My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Sunday, June 16, 2024

And More Adventures

Warning - photo heavy!!
I have one more adventure to share, before I can (hopefully) get into some sewing and quilting!
You may remember that at the beginning of April, I was in Australia attending Scrub Stitching and road tripping with kiwikid Sue.
I was home for only 10 days before the MOML (hubby) and I set off on another road trip. We had a family wedding to attend halfway down the South Island.
We decided to drive down so that we could see a bit of the countryside. We decided 5 hours a day was good - lots of driving but it gave us the chance to stop and look around if we wanted, have a long lunch, etc etc.
Whangarei, near where we live, is in the north of the country (several hours north of Auckland city, if you know a little of the geography). 
Day One we drove to Taupo. We stayed on the shores of the lake, which is the largest lake in New Zealand. It was a bit cloudy but we still got a lovely view of the lake, and the mountains beyond it.
The next day we travelled to Wellington, at the bottom of the North Island. We stopped at Bulls for lunch.
Of course when you have a town named Bulls, it is full of bull....lots of puns and statues, etc.
And cafes full of bull. We had lunch in La Bull below and enjoyed it a lot.
We stayed the night in Wellington. To be honest, as rural folk, we didn't really enjoy Wellington. We're not used to cities, one way systems, no parking, cyclists and so on!!!
We were not far from The Parliamentary buildings; in between heavy rain we said hello to The Beehive, and surrounding area, but decided not to venture out to fight for our dinner - ordering pizzas to be delivered instead!
The next day was really when all the excitement begun. We crossed over on the Kaitaki ferry to the South Island. This was a first for the MOML and my only other crossing was as a child so we were looking forward to it and hoping that we would have a calm day.
Leaving Wellington Harbour-
There is a really good map *here* showing the route.
After the wide open waters of the Cook Strait we approached the Marlborough Sounds of the South Island.
We stayed the first night in the South Island at Kaikoura. We had a good little wander around, did some shopping (topping up our wedding outfits!) and finding somewhere for dinner.
Me being on a strict gluten-free diet means that we do have to choose carefully for all our meals and it's a great excuse to explore a town. But I didn't get sick so the efforts were worth it!
The next morning the sky was nice and clear and we had our first decent sighting of the Southern Alps. These run the length of the South Island and we were hoping, being autumn, we'd see some snow.
We drove to Fairlie, which is south of Christchurch and more inland. We had a wee walk around the township and I channelled my inner kiwikidSue and took a photo of the infamous Jock MacKenzie, sheep rustler and his mate. Fairlie and the area around it is known as MacKenzie Country. It's about the centre of the South Island.
The next day was wedding day. It was held in a rural setting and had a lovely relaxed vibe. 
Bridal Party-
The MOML and I-
Being May in the South Island, the day cooled down a fair bit and we were all pleased there was a heater in the marquee!
The next day we hit the road again - we headed further inland hoping to see Mt Cook. It was very foggy and we weren't sure we would see anything at all. All of the MacKenzie country farmland we wanted to see was hidden from view. and even Lake Tekapo was underwhelming. We nearly turned around there, having been to told that if you can't see the mountains from Tekapo, don't bother! However we carried on, past the nearly invisible Lake Pukaki - and then all of a sudden the sky started clearing! 
First glimpses!
We drove to The Hermitage and had a good look around (and tried our hands at a selfie)-
Then drove a little more so we could walk up to the glacier look out.
It was all so beautiful - well worth the drive, and we could have spent a lot longer there taking it all in. 
On the way back we had beautiful views of the lakes we had missed earlier on!
Travelling back through Fairlie we HAD to stop at the famous Fairlie Pie Shop. Every one we met said it was the place to go...there were queues way out the door (and it wasn't even lunch time!) which shows we weren't the only ones who'd been told that!.
We weren't disappointed. They even had small GF pies and GF Lamingtons so I was one happy gal.
We spent the next two nights in Christchurch and enjoyed exploring. Once again a case of leaving the car at the motel and spending the day walking. We clocked up 10 kms around the city centre and the Botanical Gardens. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Christchurch has lots of beautiful old stone buildings.
And this was a common sight - still plenty of work to do after the 2011 earthquakes.
We loved the Botanical Gardens. This photo shows the Avon River which flows through the city. There was lots of autumn colour.
From Christchurch we headed up to Picton - 
And the next morning we boarded the Awatere Interislander ferry to get back to the North Island.
It was another beautiful day on the water-
And this non-descript photo shows a pod of dolphins who accompanied us for a wee while-
(I was too busy watching to take a photo, and then it was too late.
You can just make out some splashes.)
We drove to Palmerston North for the night, where we met, at Massey University many moons ago.
Taupo again the next day - there was was more snow on Ruapehu than a week before and it was bitterly cold. Colder than we'd been in the South Island!- 
Waiouru was the first meal fail of our holiday - with half the cafes closed and no GF it was potato chips, chocolate and coffee from the service station!
Our last night was spent back at Taupo. After the driving I enjoyed a nice walk along the lake edge. This area is known for its geothermal activity and you might be able to pick out a person in the bottom right of the photo? There was a small pool there by the rocks and about 6 people were in it, enjoying the warmth - they were in togs and I had my beanie and jacket on!!
And a frosty start to the day for our drive home (taken from the same spot as the very first photo)-

