Christmas marks the start of the main holiday season in NZ where most people look forward to a break, be it short or long, in beautiful summer weather. (Though as many will attest, the weather doesn’t always hold up its end of the bargain.) Mike and I don’t have a regular holiday routine at this time of year, as I’m often blatting up the North Island to see my family while he stays in Wellington to be with his, plus there’s usually other trips planned during the year that we need to save our leave days for. This year things are a little bit different and we are going away – and ‘keeping it Kiwi’ as the saying goes. This is our fast and furious plan of attack:
- Take our car on the ferry across to Picton at the top of the South Island.
- Drive to Nelson. First time visit for me there! A quick scramble of sights and will also catch up with friends. One night.
- Drive down the fabulous West Coast to Fox Glacier. Haven’t been there in donkey’s. Weather permitting, we’ll see the glacier. One night.
- Drive to Queenstown-Lakes District down in my favourite part of the country (and world for that matter!). One night in the Cardrona Valley, which in winter is one of the big places to go for skiing, boarding etc.
- Carry on through to Queenstown. Here we’ll do a mix of outdoor activities and catching up with friends. Two(!) nights.
- Early start – better not overdo New Years Eve – to get to Manapouri for a cruise on Doubtful Sound. Really looking forward to this. One night.
- We head to the Catlins in the far south-east corner of NZ. Another first for me and also the furthest south I’ll have been to in my own country. Two nights there, albeit in different places.
- Then a blat straight up the east coast to catch the ferry, pausing overnight near Christchurch.
Unfortunately the forecast has not been very promising. For this we can thank, at least in part, the remnants of Cyclone Evan, which battered Samoa and Fiji recently and which has blown and piddled its way onto our fair shores.
So far it hasn’t amounted to much so we might be in luck. I’ve been looking forward to going down south for months and I’ll be disappointed if it’s going to be a wash out. But it will still be great visiting my favourite island.
Meanwhile here in Wellington we were very lucky to have a superb Christmas Eve and Christmas Day days. Here’s a summary in photos.
To regular readers of this blog, thank you, and I wish you a fantastic 2013.