New Zealand, South Island: Tekapo and Akaroa

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December 20th 2018
Published: December 20th 2018
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We took the bus from Mount Cook at around 2pm and arrived soon after in Tekapo. We went for a nice walk from our accommodation to the Hot Springs, walking along the beautiful Tekapo lake. We had found a deal on Bookme for the Tekapo hot-springs so we were very happy to be able to relax in the three pools with water ranging from 35 to 38 degrees Celsius. When we got back, we were pretty tired (and relaxed!). We had a quick dinner in the kitchen and went stargazing once the sky was dark enough (at about 10.30pm). We took two glasses and a bottle of wine and found a nice spot to sit by the lake, on a big rock. We used an app Shaun had on his phone to find constellations and we stayed there for a little while, staring at the beautiful sky and sipping wine. We were very lucky that the sky was clear and we could see a lot of stars. The night sky looks very different on the other side of the world!
We were getting pretty cold so we head back - with the intention of going back to the stargazing once we had put a few more layers on, but once we got to the hostel, we were too tired to go back outside!!
We went to bed at around midnight and woke up on the next day to take a bus to Christchurch.
Once in Christchurch, we rented a car to go to Akaroa (we couldn’t take the bus there on the same day and didn’t want to waste one night in Christchurch as we had spent enough time there!). Shaun drove on the windy road to Akaroa, where we got beautiful views of the Banks Peninsula. Akaroa is a little town with a French and English colonial history. The French came there for whaling and when they left to ship the whale oil back to Europe, the English conveniently arrived. When the French came back, the English had settled! They decided to divide the land between them and since then, half of the town is English and the other half is French - with street names in each language.
The day after our arrival, we went for an early kayaking tour. The tour was really good, we got to see lots of different birds and some more blue penguins. The blue penguins there were different to the ones we had seen in Marlborough sounds as they had white flippers - and the Banks Peninsula is the only place they can be found! We also saw lots of Hectors dolphins, including a baby and one even played underneath our kayak! It was a magical sight!!
After our tour, we went for a fish and chips in the town and came back for a little rest in our accommodation. We stayed twenty kilometers away from the town, in a very quiet area. The accommodation was nice but the owner, a Dutch man, was a bit rude to us. We went back to town later to shop for dinner and get an ice cream! I had some kiwifruit sorbet which was delicious!
After a quiet evening in, we got ready for the start of our journey back to Europe. The next morning, we drove back to Christchurch airport where we boarded our flight to the Gold Coast.


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