Day 12 - Tekapo to Methvan
Last post we were at Tekapo and i forgot to show you the sunset image I got from in front of the caravan park we stayed at. This because the laptop was about to go flat as we were in a free camp with no power.
We spent a bit of time in town as we all love this place for one reason or another and we have got some things we like to do after 8 or so visits. Check out the souvenir shops is one of them and our Son got his first Pen Knife from here with his name on it. He was over the moon and calls it his utility knife. There is also a new attraction that opened the day we were there called "The Dark Sky Project". The observatory houses a 125-year-old Brashear Telescope, which was in storage for five decades before being restored in Fairlie over the last two years. There are 45 minuet shows that centre around the big bang theory of how the universe was formed and if we had time we would have attended a show.
"The Dark Sky Project" It's so new they were still interviewing people as can be seen below.
It was time to go and reluctantly we headed north to the Peel forest after a rest stop in Geraldine along the way. We had a limited amount of time to spend and we did the big tree walk which is a 30 minuet round trip and easily accessible by even a wheel chair. It's very thought provoking when you come across a tree that is over a 1000 years old and still standing. That's over 11 lifetimes !!!! We drove around the area and made some notes for future reference and kept driving.
We looked a few free camps along the way but due to the heavy rain in the area, they were very muddy and a bit out of the way to call a tow truck if we got stuck. We ended up driving a little further that we planned and made out way to Methven which is the base for may skiers going to Mt Hutt.
We pulled into the Methven Camping Ground which also happens to be the local showground. There is a games room there with pool tables, darts and Foosball. Our Son and I had a couple of games of pool and we settled in for the night as the wind picked up and was buffering the motor home.
Day 13 - Methven to Akaroa
We woke up to a very windy day and according to the Met service in NZ, the wind would die down at 9.00 am and at 9.00 it did. The weather service in NZ is very accurate and is what we base our travels on when in NZ. Akaroa is a 2 hour ish drive from Methven and goes through some very flat, windy and hilly spots that can be challenging in a 7 meter motor home. We drove mostly with no stops and arrived at Akaroa around 1.30 and parked up in the main street. Akaroa is a town on the Banks Peninsula, southeast of Christchurch, New Zealand. Akaroa Beach is on the eastern shore of Akaroa Harbour, where rare Hector’s dolphins swim. The Akaroa Museum includes 3 heritage buildings and chronicles the town’s development, especially its 19th-century British and French colonial history. The Giant’s House has terraced gardens and features colourful sculptures and mosaics.
We were all a little hungry so we visited the local french patisserie and had a very nice lunch and the food was very good and I can recommend the flans.
We explored the water front and Daly's Wharf as seen in the image below. Further around from the wharf is a variety of restaurants and stores to buy arts and craft and Blue Pearls for which the area is known for.
The Akaroa Lighthouse Preservation Society moved the lighthouse from the Akaroa heads to its present location on 2 August 1980. Today a roster of volunteers 'man' the light house to enable the public to visit and view this iconic historic Akaroa landmark. All funds raised are reinvested into maintaining the lighthouse for all to enjoy. Opening hours are 11am – 2pm both Sundays and cruise ship days. 10 minutes walk along water. $2.50 Adults, 50c Children to go up.
We drove around to our free camp for the night which is just as you come into Akaroa near the boat ramp and ship yard. There are about 20 spots available and you can stay there 2 nights out of 28 and the toilet is about 3 mins walk away next to the park. We walked up into town to have dinner but nothing was open so we grabbed a few supplies from the local shop and headed back to our motor home for tea and a movie.
Day 14 - Akaora - Christchurch
Today we travelled back to Christchurch and bid farewell to the Banks Peninsula. As we drove back over the windy mountain roads, were presented with a stunning view when we stopped at the Hilltop Pub.
We pulled over on the side of the road at Little River to have a look at a unique accommodation place called "Silostay".
Next to walking and cycling route the Christchurch to Little River Rail Trail, these unique holiday apartments set in converted grain silos are 6 km from Lake Forsyth and 11 km from Mount Herbert. The funky, industrial-chic, 2-level cylindrical silos have kitchenettes, en suite bathrooms and balconies, and offer flat-screen TVs, iPod docks and free Wi-Fi. They also have relaxed sitting areas. There's no air-conditioning.
We then carried on into to Christchurch and parked at the southern end of the Botanical Gardens in large dirt car park where we could park our home. Our Son expressed an interest in going to the Canterbury Museum at the northern end of the gardens so we got ready and strolled along the wide walkways to the other side.
The Museum was first established in the Provincial Council Buildings in 1867 featuring geology specimens collected by geologists Dr (later Sir) Julius von Haast and Dr Ferdinand Hochstetter. The Museum was first open to the public on 3 December 1867. Haast became the first Director in 1868. In 1869 the Provincial Council made a grant of £1,200 to erect a separate building for the Museum. This was increased to £1,683 11s by public subscription. The new building on Antigua Street (now Rolleston Avenue) was opened by the Superintendent of Canterbury, William Rolleston, on 8 February 1870 and the opening art exhibition ran until April.
The Museum was opened to the public on 1 October 1870.
There is always a great display of artefacts on display and there is even a Mummy there to see. Currently there is and exhibition called "Breaking the Ice.The First Year in Antarctica" until the 13th Oct 2019.
We had a good walk through the exhibition and after we came out we walked back through the park along the river Avon which you can still go punting on.
We also walked through the rose gardens but none this time of year of course.
We then headed back to our motor home and back to where our first night was at the North South caravan park to pack up to come home tomorrow.
Last blog for this trip coming soon.
Ps: I do not want to go home!!!