Land Of The Long White Cloud.
A short 2hr 30m hop across the Tasman Sea took us to New Zealand. Landing in Christchurch we quickly cleared and found ourselves in a pre-booked silver Toyota Corolla, auto with a cavernous boot and cruise control. First stop was a motel in the style of 1958 but no worse for it, just a short stroll over Hagley Park to the city centre where we found ourselves a top notch restaurant and treated ourselves to a superb meal.
The following morning and we were off to Lake Tekapo and the moment the brilliant turquoise waters of the Lake came into view our collective breath was taken away. A huge 'WOW!' moment for both of us. Around us were more mountains than I have ever seen and at a guess there were something like 200 surrounding us. An incredible place!
Not too far away from this base (a 50km drive) was Lake Pukaki, another turquoise sheet of wonder with the added bonus of Mount Cook in the distance at the far end of the lake itself surrounded by smaller mountains of the Two Thumbs range. And clinging to all these hills were the long white clouds where New Zealand gets its alternative identity from.
Day four (we enjoyed two days at Lake Tekapo) was taken up with the long 7hr drive to Dunedin on the eastern coast of South Island and the scenery changed from stunning to a different type of stunning until we reached this sprawling city where we have two nights booked and a change of pace tomorrow with our first excursion. We have a day out on the Taieri Gorge Railway, allegedly one of the great railway journeys of the world.
Three photos to end with:
Not many places where you can kneel down in the middle of a major road to take a photo!
I watched this Chinese chap for a few minutes thinking he was about to fall into lake. He was balanced on a pointed rock with the three tripod legs splayed out and holding £5000 of canon camera gear rather precariously
The Wow factor as Lake Tepako comes into view. And yes, it really is that colour!