From the top of the gondola we could see clear skies over central Christchurch but slightly to the right there was thick cloud over the seaside where we were going next.
As we headed downhill from the gondola car park we got to sea level and were encompassed by a thick fog. We passed the suburb of Bexley which was in the red zone and seemed to be largely abandoned like a ghost town. We then crossed the river and headed into New Brighton, a slightly down-at-heel seaside resort. We got fish and chips and headed to the pier. The fog was still very thick as we walked along the pier and it felt a bit like a post-nuclear winter. It did have a playground which Aidan very much enjoyed.
We then headed up to the Groynes which was a park near our holiday park. It was quite pleasant and there was another exciting playground for the little man. We then had a BBQ at the holiday park.
The next day we got up and headed north. We drove across the plains and then into some thickly wooded hills. It seems to be a much more temperate climate here with pine trees. We then reached the coast again, fiercesome and rocky and the town of Kaikoura. This town is well known as a place to watch whales but we didn’t have time for this.
We had a short stretch and got back in the car but it wouldn’t start (the key wouldn’t turn). Had to call the AA out who eventually managed to get it started by basically hot-wiring the car. We then headed a few miles up the coast to where a seal colony lived. Dave and I were able to walk down the slope and were able to get quite close to the seals. Got some good photos.
We then headed up over more hills and reached Blenheim which is the main centre of the NZ wine industry. We stopped off and went to a park which was very nicely laid out and Aidan went in the playground. He is a very brave boy and isn’t just content with the little kids playground. Dave helped him climb up the highest slide used by the big kids and he loved it.
Afterwards we headed back to Richmond over some more hills. Had stirfry for dinner.