Blogs from Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury March 13th 2022

Our short stay in Gore Bay comes to an end this morning and we head away on the short drive to Hanmer Springs to continue The 50thAnniversary Top of The South Tour.Sunrise wasn’t quite as dramatic this morning with more cloud on the horizon but there was still a bit of magic that you get with the light seemingly rising in the distance from the ocean. Our hosts had gone out together in their car so we didn’t get the opportunity to personally thank them for allowing us to stay in their lovely Air BnB apartment. Before we leave Gore Bay this morning I had a desire to check out the now closed cemetery across the Jed Stream where my G G GUncle is supposedly buried and long suffering Gretchen, who thinks I spend too much ... read more
A friendly wood pigeon just a few feet away at Gore Bay
Off on the shingle bank to the Jed Cemetery
The part up to the Jed Cemetery,Gore Bay

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury March 12th 2022

As we hoped for, the norwester wind that had sprung up during the night calmed down as the sun rose rather dramatically from the sea on the horizon. Breakfast on the terrace in already a warm temperature was a pleasant experience and it might have been easy to say ‘let’s just kick back and not go tramping off into the forest today’. However, we have only one full day here in Gore Bay so we best make the most of it and stick to the plan of 2 forest walks. The first was the Tweedies Gully trail through bush and uphill to a fine lookout both to the north and south of the bay. The track was relatively easy except for one landslip to negotiate where ducking under a large fallen tree and then over its ... read more
Over tree climbing exercise on Tweedies Gully track
Not,'The Cathedral Cliffs',Tweedies Gully track,Gore Bay
Friendly fantail

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury March 11th 2022

Gore Bay…..?? where in the South Island, may you say is Gore Bay ! Well, Gore Bay is a small seaside settlement some 120km northeast of Christchurch with Cheviot the nearest town you turn off SH 1 and head towards the coast. Like many coastal locations around New Zealand it was named by Capt James Cook on his map of New Zealand as he sailed the coastline. It is believed that Gore Bay was in fact Gore’s Bay on Cook’s map and that should in reality be the name it is called by. As we collapsed into bed last night there was already a warming of the air temperature and this morning we awoke to a clear blue sky and a promise of 28C high for the day. Picking up our Apex rental Corolla was a ... read more
Pegasus Bay looking north
Motunau Island
Something is on the end of that line,Motunau

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury March 16th 2021

Only a short time (one night) in Oamaru but such a lot to see in this small provincial town with a big history. Lyn was keen to see the blue penguin colony not far from the town itself. The viewing has become a commercial operation which benefits the penguins themselves so one has to buy tickets to a viewing area and be there by 8.15pm when the penguins might start to come back to shore after a long day out at sea foraging. We sat in a viewing stand and waited and waited and waited because the little birds don't work to a set timetable but finally our guide told us that a "raft" was approaching the shore (a raft is what the groups of penguins are called when they arrive back in a group on ... read more
Christchurch Cathedral

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury July 22nd 2018

Arriving just before the weekend gave us some time to spend with family and friends before we fly off to the other side of the world and our Swedish family. Time too, to catch up with the rebuild of Christchurch city central. Whilst to me, it is still ‘cone’ city it is also ‘crane’ city. The tram is back on its tracks, the buildings are being built and the parking wardens are busy. Waiting for a ticket to beprinted, I felt a bit outdated and frustrated when no ticket appeared. Apparently no tickets are printed these days just punch in your car number plate and you can check how much time you have left or even top up from another location. It sure beats that last minute panic to get back before the ticket runs out ... read more
Under wraps
Construction reflections
Eyes on Street art

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury January 26th 2017

We have finally arrived back down south after our 1st flight was cancelled due to bad weather (aka it was blowing 50 b’s). It’s good to back in the motorhome and setting off again for more adventures. After a night in Christchurch to restock we headed off the next morning (Sat 20/1) to walk the Glentunnel Millennium walk (SH77). The walk is across private farmland to an abandoned rail tunnel built in 1874. The track was pretty boggy due to all the rain and fairly overgrown with thistles and blackberries. Only the entrance is visible from here. The tunnel was built by mine owners in order to avoid a 2s 6p per ton toll demanded by the local landowner if the railway crossed his land. The walk ends at the old coal mine closed in 1938 ... read more
Rd to Lake Coleridge - view Rakaia River
The Inlet - Lake Coleridge
Room with a view - Rakaia Gorge Camping Ground

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury October 14th 2016

Leaving our Christchurch base on Friday (7/10) and hopefully leaving our colds behind we head out to Godley Head. Godley head is at the entrance of the Lyttelton Harbour. DOC opened a new campsite here only 2 weeks ago and we had we thought why not. So glad we did make the effort as this place is a bit of a gem. Godley head is the most complete World War II coastal defence site in New Zealand. There are plenty of remnants (concrete bunkers, old chimneys, planning room, engine room …..) to be found on this windy headland. The walking tracks around here are excellent (even with runny noses) with views up and down Lyttelton Harbour, Taylors Mistake, Sumner, Christchurch and right up the coast towards Kaikoura. Some very brave campers tenting here in the cold ... read more
Godley Head (2)
View to camp - Godley Head
Godley Head

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury October 4th 2016

It’s a grey drizzly morning (Thursday 29/9), looks like the bike ride is off the list and option 2 heading to Christchurch is the winner. A slight detour to Rangiora for a walk around the town and lunch down by the Ashley river before heading to Brooklands, which sits on the southern side of the Waimakariri river. It took us a while to realise this was a red zone area from the 2010/2011 earthquakes. All those concrete driveways leading to vast areas of empty land was rather sobering. We are not sure what the plan is for this area but it looks like they have done some recent planting and work on the wetlands reserve here. Final spot for the night is the NZMCA Weedons Park which is between Hornby and Rolleston. Friday and it’s time ... read more
New Brighton
New Brighton Beach

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury September 28th 2016

Arrived in Hamner Springs this morning (Sun 25/9) to light drizzle and the little village surrounded in cloud. I was looking forward to sitting in the hot pools looking out at the white capped mountains. I suppose 1 out of 2 you can’t complain. We managed a quick wander around the small touristy village in the rain before spending the afternoon at the pools. Hamner Springs Hot Pools is expensive but a must if you are there. We opted for a 2 day pass (initial entry & 1 return entry the following day) $38.00 pp. 1 Adult single entry is $22. The place was pretty packed and it was school holidays, we spent most of our time in the 3 sulphur pools (40°c - 42°c) which wasn’t as busy. Monday (26/9) and the rain has stopped. ... read more
Bridge - Waiau River
Conical Hill - Hamner Springs
Driving over the Waiau River Bridge

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Canterbury August 30th 2016

Tranz-Alpine Railway from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass We all piled into the bus at the hotel and made our way to the station. Christchurch Station When we got there, our tour director Lu got our tickets for us and then we were able to wander about and get on the train. There is an open carriage, which is where I spent most of my time! Canterbury Plains Rolleston Kirwee Darfield Springfield Waimakariri River Castle Hill Viaduct over Broken River Lake Pearson Cragieburn Bealey Waimakariri River Southern Alps Arthur's Pass ... read more
Christchurch Station-
Christchurch Station
Christchurch Station

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