It was a wonderful holiday, all the more special as the MOML hasn't had a holiday for this long while the cows have still been milking for a very long time - if ever?
Now that our son-in-law is working on the farm we're able to do this a bit more often. I look forward to next year's jaunt!

Well done if you've got to the end of this. I know, lots of scenic photos, but that's what struck us as we travelled around.
No more holidays to catch up on so I'll be able to get back to quilting!!

'til next time,
happy stitches,


  1. Lovely trip through a good part of both islands. I loved New Zealand and must come back. We went to Wellington but didn't know about all the bull. We also did Picton - loved it!!! The seas were rough so we flew instead.

  2. New Zealand is the most picturesque country with gorgeous scenery. How wonderful you and your husband were able to get away from the farm and enjoy a holiday and explore a lot of places. The photo of you both at the wedding is lovely.

  3. lots of beautiful memories of the South Island triggered in your post. We loved the South Island so much. Everywhere was a postcard moment!! one day we'll get there again and maybe even get to the North Island

  4. Thank you for the scenic travelogue! It's so nice you could get away from the farm, it's even nicer that your husband enjoys traveling. Happy stitching!

  5. What a great trip! Loved all the photos, thanks for sharing. xx

  6. awesome post and luscious to see faraway places....

  7. it sounds like you had a great trip! (now you know that you need to bring a little Gluten Free snacks with you as you might not always find them. (when my daughter travels she always has a little bag of snacks with her just in case) The wedding looks like the kind I like. I don't enjoy myself in the cities and do not like driving in them at all. Your scenery that you saw is beautiful and lovely ferry too.

  8. Your posts are always lovely and fun to read--whether its sewing or the farm or travel--so thanks for sharing your holiday--lovely photos--
    hugs, diane

  9. I loved reading this post and seeing your photos. So many beautiful places to see. I’m so glad you enjoyed it together.

  10. A lovely trip to the wedding and back with the MOYL… love all the beautiful scenic photos….

  11. That is a great trip. So smart to tie it in with the wedding and give yourselves time to look around. You have a beautiful country and there is so much to see.
    Love your photos.

  12. Wonderful post Raewyn and photos of you and the MOYL. Great trip and photos, the South Island is a beautiful place but it is also pretty good around Taupo. I remember being there and it was freezing on one occasion.

  13. looks like a wonderful time and you got to see lots.............thanks for sharing all the photos............

  14. Hi Raewyn, what beautiful scenery. I'm glad that you were both able to take a holiday. Thanks so much for sharing.


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