So on 19th December 2015, we AuckWards left Auckland, on the first leg of our journey. This first leg took us to Wanganui where we stayed with Peter, Ruth, Jonathan, Hannah, Davy, Daniel, and Amalia van den Brink.
The following day I preached at Wanganui Grace Presbyterian Church in the morning and later in the evening we assumed the second leg of our journey. This took us to Wellington where we crossed Cook Strait on Bluebridge Ferry at 2:30am, it now being Monday 21st December 2015. We had the luxury of a private cabin and the ability to sleep most of the way across.
This landed us in Picton from whence we travelled to Nelson for the day and then onto Blenheim for the night. We stayed locally thanks to Airbnb, a service we used in 2014 for our trip around the North Island. This was the day that NZ had record high temperatures, especially in the South Island.
Leg three was onto Christchurch along the east coast of the South Island via Kaikoura. We were booked to stay with another Airbnb host, but this fell through and we ended up staying at the City Centre Motel thanks to booking.com. This ended up being a far better set up to what we had previously booked so it wasn’t too bad an ordeal. The weather, however, had packed in and so we went looking for warmer clothes, but were unable to find acclimatizing apparel at the Westfield Riccarton.
It was Wednesday 23rd when we finally arrived “there”, our “destination” – Invercargill. This means Christchurch to Invercargill was the fourth leg of our journey. We continued down the east coast of the South Island. The highlight was probably Oamaru for reasons including the whisky taste testing at The New Zealand Whisky Company.
Our first day in Invercargill left us unable to maintain our defence that the place isn’t nearly as cold as what the rest of the country thinks with heaters on and a fire lit.
Here is a picture of the getting there part of our holiday. A huge credit is due to Ashley, my lovely, wife, who did all but a very small fraction of the driving from Papakura to Invercargill over the course of 4 days. It wasn’t long after arriving in Invercargill that the trip counter registered 2000km.