Traveling NZ’s South Island (Part 3 – From Dunedin to Christchurch to Auckland)

We left Queenstown after a brilliant week of adventure and luxury and drove all the way to Dunedin, where we stayed at a lovely Top 10 Holiday park and got back into the rhythm of living in the campervan. Over the next couple of days we explored the city a bit, drove to the end of the Otago Peninsula and even went to the Cadbury chocolate factory (a word of advice…make sure they’re not doing maintenance on the day you go so you can actually get the full tour instead of the half-arsed lame tour that we experienced! We did get a lot of money off to spend in the store to compensate though).

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Next up was Oamaru, just a few hours drive up the coast from Dunedin. We made a few stops along the way, including a place called Shag Point where we saw A LOT of seals, and the Moeraki Boulders, which are these awesome, huge, perfectly round rocks right on the beach. Once we got to Oamaru, we made a visit to another beach where we stood and waited for the yellow eyed penguins to come in…they were pretty far away, but after about half an hour of waiting in the cold, there they were…so cute!

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As we were now dropping the van off in Christchurch and then flying to Auckland, we had a view extra days to spend on the South Island. So we decided to drive to Mount Cook and spend a night at a beautiful DOC site surrounded by enormous snow-capped mountains. Absolutely incredible.

Then it was onto Akoroa, a little town about 90km east of Christchurch, where we stayed at another holiday park and spent the next morning wandering around some of the delis the town is known for…although to be honest we weren’t really that impressed.

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That afternoon we finally made it to Christchurch which, although is a really lovely city, felt like a bit of a ghost town due to the earthquakes back in 2010. We wandered around a bit, and saw what’s left of the cathedral through the barriers and road blocks before finding ourselves on what’s now the main street. It’s called Re:Start and all the shops are inside bright and colourful shipping containers…there are even a bunch of food stalls and free wifi in the whole area!

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After two days in Christchurch is was time to pack up and say goodbye to our awesome Jucy van. We dropped her off at the airport and flew away to Auckland, where we stayed with Rachel’s friends again and then headed into the city for our last night together before Rachel made her way home to the UK and we headed to our next destination…Fiji!

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