Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Zealand Day 11 and Day 12

Day 11- Tuesday 11th May 2010
A nice leisurely game of golf at the base of the gondola....

Then it is time to leave Queenstown.

Today we need to get to Lake Tekapo so that we can have our helicopter tour in the morning. We are so excited; our tour will fly over Fox, Franz Josef and the Tasman Glaciers as well as landing on Mt Cook (NZ’s tallest Mountain, over 3700 metres) for a photo opportunity!

We stopped for lunch along the way on the banks of Lake Dunstan.

Mt Cook viewing area located at Lake Pukaki. There is also a Visitors Centre here with some interesting information about the hydro electricity stations that are in the area. It did make for some interesting reading and views.

We arrived in Lake Tekapo just after 5pm and unfortunately the office for the Scenic Helicopters was closed so we had to make sure we went in first thing in the morning to let them know we had arrived (and pay).

There isn’t much happening in Lake Tekapo but there is this church –

The Church of the Good Shepherd.

It must be about it because that is where all the tourists were when we arrived there. Eventually the bus loads of people left and we were able to take some photos and have a look around!

After driving around for ages we finally found a spot that didn’t have any “No overnight camping” signs. There were remains of campfires near by so we thought it must be ok to stay here the night. After dinner we watched a bit more of our DVD and then prepared for bed. We had all just got into our pj’s when there was a knock on the door and a gentleman kindly informed us that we could not stay there the night. That in fact you can’t just camp wherever you like and you definitely can’t just park the motorhome in any town limits and sleep in it. You must book into a motor home park or check with the local council on where you can stay! Well this was news to us (after checking all of our paperwork and brochures we did find a paragraph stating this but no one had pointed this out to us specifically before this gentleman kicked us out of town)! So we asked him if he could suggest somewhere to stay the night and he gave us directions to go back out of town and turn left onto a road that say ‘private property’ “But that’s ok you can stay there!” What?????

Anyway we left Lake Tekapo and tried to determine where the town limits are, are they when you go past the 100kms an hour sign or do you have to travel a certain distance away before you are not ‘in town’?

Oh well, it was getting late and we were annoyed and tired so we found a road off the highway and parked as far off the road under the trees as we could and then spent the next ½ hour discussing the cons of being in a motorhome if you have to pay extra every night to stay in a holiday park or if you have to plan ahead enough to ring the council and find out where you can or can not stay in their town!

Queenstown to Lake Tekapo 257kms

Day 12 Tuesday 12th May 2010
This morning we were meant to be going on a helicopter tour to Mt Cook but...... the weather has turned nasty and the helicopter will not be able to go. The tour guide told us that the scenic planes would probably be able to take us over the top but that they did not land and that visibility was poor!
Oh how disappointing!!! First we get kicked out of town and now we can’t go on Mt Cook! We decided against the plane because of poor visibility and we really wanted to go on a helicopter!
So we hit the road again! Now here I have to apologise. I have NO PHOTOS from day 12!!! It must have been the disappointment : (
No not really, there actually wasn’t much to take photos of. The road to Christchurch was rather flat, quite straight and it was really brown and barren! There were some interesting things to see but nothing that was going to look spectacular in a photo!
Geraldine was a very pretty town with lots of tourist shops but we weren’t prepared for the prettiness and we had left the camera in the car and walked around. Bought a few souvenirs and had some morning tea!
Our lunch stop was very non eventful. We couldn’t find anywhere very scenic along the road so we stopped near a child’s playground and had lunch there.
Back in Christchurch we stopped at the Air Force museum and spent a few hours here. It was a great museum, free entry and lots of things to look at and read about. There is also a flight simulator for the kids to have a turn on!
We found a Holiday park and booked in for our last two nights in the motorhome then we drove around and explored Christchurch a bit more.
Lake Tekapo to Christchurch 227kms

Thank you so much for bearing with me while I recap our holiday! There are only two more days to go and as there wasn’t any travelling involved I will get them done in one post!

Don’t forget if you would like a chance to win an original McCarthy Designs 20” x 30” print go and check out the details HERE!



  1. Another lovely few days for you. I love that photo of the church.

  2. Nellie...wow...just gorgeous...I have never played golf in my life...but you certainly look the part...so glad you are having a great time. x

  3. Your trip is amazing!!! I like this kind of journeys. You must be very excited!!

    Thank you so much for your comments always so nice, they make my day!!

    Hugs, Zaira

  4. haha I like that you played a little mini golf while you were there. It looks like the trip was absolutely wonderful!

  5. wow, that place is so gorgeous -!!! wish I was there

  6. Nellie,
    It looks like even during fall in NZ the weather is jsut perfect, right?
    I can't keep my eyes away from your pictures...they are just breathtaking!
    Have a great week my friend!

  7. Hello, what beautiful images, especially love the one of the church. Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you have a great day, Theresa