December 16, 2012

Campervan Adventure - New Zealand South Island (Part 2)

Following my last post on the first half of our campervan adventure to NZ, here is the map of the places we visited...

Part 1 of our trip ended with us chilling in the fun filled yet beautiful Queenstown... photos can't lie right?

Our next stop was Te Anau - one of our favourites! They don't call it the stunning Fiordland for nothing.

Check out our campervan site, right opposite Lake Te Anau! Can life get any better than this?!

yeah, a little juvenile but can you blame us for laughing at this sign? heehee heehee

Oh Doubtful Sound... we took a day trip with Doubtful Sound Cruise. We cannot say enough good things about the crew and how much fun we had that day... It also happened to be our 13th wedding anniversary - we couldn't ask for a better way to spend the special day!

We did see two Fiordland Crested Penguins but my camera couldn't pick them up clearly. They were very cute, I just have to make sure that image stays in my memory bank forever!

After beautiful Doubtful Sound, we took a drive down south towards Invercargill. Aside from being the home of the inspirational Burt Munro, the world's fastest Indian, Invercargill is a busy little town. The first place we saw with more than two sets of traffic lights since Nelson.

Back to Mr Munro, we visited the local museum as well as the exhibition located in the local hardware store, E Hayes & Sons on the main street of Invercargill. I think Terry was in heaven, a hardware store AND a legendary bikes museum!

After Invercargill, our next stop was somewhere between there and Dunedin...By this time, my poor husband had got himself the dreaded man-flu... he battled on like a trooper but I insisted that we stopped in between.

We pulled up at a place called Owaka. Whilst we didn't see any, there is a sea lions colony in the area and signs all over on the beach behind the camp site we stayed. It was a windy night so I suspected that they were hiding!

The next day we went to Nugget Point and Cannibal Bay. I put them in the wrong spot on my map about as they are actually between Owaka and Dunedin. The views are amazing!! and there were fur seals lazing around!

On the way to Dunedin, we went through a little town called Milton, about 40 minutes drive south.

I remembered reading this blog post by Kiwiyarns Knits about a woollen mill in Milton... well even I am amazed at the type of information my brain retains :) Haha! Not on the main drag, no worries, a quick search on my iPhone (oh 3G connection, how I love you!), we quickly got a map and direction.

Judging by the smile on my face there, I was like a kid in a toy store. Even my man-flu ridden darling husband couldn't help but smiled at my giddiness. We pulled up onto the street and the big Factory Shop sign is blinking at me (well not really blinking but in my minds eye, all the letters were flashing!). I didn't take any photos in the shop but there is a cool museum in an adjoining room and I was happily snapping away. Oh yes the bags I was carrying outside of the door... more of that in the next post as after all this is a crafty blog and a discovery like this deserves its own post!

We did visit Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula and whilst they are cool places, we came across cooler places, like Nugget Point and Cannibal Bay on the Catlins Coast above. Then we came across Shag Point. Whoa, we thought Nugget Point and Cannibal Bay were cool, Shag Point is wow wow wow! We saw so many fur seals and they were right there, in front of us! oh and don't forget the sheep! I never get enough of those sheep dotted rolling green hills!

Yeah it was ah, abit chilly... freezing and windy actually!

Next stop is Oamaru! A really charming historical town and the Steampunk capital of NZ! We fell in love with this place... Ducks quacking by the door... 

We happened upon their annual Christmas parade - what a fun event! Yeah I am a city sheep...

Ah yes I also found myself in a yarn store, The Oamaru Textile Emporium... How could you not check it out? It's not just a store, it's an emporium! ok I admit it, it's something else I remembered reading from the Kiwiyarns blog...  The lovely ladies (Helen on the left and I am so ashamed, I forget the other lady's name!) were braiding a rug using wool blankets! I told me that this is actually an old American tradition. I googled this after chatting with them and what a wonderful idea. More about this in another post but Oamaru, I am coming back to visit!

After being charmed by Oamaru, we made our way to Christchurch. Words can't describe this amazing city and its people's resilience. We took a tour into the red zone and we couldn't help having that lump in our throat feeling. Despite all that, the city is vibrant, as they say "you just get on with it don't ya?".

It's a surprisingly easy to navigate city, not sure what I was expecting... On the last day of our stay in Christchurch, we took a drive to Lyttelton, one of the eastern suburbs effected by the quake last year. There are definitely many signs of the damages but with its people and their united efforts, I am confident the city will be rebuilt in no time.

Here is the end of our road... We flew home to Sydney, to the hustle and bustle... I can't help asking ourselves how so many New Zealanders move to Australia to live? Sure Oz is a great place but having seen what we saw in the South Island, I am not sure that I would leave that tranquility for much of anything else.

So I would end this post by saying... New Zealand, we will be back!


  1. Hey Ninja Girl (picture at Shag Point), what a fantastic trip! Everything about South Island is just so gorgeous. Next trip I will definitely visit the fur seals. Was it fun driving and living in the campervan?

    1. Thanks Yen! It was heaps of fun living in the campervan!