It’s been an amazing trip to New Zealand’s South Island for our family.Everything I knew of New Zealand before this holiday was from my beloved Fardie’s Footrot Flats comic books.
And you’d be surprised how knowledgeable that made me!
The country side is incredible, across the entire island.
There honestly was not one stretch of road that didn’t have me shaking my head in awe, at the view from the windscreen.
I knew there were lots of sheep over here, but until you see that paddocks full of them and their waggly tailed lambs, you just can’t comprehend it.
The paddocks too with their giant tree windbreaks/hedges!
The big fat headed wooly looking cows that I could have just pulled over and snuggled into!
The immense amounts of water and lush green grass see to it that every member of livestock in the fields are fat and content.
So different from home.
The rivers are totally beyond compare. With the majority ice blue and roaring, straight from the mountain snow. Their clarity completely denotes their freezing temperature!
Rainforests so full of ferns, they seem impassable, and the beaches wild and rugged.
The mountains are incredible. Seeing the this morning as flew out, the snow caps laying on top of the clouds like luck dragons, with the dawn glow burning on their edges. Awesome, in the true meaning of the word.
From a tourist point of view, we never ran into an unfriendly person!
Each attraction we visited, or adventure we partook, was well organised and went incredibly smoothly.
Christchurch taxis are probably the slowest we’ve encountered, leaving us stranded in the rain on arrival, and having a heart attack this morning at 4am that they were never going to arrive! But it is a big city, and we’re not big taxi takers, so that’s all relative.
We hired a motor home, like much of NZ tourists, and found that every town was welcoming of these vehicles too.
Each van park has dump points and places to empty your grey water, which is kept in a tank.
The tom tom or GPS in the van was incredibly accurate, giving advice on traffic accidents and road works well in advance, and with plenty of info, points of interest and wifi.
We mostly stayed in Top 10 parks, much like Big 4’s at home.
Features to write home about,
Christchurch top 10 cool Indoor pool with slide, Very good, big camp kitchen and warm toilets and showers.
Tekapo van park
Amazing views if you book a lake side side, ok kitchen, small but with ovens. Unisex toilets and showers, but they were warm!
Dundendin Top 10
Very busy part of the city, weirdly set out on its land, big old (cold) games hall and ok kitchen , toilets and showers (no shelves in showers. Crazy)
Good location, short walk to everything you need. Quirky park. Good toilets/showers, great outdoor kitchen. Well with filtered water to fill water bottles.
TeAnu Top 10
Good location, across from lake. Great camp kitchen, the best we encountered.
Great, warm toilets/showers.
Wanaka Top 10
Bit far out of town, with an ok kitchen and (cold) ok toilets/showers, and a playground.
Greymouth Top 10
Great outdoor kitchen with Webbers undercover and outdoors.
Ok (cold) inside kitchen, Games room, but everything cost money to use (cold)
Fantastic toilets/showers with heated floors and miles of room! Our favourites!
Hanmer Springs Top 10
Nice and close to the Springs, ok (cold) kitchen, and ok toilets/showers (cold).
And our last night we stayed at the Airport Delta which was a short taxi ride to the Airport.
Like I said, it’s been unreal.
But please don’t get me wrong, it had its usual family dramas.
There’s was plenty of bitching and moaning.
The kids fought about hairbrushes and headphones (still fighting about headphones), who sat where and who slept where.
We did push the envelope by putting 3 teenagers in a van with their parents for 2 weeks, and then further by making them all take the biggest bed. (They’ve done bloody awesome if you ask me).
We had threats to move out, and go to boarding school. Nasty words whispered under breath (boots), and behaviour that had me pulling out the old “have a think about where you are and what we’re doing here”, and Dan letting loose his hair trigger with swears and yelling.
I was furious when Dan went out drinking one night, and he was furious every time I added a landmark to our must see list.
But we all come round eventually.
So please don’t think it’s all easy sailing, as it’s not.
I could have cried in frustration in Disney land on our trip a few years ago, screaming “this is the happiest place on earth dammit!”.
Every trip has its bumps, because that’s life.
The good times, happiness and amazing memories far outweigh the stress and cattiness.
And with a 3am start, and another 4 hours of flights, more customs stress (is chocolate classed as dairy) and a 2 hour drive still ahead of us, I’ve no doubt we’re in for more.