After fixing a few boat things for several days we decided jump off the boat and start our land adventure around New Zealand and lucked out on a cheap flight to the s. island and then traveled by bus-plane-car yesterday to get from Opua to Auckland and then Christchurch on the S. Island. We are spending about 3 weeks on the S. Island and have made it through a beautiful mountain pass to a small town near the West coast called Kumara. We have a tiny little rental car that I nicknamed silver bullet and it tends to need some coaxing up mountain roads, but hey we made it so far!
We stayed in a converted jail last night at “jailhouse accomodation” in Christchurch and loved the quirky old jail and the new life the owners have breathed into it. We had a few pints at peddle pushers pub, 5 min walk from there and this morning we did ‘quintessential Christchurch’. It was a dash around the city around Hagley park, re:start mall (the temporary/permanent container mall) and spent 30 seconds or less at ‘the cardboard cathedral’ as the old beautiful cathedral collapsed into rubble several years ago in a massive earthquake that the city is still recovering from. Overall impression: small city with charm and it’s a good time to be a builder in Christchurch as it continues to rebuild and recover from the earthquake more than 5 years ago.
We did a few tramps (Nz for hike) around Arthur’s pass and otira gorge and found an amazing deal at $50/ night in a cute refurbished previous undertaker’s cottage across from the theatre pub pictured at the beginning of the post. The cottage has a beautiful backyard and feels like a clean hippy/grandma’s house with various collectables from around the world.
We stopped off at quite a few look outs on the incredible drive between Christchurch and Kumara and loved the mountain scenery and the glacial streams. We will continue to travel South along the west coast tomorrow and will update the blog as often as semi-interesting things happen.
-Bre & Andy