On the last leg of our journey in NZ, we thought we would RELAX at the Hanmer Springs pool complex which is marketed as a sort of mini centre parcs for New Zealand, little did we know that the day we opted to go was actually a national holiday in the form of “New Zealand Day”. The tranquility we anticipated was quickly replaced by an environment resembling Blackpool Pleasure Beach during a heatwave. Joking aside, when the hordes of families began to filter out for tea we had a lovely little afternoon!
While the above was an enjoyable interlude, the main purpose for venturing up the east coast was to visit Kaikoura, which was heavily damaged by the Earthquake and has really suffered ever since (almost every building/business seemed to be abandoned and the roads were an absolute bombshell). Aside from the damages, Kaikoura is home to an abundance of wildlife and we made good use of this benefit. Throughout our two days we went kayaking alongside seals in their feeding grounds and experienced a whale watch tour where we (luckily) saw two magnificent sperm whales surface for oxygen before diving to the deep dark depths shortly after. We weren’t expecting to make this tour as it was fully booked and were on a reserved wait list but as the sea was so choppy the captain issued a strong sea sickness warning which worked in our favour as many who were booked on actually backed out as a result of the conditions, they were not exaggerating either, Brogan and I enjoyed the journey sick-free but we were genuinely surrounded by vomiting from just about every possible angle!!
After finally making it to our final day in New Zealand, Christchurch, we did a full repack, abandoned a pair of walking shoes, waited an hour at the check-in desk as I was not granted a Visa for Australia (we got extra leg room for our troubles) and unfortunately had a delay on our flight. Things all ran smoothly from this point though and I was able to write this ending to New Zealand cruising at 800km/h, Brogan reading Harry Potter beside me. We’ve had such a brilliant month and are now ready for the next chapter in the series as we approach the land of the Kangaroo… Bring on Australia!
Jamie & Brogan