chinese meal at inflated prices.

Posted by nzhamsta 04:00 Archived in New Zealand

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