I wrote my last entry from the southernmost point of the south island. In the week that followed we piloted the Sunny up the east coast, taking in a couple of national parks and spending a few days in Dunedin before reaching Christchurch, our final destination in New Zealand.
Essentially this was a lot of driving through some very pretty places, the three of us now seamlessly alternating between the roles of driver, navigator and DJ.
First on the list was the Catlins national park, through which runs the “southern scenic route”. This is the south east tip of New Zealand and as such is all windswept coastline, rocks, sand dunes, lighthouses etc. Very Cornwall.
Having been in the wilderness for a few days, we had some “city time” - euphemism for a beer and a lie in, in Dunedin. Our time here included such highlights as a brewery tour, a game of over sized chess in the square (which I lost) and an ill fated attempt to watch Lord of the Rings. When in Rome and all that.
We also made a short trip into the Southern Ocean to have a look at some albatross. I only mention this as the things are huge – like giant hip-high seagulls. If one of these tried to nick your chips you’d simply be glad it hadn’t taken one of your children instead. Truly massive.
Recharged we set out for Mount Cook, Australasia’s highest mountain at 3,750m. Cue lots more driving and taking photos of mountains. Cook itself is predictably spectacular, although we finally ran out of luck with the weather, resulting in it being wet, grey and spectacular.
Post Cook we drove to Christchurch for our final few days in New Zealand. A day trip to the coast and some city time later and that was just about that for New Zealand.
All that remained was to bid farewell to Simon and the Sunny, both of whom will be sorely missed, and catch our flight from cold New Zealand to tropical Fiji.
Roll on the beach...