Thursday, December 30, 2004

1400km's and 800+ Photo's Later....

What a trip! We think we managed to show Karen, Craig, Emily and Michael most of what is on our doorstep here in Canterbury - in reality we only scratched the surface but 2 weeks just isn't enough to do more than the local area!

We travelled as far north as Kaikoura and as far south as Geraldine/Tekapo and everywhere inbetween.

We visited Arthur's Pass, the viaduct, Methven, Tekapo, the salmon farm near Pukaki (where we bought a HUGE salmon for just $24!!), Akaroa where we saw dolphins and dodged seagulls after our fush'n'chups, Raikai Gorge (the speedboat "hell ride"!), and the Antartic Centre in Christchurch.

Camera's clicked constantly and eye's popped out at each turn in the road as another amazing view presented itself!

It's easier to "show" than "tell" as the beauty here is hard to put into words... so here's just a small selection of our 800+ piccies which, hopefully, will give readers of our weblog an insight into our new playground!

DOLPHIN WATCHING IN AKAROA - Whilst most of us were camera shy in our wetsuits, Michael was in his element - a future water-baby!

WHALE WATCHING AT KAIKOURA - What an amazing amount of luck we had - we were priviledged to see not one, but FIVE Sperm Whales with a rare viewing of two side by side on the surface! It's such an emotional experience to see such huge creatures in their natural habitat and up close and personal! The most amazing moment is when they dive back down and their tail emerges for a split second....

KAIKOURA SEAL COLONY - just a couple of miles drive down the coast from the settlement of Kaikoura is the Seal Colony. Sometimes you are literally tripping over the seals here on the rocks. This time was no different and we stumbled (quite literally in one case Craig!!) into quite a few seals!

RAKAIA GORGE "HELL RIDE" - You can't come to New Zealand without scaring your pants off on a jetboat ride on one of the many gorges! We went to Rakaia near Methven and boarded the "Hell Ride"! Well, everyone except Craig who can't swim! The ride was thrilling and the 360 degree spins hair-raising.. but FUN!

Just look how relaxed Warren and his sister Karen are!

LAKE TEKAPO - Even the kids were amazed at the scenery here (kids? loving scenery? MUST be good eh?!). We all spent quite some time at the shore skimming stones and paddling in the water. Some idiots also did a spot of rock climbing.. anything for a "different" photo!!

Of course... someone HAD to copy us afterwards.. a lone Japanese tourist decides he's also going to mount the rock.. he wasn't quite as graceful as us.. as this picture of Emily captures.!!

Nearby Tekapo is a salmon farm and we just couldn't resist taking one back for the BBQ! No boys, I won't pretend you caught it!! Jeez....

THE KEA'S AT ARTHURS PASS - Now everyone KNOWS you shouldn't feed the Kea - but how else can you get them THIS close? (Don't tell the Ranger!!!)

THE ANTARTIC CENTRE (Christchurch) - Great place for kids and big kids too! Lots of great displays and the Snow Storm experience is cool...literally... it's freezing as you stand in a room whilst they simulate a wind storm down to minus 20 degs!!

But at least Karen got CLOSE to finally getting a fur coat... !!!!

When we weren't travelling around we were padding in the sea, cooking up barbeques, shopping (!! Karen can shop for Britain and the Christchurch retailers were very sad to see her leave !!) and generally chilling out. Unfortunately the weather was unseasonably bad - but to be honest we're glad we didn't have to drive around in high temps.

All in all, we all had an amazing time - a real holiday of a lifetime for them and us too!!


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At 5:22 AM, Blogger karen said...

hi guys!!!!!..... yes we sure did have a fantastic time indeed!! infact anyone who can get over should! its amazing, the kids just did not want to come home. As to when we are coming back ...... just as soon as we have saved up enough money (but this time we would hire a camper van and tour both islands... or at least the south island).. 2 weeks just is not long enough..


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