Blenhiem to Christchurch
Blenhiem and the Marlborough region are home to many of New Zealand's prize winning wines, so we couldn't pass without stopping and finding somewhere to try a few. The Marlborough wine festival is kind of an up market version of Newt Beer Fest in Somerset. The girls (and some of the men) get dressed up, hats and all and spend the day listening to the live bands, and more importantly, tasting and eating the local produce. We tried many, many wines and I absolutely have a better idea of what I like!
As with all day time drinking, we gave up, tired, some of us more drunk than others (Becky) and went back to our hostel for a nap and dinner, with no energy to cook, we went out for Fish and Chips!
Photos : http://www.kitjunkie.org/albums/v/travelling/nz/blenhiem/
Our next stop was Hanmer for its Hot Springs. It was a drizzly day so we were quite excited to sit in bath hot water for a few hours! Hamner is a little alpine village, so it was a effort getting the car up those steep alpine roads! There were 9 'rock pools' 36-37 C water, 3 sulpher pools (40 C!!) and a few mineral pools. It was lovely sitting in the waters while it was cold outside!
As we felt refreshed we decided to keep driving the 180km to Christchurch. A really nice drive; cutting through mountains, past stoney rivers and smal villages. We arrived in Christchurch early enough to get to the i site and tried but failed to get somewhere to stay in the city, so we went to our fall back- Top 10! They had a 'lodge' avaliable (a considerable step up from camping) so we took it up for 3 nights (over Valentines) and it was dark and raining!
The following day we did the sightseeing thing. We saw the Catherdral, went on the tram tour, tried to see kiwis (but 4pm is kiwi bedtime) so we couldn't. On Valentines day we went to the International Antarctic Centre, home off little blue penguins. We messed around in the snow room, got chilled to -18, went on a snow mobile (huggland vehicle), saw blue penguins, saw Scotts Base (in Antarctica), and read many amazing displays and saw many awesome photos - Andy wants to go there as well now! Later we went to the cinema and watched Music and Lyrics, watch the 80's spoof classic here! It's brilliant! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0A7dtdc-nU