by sam on 4th April 2017 1 comment
Container on the Kaikoura coast road
Longest drive of the trip today. It took about 5 1/2 hrs in total plus a couple of stops. The SH1 south of Kaikoura re-opened at 7am, which was going to be a much easier and shorter drive than yesterday's, but overnight cyclone Debbie came over the sea from Oz, so there had been a lot of rock fall, we sat in a queue for an hour while they assessed the route. Overall, despite this, this route felt much safer in the pouring rain as it was manned by lots of workmen, compared to the inland route with its gravelly steep road.
There was a phenomenal amount of quake damage here as expected, literally boulders the size of caravans on the railway lines, more shipping containers lining the roadsides to stop any rockfall rolling into the roads, but there were also dolphins and seals in the sea on the other side of the road!
Our next stop was a slight detour, but had to be done.... A trip to the town of Springfield to see the giant pink donut! It was only about ten minutes off the route we were following, and it was a good time to stop for lunch too.
New Zealand pies and flat whites in a lovely little cafe (there are loads of these around!) next door, a few pics and a little play and we set off on our way again.
Lake Tekapu, further south, is one of 3 huge turquoise lakes in the centre of NZ. This one is clear water, the pure turquoise colour comes from the glacial rock flour as the rocks grind inside the moving glaciers and melt into the lakes.
Lake Tekapu is very famous for its lupins in spring and its tiny Church of the good shepherd on the banks. We didn't get to see many lupins as its the start of Autumn, and it didn't look really turquoise as it was quite overcast but the weather broke for a few minutes for us. Plenty of opportunity for arty farty photo taking!!
Lake pukaki from our deck
Our accomodation is at the next of those 3 lakes, Lake Pukaki. This lake is a milky turquoise, it is enormous, and even in the awful weather it was still Tiffany blue. It's over 25 miles long and 2 miles wide and creates, combined with the other 2 lakes via a series of canals, a third of the electricity for NZ.
Our booking for our little 1 bed cottage we booked had "slipped down the crack" and they had double booked, luckily the 4 bedroom house that they also own next door (no other neighbours for miles!) was available, as it was only last week we found it the booking had been lost and we couldn't find anything else nearby to fit us all in.
The house was a kiwi tribute to the Seventies! It was a wooden built Bach, all orange wood walls and ceilings, original brown tile inserts for a chopping board in the Formica worktop, and orange/yellow frosted glass sliding doors. But it was huge, far too big really for a 2 night stay, we are spreading out too far, it will take ages to pack back up. However, the view!!!!! Floor to ceiling 8 foot wide window everywhere we looked with views right about lake pukaki, overlooking some mountains off the main road up to Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand.
Pleased to see you all having a good time, take care!!