The Sharky Road Trip: south of the North and north of the South

As internet seems to be a scarce commodity in New Zealand, blog posts haven’t really been produced as much. That said, I’m not sure how many people are waiting for my posts on how amazing my life is, and I’m pretty sure that most of my readers are family members (usually of the 50+ kind, which is ok, you guys rock!) Nevertheless, I write this for myself too, just so I won’t forget about my amazing life at 27 once I’m wrinkly and broken.

So, where were we? My last post I was still on the North Island, meanwhile I’ve been on the South Island for a month already. Highlight so far here has been The Pioneer volunteer journey, which will get its own separate post. But let’s first start in Paraparaumu.
Parawhat?! Paraparaumu is a place about 50 minutes drive north of Wellington, and home to the lovely Ayres family we met while we were in Pauanui at second cousin Richard’s place. Tony, Anita and their daughter Louisa hosted us there which accidentally turned out to be a week, but it was a great week. We went for walks and kayaked with their dog, caddied a game of golf, went to Wellington twice, caught up on the Internet (this is when I posted my last 2 posts), and had lots of great food and wine! And last but not least memorable for me: the day before we crossed over to the South Island, I quite drastically changed my hair (because I felt like it).

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The ferry crossing was quite long, but also quite exciting. It really felt like we were sailing into a whole new world!

We met up with my pal from Berlin, Fran, and went to Blenheim to do a wine cycle tour (cycling and tasting wine, oh yeah). The Marlborough wine country was absolutely beautiful, as was its wine. 🙂

We traveled on, through the Marlborough Sounds, did some kayaking, caught our own dinner (low tide is good for some easy mussel picking, we now claim to be living off the land), and met up with Fran again to do a day trek along the coast of Abel Tasman National Park. To get there we took a taxi boat that showed us some seals too, who were pretty cute.


Next we did a whole lot of driving around. We traveled to Golden Bay, where we saw some superbly clear water, and then down to the Nelson Lakes, to the West Coast, saw some pancake rocks, and went to the glaciers. The drive along the coast should have been a fantastic drive, but the weather had turned grey and rainy, so it wasn’t as spectacular as it could’ve been. We visited the Fox Glacier, which we could only see from far away and the sign posts that said until where the glacier used to reach not too many years ago made us quite sad.

Next we actually wanted to take our time driving through Arthur’s Pass to Christchurch, which is supposed to be a fantastic drive with many little walks to waterfalls and lookouts, but as it literally poured down with rain on us all day, we just kept driving until we got to Christchurch.

Christchurch was a strange place. Struck by the devastating earthquake several years ago, it is still clearly in rebuild stage. Construction work is going on everywhere, huge empty lots have been turned into car parks, there weren’t that many people around it seemed… I’m sure it’ll just need a few more years to become whole again. We made a day trip onto the Banks Peninsula which was gorgeous and had a fancy lunch at a bistro in the French settlement of Akaroa.

After that, we started our week of volunteering with The Pioneer, which blog post should be coming up soon!

 

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