Tuesday, October 11, 2011


If a couple is used to driving a Skoda and a hair-dryer 7 days a week, what else would they choose as their mode of transport around an unfamiliar and rugged country other than a yacht on wheels. On Sunday we left Christchurch and it's rumbling earthquakes behind, picked up the hideously sized campervan and headed South on highway 1 towards Dunedin.

Christchurch to Dunedin
For the first half of the journey to Timaru you are accompanied by the Southern Alps to your right, like a scene that's been copy/pasted from one of Heidi and uncle Peter's adventures. From Timaru Southwards, the highway hugs the coast and every 5 minutes you get a living postcard in your face as the jade Pacific ocean pops over the horizon.

As a tip, I'd say if you plan to pull into a picnic area to take in the view, then watch out for oddly placed railings, alternatively make sure you have fully comprehensive insurance. I heeded one of these warnings.
Surveying her new home on wheels

About 6 hours after setting off we arrived in the steepest town on the planet in a campervan that looked like a the victim of a shark attack.

Dunedin is the old commercial centre of New Zealand, settled and heavily influenced by the Scottish and superbly located. It has the pacific on one side, mountains on two others and the city itself rolls down to the Otago harbour. No camera can do the views justice, they are simply sublime. You'd have to ask do the people who live there realise how lucky they are.

As we strolled around the town we started to wonder if we were in some twilight zone where people regularly approach you and ask if you are alright as soon as they see you consult a map. Maybe Holland has ruined us, but the Kiwis are super chatty.

Dunedin - A long way from everywhere
If Dunedin had any drawbacks they were the fact that the settlers museum was closed until late next year and the third degree burns I received from a questionable shower control at the camp site.

With severe wind warnings to accompany us on our way, on Tuesday morning we set off on the 4 hour drive to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland.

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