Christchurch, New Zealand
Awake at 5am we tried to grab some extra Z’s but we were still on Brisbane time so we got up and sorted our stuff ready for our road trip. Slipped a Telecom NZ SIM into Debi’s phone so we we will have local call rates and plenty of data to last the next three weeks (no nasty roaming charges).
After breakfast we headed to Europcar to pick up our vehicle. As expected they didn’t have the car I booked in the lot so we were upgraded to a brand new Santa Fe diesel SUV at no extra cost, (scorage)! I pulled my Navman out of our luggage stuck it to the windscreen and we were underway.
A short drive today (2 hours ) as we weave our way through the burbs of Christchurch and soon hit the final stretch of the road overlooking Barry’s Bay, Duvauchelle Bay, Robinsons Bay and Takamatua Bay and drop into town. The township of Akaroa is a historic French and British settlement which sits on a picturesque harbor and is a beautiful place to relax and soak in its history.
The wind has picked up to gale force as we check to see if the nature cruise we planned is still running. The operators on the main wharf have put signs out telling us all charters are canceled……… we look at the water and it is flat but they tell us that there is a gale blowing and nobody is going out!
We check into the Tretoria Motel offering Tuesday specials but the sign looks very suspicious as it is a permanent fixture. We head down to the restaurant precinct noting that most of the shops are closed. This is truly a summer town but the fish and chip shop on the waterfront is open and we ask for the local favorite ‘blue cod’ but they have run out, so we go next door to (Bully Hayes Restaurant and Bar) and have the best fish and chips we have had in a long time.
We spend the rest of the day visiting the remaining attractions and browse the shops that are still open before heading to the ‘Ma Maison’ for happy hour and some cocktails as we watch the sun set over the harbor, (sweet-as)!