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New Zealand first days

South Island - Christchurch to Dunedin

semi-overcast 12 °C

Melbourne to Christchurch
13th September 2014
Caught a flight from Melbourne with Air New Zealand departing at 9am. Slight delay with the flight that meant we were required to fly over Sydney, Auckland then to Christchurch. It was a long 4.5 hour flight arriving in Christchurch at about 4.00 pm.
We picked up our car, Hyundi then headed to the Hotel. Christchurch city was very much in a destruct and rebuild time, many building have been removed leaving vacant blocks. Our hotel, Rydges, was only about 1 year old, surrounded by empty blocks and a park. A very nice and flash hotel that also had a gym!
We had dinner at the hotel, like a late lunch for us , then went to another part of town for desert. There was an area near the casino that had a number of restaurants to choose from, we found a little pub type place that was nice.

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14th September 2014
Woke up and went for a run around town, we were able to get a good look at how the city was affected and how nice it was. Tried the gym out and then went up the street for breakfast. Found a nice mall that had a number of café's and had the historical tram going through it.
From here we walked and drove around town, went to the botanical gardens and tourist information centre for directions to the Gondolas. Drove about 20 mins out of town for a ride up the gondolas and a great view if the city. Had lunch up at the top and then headed back to town and looked around restart mall. We went through the Quake city exhibition which was quite interesting and we were surprised how many recorded quakes there have been. We then looked around the town some more back to the hotel then out for dinner. Found a nice place on the edge of the botanical gardens, had vegie lasagne and desert.
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15th September 2014
Had breakfast at a café in the restart mall the left Christchurch and headed for Lake Tekapo. Arrived there at about 3pm. We stayed at a B & B, the owners made us a cup of tea before we headed to the lake for some pictures. Took some pictures of the old stone church and then had a look at the hot pools. It was very windy and very cold, our hand were going numb. We had dinner at a nice pizza type of place that had a fire! We were going to star gaze but it clouded up and later rained.
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16th September 2014
Left the B & B after nice breakfast and drove to the observatory lookout. We were lucky that we managed to get a few photos and walked around the top before it started snowing! We went into the small café, had a coffee watching the snow.
Headed off then to Dunedin passing some beautiful lakes, we stopped plenty of times to take photos. When we reached the coast road we headed to look at the Moeraki Boulders. Took the scenic road from Oamaru .
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From the boulders we drove to Dunedin and straight to Lanarch Castle. The room we stayed was beautiful, the Rhododendron room. It had unrestricted views over the bay . We booked for dinner at the castle and this was very flash. The dinner was in the old dining room and the meal was very nice. We had pear salad, pumpkin tart and raisin pudding or chocolate tart. It was like dinning like you see in the movies, very exquisite. After the main course the waitress gave a talk on the history of the family and we then just chatted with the other people. We walked back to our room in the rain, lost all of our wonderful views!
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17 September 2014
Woke up to fog and rain, our beautiful view had disappeared! We had breakfast in the old stables which was then did a tour through the castle. It was still raining so we headed to town, looked at the train station, town centre and Cadbury factory tour. Brought plenty of chocolates! We then drove slightly out of town to St Clair where we stayed on the beach front. We had dinner at nice little Italian place on the water front then called it a night.

Posted by cbrewster 02:06 Archived in New Zealand

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