New Zealand Wrap Up: South Island

I was pretty excited to get to the South Island of New Zealand.  The North Island was great, and everything I had read said that the South Island was even better.

The South Island –despite being the geographically larger of the two New Zealand islands – has only 1/3 the population of the North Island.  In fact Auckland alone is home to more people than the entire South Island.  Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island, and it is still recovering from devastating 2011 earthquakes.

Still, the people who call the South Island home live in one of the most scenic places on earth.

Day 1 (Golden Bay)

The North Island had treated us well, but it was time to move on to the South Island.  We got up early to head over to the ferry.  You have to be at the ferry and checked in at least an hour before it leaves.  And this is not a ferry like you typically think of (at least in my case).  It was huge – more like a ship at 600 feet long with 10 decks.

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We arrived in Blenheim yesterday evening after driving from Golden Bay.  The drive wasn’t too long (about 3.5 hours), but it was through the mountains.  There were lots of hairpin turns and sharp corners.  I feel bad for Justin.  I get to look at the beautiful scenery, and he can barely take his eyes off the road for a second or we would (as he put it) “plummet to our death.” Luckily, he has adapted to driving on the left side of the road very quickly and that hasn’t been a problem at all.

In Blenheim, we are staying at St. Leonard’s Accommodation. It is a really cute spot on a little farm that overlooks a neighboring vineyard.  There are four cottages on the property plus the main house.  The owner was very friendly and welcoming, as everyone has been in New Zealand.


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