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Our Travel Adventures

Welcome to the Adventures of Larry and Connie Farquhar.

Day 42 - "Epic" New Zealand Adventure 2022

Moeraki Boulders

The ferry ride from the North Island of New Zealand to the South Island went very smoothly. The 3-hour trip was enjoyable, even with rainy weather and some rough seas. We arrived in Picton on the South Island a little after noon. We explored some of the nearby viewpoints before checking into our cute motel room. The rooms at the Jasmon Court Hotel were nice. We wished we were staying here longer than the 2 nights we had reserved. It was Connie's NZ birthday, so she got to choose dinner. We went to a lively Irish Pub. The food was very good, and Connie chose a Baileys Slushie for dessert. For Connie's US birthday the next day, we chose to just stay indoors and relax since it was still raining pretty good. 

A couple days after arriving, we made the 3-hour drive to Kaikoura. Another beautiful country drive. The weather started out dreary, but soon became clear and sunny. When we reached the East coast of the southern island, we were treated with several seals along the coast. For over a hundred miles, there were seals in about every cove. Of course, we had to stop and enjoy their antics.

We learned that the name Kaikoura means food crayfish. Their crayfish are actually lobsters. Crayfish/Lobster are advertised everywhere but they are extremely expensive. The road-trip ended with a few more scenic overlooks, then returning to our hotel for the night. Our rooms at the Kaikoura Quality Suites were nice again, but not exactly as advertised. For dinner, we grilled some lamb and enjoyed dinner on the community patio. There were many New Zealanders there in town for the horse races. They were extremely nice and shared their smoked salmon dip and lobster with us Yumm!

In the morning, we continued our country drive to the city of Christchurch.  Another large city. This was just another one-night stopover. We had plans to return to this same hotel (The Fable Christchurch) in a week, when are ready to fly out. However, we were able to cancel that reservation and make plans to stay at a local motel instead. There's no reason to stay in the middle of the city. Besides, we saved a few bucks We didn't have much time to do anything in Christchurch, but I'm not a big fan of large cities anyway.

Mt. Cook

As you can tell, we didn't have many "excursions" planned while on the South Island. This part of the trip was more about the drive and seeing the various (and beautiful) terrain. However, our next stop was a planned tour of some glaciers on Mt. Cook.

We made the long drive from Christchurch to Mt. Cook in about 4 hours. We arrived an hour before our tour was to start. We went to check-in and discovered our tour had been cancelled due to high winds. Oh well, it was still a beautiful drive. The Mt Cook National Park was worth the trip. We were surrounded by majestic, snow-capped mountains. Again, lucky for us, the weather was fairly clear when we arrived. However, by afternoon, the weather had turned to cloudy and rain.

We stayed at the Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Lodge. We were informed ahead of time that there weren't many places to dine that would be open. Since the lodge had a large community kitchen, we stopped at a grocery store and bought dinner to fix later. This worked out very nice for us. Our hotel room had great views of the mountains, before the rain came in. It had poured all night and was still pouring while we loaded the van back up. Good thing we stopped for all our pictures the day before because the mountains were nowhere to be seen through the low heavy clouds. The dry riverbeds we crossed the day before, were raging rivers on our way out, with waterfalls coming off the mountains.

The latest leg of our road trip brought us down from the mountain to the town of Dunedin, with a tourist stop to see the Moeraki Boulders. We had seen similar, but much smaller boulders of this type in North Dakota in 2018. We arrived yesterday (11/2) and are staying at the Kingsgate Hotel. Again, we don't have much planned for here, just enjoying the views and relaxing. Today, we'll take a local scenic drive, then we have a reservation for an "Escape Room", located in an old prison. More to come......

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Day 45 - "Epic" New Zealand Adventure 2022
Day 35 - "Epic" New Zealand Adventure 2022

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Tuesday, 29 November 2022