In Which We Traverse Curvy Roads

With our second round of visitors, we decided to take them to our second favorite location, Cape Foulwind. (Our top favorite spot was Castle Hill.) The roads here can be very curvy when you need to climb over mountain passes and such and after only walking or biking for a couple weeks at a time, riding in a vehicle again can give some folks a bit of carsick feelings. Maria and I weren’t feeling that great, but we finally arrived.  It was definitely warmer this second visit, but I tell you, that place is quite appropriately named because the wind can be very breezy.

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This time we decided to hike a little further than last time and we went all the way to the lighthouse and back. The sign says it takes about an hour and 15 minutes to walk one way, but on our return trip, we tried to hurry along without stopping a ton of times and it only took us 45 minutes. But we really were scurrying.

This picture does not accurately illustrate the height of where I was standing. It was windy and a little worrisome to stay too long…

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Can you see this sign? It says, “Please keep children by you at all times.” So it was very handy that I had a child to keep near me for my own safety. :)
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This is not meant to look like a worn out group of trekkers, truly. We were attempting a serious look. It might not have worked…

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Following Cape Foulwind, Logan drove us to Pancake Rocks. It was another quick visit, but the rocks were still just as amazing.

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In Which We Climb Rocks

I must say I was pretty excited about Castle Hill. Daniel was too. It was a lot of fun to really explore and get up close to these amazing rocks. Milford Sound was fantastic, but it wasn’t something you can get up real close and touch. Where, the rocks of Castle Hill can be climbed on, jumped over, and thoroughly explored. This was where the famous battle in the movie, “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” was filmed.

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So we did just that.

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We also attempted a better group picture, and not appear touristy. Everyone stayed fairly still except the youngest, who was in search of more rocks to chew on.25-097

These two girlies have had a lot of fun together. What stories they can tell when they’re older- of traveling through New Zealand together. Well, Myah probably won’t remember it, but I bet Natasha will fill her in on a few things.

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So following a couple more jumps and poses and push ups, we hit the road again and headed back to our home-away-from-home in Nelson. It really was like returning “home” as things became more familiar as we got closer. I hope that means we can really count our 3 months of living in New Zealand as really living here, rather than just visiting. :)

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Christchurch Isn’t a Church

Upon telling Natasha that today we were driving to Christchurch, she asked, “Is today Sunday?” “No” I replied, “Today is Tuesday.” She thought on this a moment then asked, “Then why is it called a church?” I hadn’t thought of it that way, since I already knew it was a town. But it was a very natural question from a 4 year old.

So when we got there, we soon realized this was a much larger town than any we’ve been in previously, and the traffic showed it. We made our way somewhat slowly, to the Botanical Gardens and got out to stretch our legs.

I had been wanting a picture with one of these gigantic trees, as they seem to be quite common back in Nelson and surrounding areas. It’s a Mountain Ash.

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There weren’t many flowers in bloom yet but I’m sure the Gardens are stunning in summer. We wandered around a bit though and still enjoyed the walk.

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Lydia and I did wish we were here when the roses were in bloom though. Can you imagine? A whole garden full of roses.14-052

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Natasha snapped this last pictures of the few flower beds that were in full bloom. Tulips in October folks!

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We stayed our final night of the road trip here in Christchurch, before heading out the next morning for Nelson. A total of 4 nights and 6 days of travel resulted in us seeing a fair amount of the South Island. The next post will feature one of our absolute favorite parts of the journey. I can’t wait to show you!

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Off-Roading at Mt. Cook

We were headed north again, towards Christchurch for the last night of our trip. The first stop was for lunch at “Lake Town” in the Hobbit film, otherwise known as Lake Pukaki, and Mt. Cook. The path to our little lunch spot was as “off-road” as we were going to get on this trip, and it was *very exciting* for our drivers. ;)

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We had a couple of our very own little hobbit children with us and here’s the first one. She loves rocks. To hold, drop, lick, chew, etc…

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The older little hobbit child was thrilled with pine cones and space to run around some after being in a car for what was beginning to feel like a very. long. time.

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There was a fun hill/cliff overlooking the lake, and Natasha named it, “Natasha’s Hill”.09-025

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A Rain Forest in New Zealand

Driving out of Milford Sound, we stopped by The Chasm. We were greeted in the carpark by a pair of rather tame parrots who were begging. In a very obvious manner. However, we decided to keep all of our chocolate for ourselves and go see the Chasm and take a little walk in a rain forest. Because of the amount of rain, it was all mossy and wet and drippy.

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It was an easy walk to the river, where rushing water was making us clutch our cameras and children closer. Anything that might be dropped was going to be gone…really quick.07-106

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On the way back to the parrot patrolled carpark, the sun came out.

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Following our excursion in Milford Sound, we headed back to Queenstown to spend the night. By the time we got there, we were all fairly famished, so we went to Fergburger for, what else? burgers. We must have gone to the right place because it was pretty busy. While standing on the chilly sidewalk to wait, a cheery Ferg employee came out and handed Natasha a little cone of fries. She said she knows how hard it is to wait when you’re really hungry. It must be the custom there, because I saw other little ones receiving cones of fries too. :)

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Don’t let Natasha’s coatless self confuse you. It was cold. But she sometimes refuses to wear clothing that is designed specifically for keeping a person warm. Silly girl.