This entry for Oct. 11 is being posted on Oct. 13, but it was written on the 11th. We had very poor Internet services our first night on the South Island, so, I am catching up now.
A short one and a half hour flight brought us to Christchurch from Auckland. We arrived to find a high cloud cover, which over the course of the afternoon, became a heavy low cloud cover and some rain started. Unfortunately, that is the forecast for the next few days.
We picked up Jucy II and were on our way north by the early afternoon. We stopped for groceries, lunch and wine tasting. The guy I sat next to on the plane recommended the area of Waipara for wine and we were sold when he mentioned that Rieslings were one of the types of grapes that grew there. We ended up buying a bottle of Waipara Hills Riesling and it is yummy!
We continued on route 1 and soon the road hit the coast and there was the South Pacific Ocean! We are in the town of Kaikoura, right on the coast and we are once again in a Top Ten Holiday Park. After getting our site we drove to the end of the Kaikoura Peninsula where there is a seal colony and there were seals all over the place, mostly sleeping! It was quite a sight!
We are hoping the clouds lift some because this area has very high mountains that come down right to the sea. We got a couple of glimpses of these snowy mountains through the clouds but would like a better view! The road from the south into Kaikoura was spectacular as it twisted and turned, following the coastline. There were also several narrow tunnels to pass through when there was no room for the road to traverse.
And now about the sheep~they are everywhere! I thought there were a lot on the North Island, but they dominate the landscape down here! To show what an important role they play in the South Island’s economy, when we got off the airplane in Christchurch and were walking up the jet way, huge murals decorated the walls of sheep farms. Sounds of baaing sheep and barking sheep dogs were piped in for the full experience! It made me laugh!
Tomorrow we will continue north, and may end up in Abel Tasman National Park. We hope to hike there.