A Travellerspoint blog

Kaikoura to Picton to Wellington (updated)

sunny 19 °C
View AU & NZ 2014 on Minuano's travel map.

Getting up at 8:00 in an almost freezing car (8C) was adventurous for the entire family. But we managed, also by getting out to a warm sun. A number of seagulls and ducks which were seeking for food on the camping grounds what motivated Emilka to warm up by chasing them.

An ultra-beautiful scenic drive along the coast to Picton with turquise ocean on one and hills and mountains formation on the other side, was a surprise and a brilliant beginning of the next week of our travel.

Arrived at the ferry port with enough time allowing to have a delicious capuccino.

Coffee was supposed to have an important role in the culture of New Zealand and was said to be of a high quality. And we confirm this, with a little surprise though because the quality of a shot of espresso here could be expected very well in coffee-driven Italy or Portugal. Really tasty.

Now we're moving to drive on the ferry. See you later.

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One cannot describe how beautiful the ferry route between Picton and Wellington is. It's necessary to have a high volume memory card because you catch yourself taking multiple pictures of the very same view :-).

The cruise time is 3h and allegedly the quickest swim over took a little over 4h... Eitherway, there is a playground for the kids on the deck 2 which Emilia loved, there are cinemas, a restaurant with fast food and many good lookout seats on the highest deck 10. We're now 1h away from Wellington. The strong wind has swiped away many travellers from the deck 10 to the inside so we have lots of place for us. Emilia fell asleep ;-)

See you

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They call Wellington The Windy City and they are not mistaken - this is the windiest place I have visited so far. I wonder what winds Chicago has to offer but I guess, Wellington will be hard to beat.

New Zealand's capital was "closed" when we got there: the CBD (Central Business District) lives by regular working times and doesn't offer too much after hours (besides its architecture). We found however a nice place to eat in the other part of the city. Wellington's town centre is relatively small and can be walked back and forth easily. It is also limited by the surrounding hills, mountains and the ocean.

The first glance on the city after arrival was very positive but we will spend a day here also tomorrow so will be able to say more after a day.

Emilka respects the wind and so let's herself be seated in the buggy (wozek / Kutsche) without crying :-) She only started to strike today when she got really hungry. But a few bites turned back the good mood and she got even recognized by a grouo of Asian women who had seen her on the ferry. Big world seems to shrink for our daughter now.

Good night

Posted by Minuano 01:54 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Akaroa to Kaikoura

sunny 28 °C
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We got up at 7:00am together with the sun :) The view on the bay was nice and the morning coffee tasted even better. We had quite a traffic around us in the early hours because there was supposed to be a swimming comletition that day. Well, we saw many of them warming up.

As agreed the previous day, we took off and headed towards north. We used Emka's first sleeping round and got to Amberley Beach. What a location - we sat on a wooden bench, looked at the blue ocean and the stone beach and ate something small. Of course Emilka wanted to use the opportunity and see how cold is the ocean water. We wetted our feet and went for a walk. After some time she got tired again and... woke up in Kaikoura. We got quite far without upsetting our daughter and we are only 2h away from Picton where we will jump on ferry to the northern island on Monday.

Akaroa, Kaikoura, Rotorua etc - those names are obviously not English names but derive from the Maori language and usually mean something. I will write examples soon.

And in general all is good.

Posted by Minuano 02:19 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Christchurch to Twizel? Change of plans

semi-overcast 27 °C
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Travelling longer with 1 year old kid can be tricky. To say it clearly: you start and end the journey not with the same child. It is exactly happening to us, as we go. Emka walks better every day therefore her curiosity turns to be her own (and ours too) enemy - she doesn't want to sit or be carried for long. She prefers to walk and touch (or taste) everything herself. This influnces our travelling more and more. It is absolutely not the situation anymore "the little one goes where we go". We need to look for a playground, check whether they have high chairs in the restaurants or bars or consider driving times. We already changed the plan and booked the flight between Alice Springs and Uluru instead of going there by car.

When we started today from Christchurch, we drove towards the south. We wanted to get to Queenstown and then through the fiords, head north to glaciers and further. It would mean everyday a few hours (even up to 5h) in the car. Absolutely doable for us but Emka has prepared a strike - a complete breakdown:-). She cried wildly but was immediately happy when put on the floor during the breaks. During one of the breaks we adapted to the ne situation and change the plan to go only to the North island but move more relaxed, with much shorter distances.

We turned back and are now in Akaroa - a beautifully located town, eastern from Christchurch, at the ocean. This is where in 2011 was the epicentre of the earthquake.

It is past 23:00, the little one sleeps good 2h now, we hope for a good start of the day tomorrow. See you soon.

Posted by Minuano 02:30 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Christchurch

semi-overcast 21 °C
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Our nice Hungarian guest house owner by the name Miklos gave us a ride to the var rental where we picked up our motorhome. This one is smaller than the one in Australia and - even more important - not so loud because the dishes are made of plastic. Simple as that.

We unpacked and organized ourselves while Emilka was enjoying her midday sleep (over 2h this time).

Afterwards we went to the centre of Christchurch - the city which became a victim of an earthquake back in 2011. The views of the city centre are in some cases devastating, even more when you realize that over 300 people died, incl. children at school.

The evening turned out to be very long - our daughter didn't want to sleep and we certainly couldn't sleep either. The clocks were moved by 3,5h in the last 4 days which is not much as such but enough for Emilia to be fit around 01:00 :-)

Posted by Minuano 02:28 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Sydney to Christchurch

rain 34 °C
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Champions League, Barca in 1/8 finals and how I am going to watch the game? Well, quite easy thanks to Australian public TV SBS - I got up at 6:30am and watched the entire game in HD quality for free. Thank you!

During the game we skyped with our family and... there came the time to leave the rooms.

After leaving the luggage in the hotel, we rushed to the Sydney Tower where we met Kamil aka Gulum, who happened to be guiding a group of tourist across Antipodes, and was just in Sydney. The world is even smaller than people usually think.

We came back to the hotel to collect the luggage and get to the airport and then it started:
- we waited veeery long for the taxi
- it started to heavily rain so we waited even longer
- when the taxi car arrived, somebody "stole" it and we kept waiting longer (we planned more than enough time for the airport so were not in hurry but the waiting itself was very annoying)
- a the same moment we found out that our car won't be ready upon arrival in Christchurch. Since were scheduled for landing at 23:55 we had to look for a free accomodation with late check-in option, in order to avoid staying on the airport over night.
Finally the taxi arrived and we got to the airport. Unlucky for us and plenty of other passengers, Qantas airlines didn't have a check-in counter but self-service terminals which didn't function properly (or at all!) so every 2-3 minutes we (and other people) were calling for assistance; at least there were 4 ladies with looooooads of patience.

While I was trying to find a place to stay in Christchurch, Miggi was trying to solve the riddles of check-in process. Of course, Emma was not interested in supporting her parents by sitting still. Instead she wanted to walk, run, crawl, scream at other kids. But hey, for such a ultra chaotic and hectic situation you go on paternal leave holiday, right? :)

The flight to Christchurch took 2:45h, Emilka slept and we watched movies.

A very nice Korean taxi driver took us to the guest house - we arrived there around 1:15am. A nice Hungarian opened the door and showed us the room. It was a short but a good night in a friendly place. We recommend this accomodation.

Posted by Minuano 02:27 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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