Grahame and Gretchen Benvie


Grahame and Gretchen Benvie

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 29th 2022

All good things come to an end,or so a famous saying goes.And the 50th Anniversary Tour of the Top of the South Island is no different. We awoke to a rather overcast day in Christchurch with a cool autumnal feel about the weather. However before we arose to get the day underway our minds went to our next holiday in 2024 and hopefully a resurrection of the postponed BBA of 2020 when we had planned to travel again to Europe taking in islands of the Mediterranean,mainland Europe and Great Britain and Ireland.Now that COVID around the world seems to be becoming an illness that if you catch it, you mostly get over it relatively quickly,and you can protect yourself by being vaccinated and as countries open their borders to traveller's that we might just be able ... read more
Colombo Street,Christchurch looking south
Cranes at the ready to take off the damaged roof of the Cathedral
Huge mural depicting what used to be there before the earthquakes

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Christchurch March 28th 2022

We have just a short 50minute drive down to Greymouth today before we give the Corolla back and join the Trans Alpine train to head to Christchurch. So getting up and having breakfast didn’t seem a priority to us. The day wasn’t quite as good as it has been for the last few days with more cloud overhead and out to sea although there was promise that it might clear once the sun could poke through. Breakfast was very relaxing in the restaurant looking out at the Tasman Sea. We had either been too late for our downstairs neighbours from the campervan or too early as we didn’t see them. The resort complex is sited on both sides of the highway with an underpass for guests to go to and from their units and the restaurant/bar. ... read more
Pancake rocks
Classic view of Pancake rocks
Greymouth stop bank

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Punakaiki March 27th 2022

It is always sad when a holiday one has thoroughly enjoyed and with such magnificent weather (well in most places) has that feeling of coming to an end. Even though we are now both retired from paid work it would be stretching things to simply carry on and in any case it will also be nice to get back to our own bed again, not that most of our accommodation hasn’t provided a good nights sleep. And then of course there is Barney the Bunny who has been staying with his breeder while we have been away from home and we both miss him and the grandkids too very much. The West Coast weather has been absolutely fabulous and again this morning the sun is warm as we pack up the Corolla for the short run ... read more
Reflections at Lake Hanlon
Can't get enough of the reflections
Tauranga Bay south of Westport

We awoke to another absolute cracker day in Karamea and the sound of the two milk tankers on the nearby SH67 that travel 234km each way every day to and from Hokitika on SH6 and SH67 to pick up milk from the 29 dairy farms in the Karamea region. Actually the tankers don’t really make much noise it is just that with so little traffic coming and going into Karamea that there is no competition for road noise from other traffic on the road. We have three planned walks today in the local Karamea area with no drives into the forest like yesterday among them. There appears to be only one other guest staying in the 8 unit motel and they appear to be in Karamea helping a dairy farmer out with milking from what we ... read more
A few relics of a jetty in what used to be Karamea harbour
Karamea Estuary
The Karamea River nears the ocean with South Terrace,first European settlemnt, in background

Gosh, have we been so lucky on this holiday as except for the overcast days in Golden Bay it has virtually been sunny every day and we are now well into week 3 of the trip. You would think that with the sun shining the way it is outside that we would be up and about early and getting in a couple of planned forest walks. But with everything we wanted to do close by we indulged with a little bit more of bed time with the curtains pulled open of course so we could enjoy all that sunshine. With breakfast eventually out of the way and the motel proprietor taking over the clothes washing duties using their household machine as the motel one needed fixing, we set off north up SH67 prepared for a few ... read more
Very large punga
Tea coloured Oparara River
Reflections at the Tarn

Now that we were preparing to move on from Takaka the sun was coming out in full force! This morning was the earliest we had arisen for several days but we knew we had a good distance to cover to our next destination at Karamea. With a full tank of petrol we headed along the fertile Takaka Valley to East Takaka which is sited at the foot of the hill road and then started the steady rise to the top of the hill and at 791 metres above sea level the road features in the website ‘Dangerous Roads ‘although it doesn’t seem to have any other warnings except that there are 257 corners to negotiate with some hairpins being almost 320 degrees. It didn’t bother us and the only regret we had having tackled the road ... read more
Upper Buller Gorge,pretty much like this all day with hardly a car in sight
North from Westport approaching Granity

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Takaka March 23rd 2022

A tremendous thunderstorm overnight with all the elements going at once has partially cleared the overcast sky but it still wasn’t brilliantly fine as we surfaced for the day. Still at least that rain had come during the night and not while we would have been hoping to take in more sights around Takaka during the daylight. We planned a casual day with a short amount of driving locally and then finish the day with dinner at the River Inn, a real old Kiwi style pub, which we had passed by several times over the past few days. Taking our time during the morning we left the apartment late morning and headed first down to Paton’s Rock another of the numerous seaside settlements that surround Takaka. The place looked deserted and although there were a good ... read more
The cutting in the limestone at The Grove
View from the platform through the limestone cutting,The Grove

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Takaka March 22nd 2022

We have a few local walks planned for the next 2 days so we were not in a hurry to rise and shine and in any case the weather was still grey and overcast and the forecast predicted rain at various stages during the day although this was also supposed to happen yesterday but never came to anything. There was a scattering of showers now and then so we decided to give it until closer to midday before heading out in the hope that the moisture would at least dry up. And as we hoped the drizzle did clear enough for us to head out late morning with 3 places in mind to visit in the local Takaka area. Heading towards the township we took the turn off the highway and drove up to a car ... read more
Better scene of the springs
Lovely group of ferns on the way to Wainui Falls
The track to Wainui Falls narrows

C&M were heading back to Richmond today and we are moving to a slightly smaller Air BnB closer to Takaka for a further three nights. With breakfast finished C&M said their goodbyes after packing their car in the light rain falling. We are hopeful that the rain isn’t an omen of what is predicted in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne areas as the weather system there appears somehow to be connected to the overcast skies here in Golden Bay. We had a bit more time up our sleeves so were able to casually pack our luggage into the Corolla at a leisurely pace and then headed a short distance north to Pakawau where we turned left and headed towards the west coast. The road was sealed for a couple of kilometres but we knew this ... read more
Pataraun River
One of the numerous bridges and causeways

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island March 20th 2022

Waking amidst all these trees it was hard to tell what the weather overhead was like and we wanted at the least a dry afternoon for our 6 hour return journey out to the lighthouse on Farewell Spit and back. The times of departure from Collingwood depends upon the tide on the ocean side of the Spit. As the only way the public can travel the greater length of the Spit is by bus we had to book our afternoon trip a couple of months ago as numbers are restricted. The public can walk the first 4 kilometres from the car park and then come up against a sign telling them this is the limit. The weather is continuing to play ball and although the sky is overcast, there is little wind and more importantly, no ... read more
Cape Farewell,top of the South Island
Notice the predator fence,left mid picture
Fossil Point

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