We are just back from a short holiday in New Zealand. This was a relatively last minute trip, and we loved the South Island when we visited in 2009 so we decided to head over the ditch again!
Our first night was spent in Kaikoura. It’s a cute seaside town apparently famous for crayfish, so we headed to the seafood BBQ for dinner, and then went seal watching.
After the stopover in Kaikoura, we stayed a few nights in a bach near a tiny town called Havelock. With drizzly, grey weather around we spent our first day doing absolutely nothing. It was great! I’m really bad at just chilling out (my iPad or iPhone is usually attached to my hand – not really relaxing), but with no Internet access and no phone coverage it was a good opportunity to switch off entirely.
A bach is essentially a holiday house (or granny flat in our case) that can be rented out for long or short periods. We went shopping before collecting the keys, assuming that we would have a full kitchen at our disposal. When we arrived, we discovered that we had a fridge, a BBQ, and some pots and pans but no oven or stove. So, we did what any enterprising person would do – we cooked spag bol on the barbie!
The weather started to clear up, and we spent the next day on a wine tour. It was fun, but J has never really been all that excited about white wine. He has now developed a strong aversion to Sav Blanc in particular, thanks to trying versions from the different wineries throughout the day! The highlight was definitely lunch at Hans Herzog Bistro, complete with a cat to keep me company between main and dessert. The trouble with wine tours that start at 10am is that the hangover hits at about 8pm…
NZ is great for
hiking tramping, with well marked trails seemingly everywhere. We spent our final day in the Marlborough region hiking along part of the Queen Charlotte track with crazy blue water on each side – the Queen Charlotte Sound, and the Pelorus Sound. I’d like to do the full track one day, because the section that we did was incredible.
We then had a few days with lots of driving. We left the Marlborough Sounds and headed to the west coast, driving through vineyards mountains and eventually the coast. After 5 hours in the car we arrived in
The drive down the coast to Greymouth is incredible, and then you suddenly hit a fairly industrial town. The main reason I wanted to stay there was to visit the Monteiths Brewery, which luckily did not disappoint. We shared a tapas style lunch and both got a tasting tray of beers. They were very generous with food and beer, so we emerged from the pub an hour later very full and just a bit boozy! We then went for a walk, got lost, and ended up back at Monteiths an hour later needing to use the loo. The rest of Greymouth was pretty unexciting, but it was a good place to stop for the night.
Next up: Arthur’s Pass, Akaroa and Christchurch