Monday, May 31, 2010

New Zealand Day 13 & 14 (Last instalment)

Day 13 – Thursday 13th May 2010 Our 2nd last day today and we have finished with traipsing round the country and we are now based in Christchurch until we head home on Saturday morning. After watching ‘How to train your dragon’ at the cinema we headed off to the Antarctic Centre.

Established in 1992, the Antarctic Attraction is located in the heart of a working Antarctic campus at Christchurch International Airport. It is from here that many Antarctic missions are organised. With this in mind the Antarctic Attraction is designed to bring a powerful and memorable experience of Antarctica to visitors in a fun, exciting, informative and commercially successful way. (from We entered the snow and ice experience where the room is chilled to -5 degrees Celsius and the Antarctic Storm blows every 30 minutes in the Snow and Ice Experience and comes complete with stunning lighting, authentic Antarctic blizzard audio and 40 km/h winds. From memory the temperature went to -18 degrees Celsius during the storm (maybe colder, I can’t remember, it was cold!)

We saw some cute penguins

Part of the centres attraction is the Hagglund ride; we had a turn on this just before they closed for the day. The Hagglund is a genuine as-used-in-Antarctica all terrain vehicle, you experience travelling across rough terrain simulated to be the same travelling conditions as scientists would experience riding in a Hagglund across the ice pack. Day 14 - Friday 14th May 2010 Last day today : ( First stop is the Go Karts, Nicholas had been asking all holiday to have a turn on GoKarts or on four wheelers whichever one he was able to drive himself. Given he is only 10 this was not as easy to find as we thought. Any way we found some Go Karts that he was able to drive himself and we all had a go. I am pleased to say that I managed to score the fastest lap and the boys had such a great time that we agreed to stop back in the afternoon before we dropped the Motor Home back to the rental agency. I refrained from having a second go (I didn’t want to embarrass them further with my expert driving skills and someone had to take photos). We spent the rest of the day wandering around Cathedral Square.

Riding the tram

Stopping at the local farmers markets

Walking through mirror lane Walking along The Avon back to the vehicle.

That is almost the end of our holiday, we dropped the motorhome off and stayed at a Hotel for the last night, went back to Cathedral Square for dinner at the Irish Pub and then woke up way too early in the morning to fly home on the 7am flight! Thanks for you patience as I recounted our NZ holiday. I highly recommend a visit if you have never been and hopefully we'll be going back to see the rest of the South Island and to visit the North Island as well one day. And for those of you who are interested some quick facts about the holiday Flights and accommodation - $3,115 Nights spent in NZ - 14 Petrol Costs - $495 Coffee stops - 18 Kilometres travelled - 2,627 Average daily travel - 218kms

WH’s Favourite moment

waking up at Kaikoura lookout and seeing the sun rise over the ocean and its glow spread over the snow capped mountains.

Nicholas’ Favourite moment

driving the Go Kart

Nellie’s favourite moment

Scenic flight to Milford Sound with spectacular views

Family memories - Priceless Hope you all have a great week!


Happy Monday and we have a winner....

Happy Monday to you all, I hope that everyone had a lovely weekend!
We had a busy weekend with a trip to Nowra for a 21st birthday party after soccer on Saturday and then back last night. It was nice to catch up with family and we get to drive through the Southern Highlands and Kangaroo Valley on the way, the views are so beautiful and the houses are amazing!
A big thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway and for all of the lovely comments on the pictures. I used the random genertor to pick an winner...
True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 45 Result: 33 Powered by RANDOM.ORG Congratulations to Tracey from Raggy Girl Vintage. Tracey chose 'On the Rocks'
and because during the week I reached 100+ followers and that is very exciting for me. I am giving away the following print to another lucky person who left a comment on my giveaway post.
Once again I used the Random Generator True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 45 Result: 28 Powered by RANDOM.ORG Congratulations to Carly from Honey and the Moon
Thank you again to everyone of you for stopping by and visiting me. I really enjoy your friendship! Have a great day and I will hopefully post my last New Zealand instalment today or tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Win a 20" x 30" Print

Just a reminder that if you would like to own one of the following 20" x 30" original McCarthy Designs Prints just enter my giveaway for your chance.

Click HERE for the details.


The Nest

I just realised that it's Wednesday and I posted about something white so I am linking up with
at the
Go over to view lots of White loveliness!
I have a my new cushion cover....
I am so happy with my new addition so I thought I would share the love and let you know where you can get one too....,
if you like..........
(click on the picture to go and visit)

Sam is the lovely and talented gal behind The Nest and she has an Etsy Store where she sells her gorgeous creations! You can go and check it out here.

Sam's Esty Store

I was so excited to get my cover and then when I opened my package......

I was delighted to find that Sam had included some lovely extras.

My Cushion Cover
A gorgeous hand made sign Some cute magnets made from Vintage American Milk Bottle Lids and here is my new cushion cover in its new home! If you haven't met Sam yet, go on over and say 'Hi', she is a very talented and lovely lady who imspires me with her creations. and her beautiful house.

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!


New Zealand Day 10

Day 10 – Monday 10th May 2010 How exciting we are going to Milford Sound! In order to save time we have decided to fly to Milford Sound, do the cruise through the sound and fly back to Queenstown! This will save us almost 2 days and unfortunately at this stage we are running out of days! The plane is a 10 seater and the smallest plane any of us have been on!

The views are amazing.

Properties around Queenstown

Snow capped mountains
Alpine lakes
Milford Sound airport and harbour
The cruise took us through the sound and out to the Tasman sea before turning around and heading back.
It was very, very cold and I didn’t last outside very long. Milford Sound is not actually a sound it is a Fjord (you’ll have to google the difference if you want to know further). Our guide told us that they receive 7 metres of rain a year, it rains 200 days out of the year and is one of the wettest places in the world that is inhabited.
The Sound is gorgeous, cliffs rise up to 1500 metres out of the sea and there are many waterfalls and beautiful lush green forest.
The Sound is also home to seals and dolphins.
On our flight home we had a bonus landing at Glenorchy, this was the first time I had experienced a grass strip landing and take off and I have to say that our pilot was fantastic!
Glenorchy was another location used in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, apparently the crew spent 18 months in the area filming!
Lucky Nicholas got to sit next to the pilot on the way back!
Lake Wakatipu is a beautiful colour and spans from Queenstown to Glenorchy along the base of The Remarkables (well known snow skiing range).
Queenstown from above.
We arrived back in Queenstown around lunch time wandered around the town for a bit.
Then made our way to the ShotOver River to experience a jet boat ride!
In the late afternoon we went on the Gondola up 450 metres. Where we had gorgeous views over Christchurch.
We watched people do silly things!
We dined in the restaurant at the top and watched as the lights came on throughout Queenstown.
Queenstown to Milford Sound and back to Queenstown

Just a reminder if you would like to win an original 20" x 30" McCarthy Designs print just click here for all of the details!