The next few days are going to be full of full on driving and a few stops along the way- but luckily this place is so gosh-darn beautiful it doesn’t matter!
Day 9: Picton Ferry to Christchurch
Our day consisted of a 3.5 hour ride on the Interislander in the Cook Straight between the north and south islands then a 4.5 hour drive to Christchurch.
The Interislander Ferry docked at Wellington
It’s a big boat.
Into the belly!
This is Picton on the South Island as we were approaching
Our already long trip was lengthened a bit when we came across a backed up traffic due to a car fire turned brush fire. We waited for well over an hour to get by. To our knowledge, no one was hurt and the area (which was at extreme danger level for forest fires) was put out quickly.
Just one of the MANY, MANY campers we were behind.
Semi all burned up
Over on this hill is where the fire blew up to, there were 2 helicopters and tons of fire brigades to help put it out
For dinner, we ate McDonald’s (not as good as back home) and some left over Pizza Hut from lunch (also not as good) but hey, not everything is perfect!
Day 10: Christchurch
While in Christchurch, we were sure to stop at the amazing Canterbury Museum they have in the middle of town. As a natural history museum of New Zealand, it had some absolutely awesome stuff- like Moa fossils and a ton of Maori artifacts. And it was FREE!
Moa can be big,
Moa can be small!
A collection of fish hooks and other impliments used by the Maori people
And a collection of needles made from bone
These are pictures from the last of the Moriori people- the first peoples to live in New Zealand
This looks like a more modern quilt to your eyes but you’d be wrong. It’s a feather cape from the Maori
Some scrimshaw art
Then there’s the Paua House which has so many shells it’s ridiculous
An ivory Napoleon for all of your conquering needs
a small display of whales and their sizes
The geology section they have here is fantastic
A sea cucumber that’s been fossilized into some other mineral
They even have an area to view the rocks under different wavelengths of light
This is an albatross.
Whoever did the taxidermy for the birds here is fantastic
Ian on a big cycle.
THEN we went fabric shopping to a couple of places and I got some really lovely fabric for 18th century millinery. Ian also bought some fabric that was much pricier- moral of the story is: Look at the price per meter (or yard) before cutting your fabric.
Some of the odd sites along the way- A car AND train bridge (scary)
These areas were along the side of a mountain- and if you’ve not noticed from previous photos, there’s a HUGE dropoff (more than 100ft at least) below.
Conquering Arthur’s Pass
Lakes and mountains
Mountains and mountains
We took off and headed toward Greymouth and happened to stop at Castle Hill along the way. This place is magical and we were there for over 2 hours just hiking and taking in the spectacle it is.
This place is gorgeous.
Ian’s up there bein’ tiny
Most of the trek was nearly straight up hill
The terrain once you’re up there is really interesting
We walked to the top of Castle Hill to see the other sites from a higher vantage point, I thought I was going to die. Here’s Ian bein’ tiny and determined
This is looking nearly straight up from a lower spot on Castle Hill
The boulders are huge!
The other rocks you see in the first pictures from behind while we were on Castle Hill
Ian being silly
Another 2+ hours to go and we arrived at Greymouth! We ate at a place called Ali’s Eating and Drinking which had a fantastic Butter Chicken Curry Pie (they have “Pie Fridays” which are savory pies but chef’s choice- we highly recommend it) We also decided to purchase one of the pieces of art in their gallery for our living room and happened to be sitting right next to the artist! How cool is that?
What’s to come? Some wild foods and a big ol’ glacier.
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