The start of the South Island trip was a long one. The three amigos (Danielle Katie and I) woke up at 430am to be on the plane to Christchurch at 730am. My awesome flatmate joanna dropped us off at the Auckland airport. The plane ride was short about an hour. Katie with her excellent phone skills found and called the car rental place that we had looked up a week or too earlier called Omega car rentals. At the time we thought, great we got a great car the lady told us all the important info. Later we will find this a crap company that doesn’t know how to walk foreigners through important issues.
Our first stop is Akaroa I drive first because I’m the only who has driven in NZ or in the words of my wonderful friend Katie “the wrong side of the road on the wrong side of the car” lol. Akaroa is a cute town about 2 1/2 hrs from Christchurch and is on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. It had a French theme we couldn’t figure out why. My guess was French people settled their ages ago. We didn’t stay too long we poked around in a souvenir shop for awhile then took some pics on the dock. Then we were off again. Next stop Hanmer springs.
The drive to Hanmer springs was sooooo long for me I was so thankful once we arrived. It was a 3 1/2 hr drive from Akaroa but running on 4hrs of sleep and night approaching mane it was hard. But we made it to the pretty Hanmer springs area. We grabbed some food in a little cafe place that only had a fireplace to heat it up. We will later learn that many cafe places in the South Island have only fireplaces to heat up their establishment. 😒 Then we headed to the hot springs. The hot springs was amazing, even though we were expecting it to be indoors since it is winter and cold. Silly Americans lol 😓 well we got in our swimsuit gear and ran to the closest pool first there were several of them some hotter then others. Well after trying several pools we found one that was pretty hot which was nice. We talked (me mostly) with 3 ruby kiwi guys for awhile they seemed cool and typical kiwis. Until we needed to go our next and final destination of the day to Kaikoura.
Kaikoura was pretty awesome. After finally getting some sleep we went to the grocery store got supplies for breakfast and later for sandwiches. We parked in an area that had a sign that said whale watching. We didn’t get lucky to see any whales. So we went to the seal colony and saw several seals close up which was tots cool. We had a little hike around the seal colony and we thought we saw penguins but it was just NZ unique birds. 😞. Then we went to a farm park which was very interesting. We all had lots of fun with the donkeys, llamas, wallaby, piglets, doe, peacock, goats, ginuea pigs, rabbits and of course the two dogs that greeted us when we arrived. After the farm park we headed off to our next destination Abel Tasman.