Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Zealand a great place... but...

Battered Christchurch Cathedral
Nosing around the Christchurch shopping centre made out of containers.

Old School building at Stavely on the Canterbury Plains

The dreaded second hand store at Mayfield. A museum in itself.

On top of Mount John with Lake Tekapo in the background.

The view of Lake Tekapo and mountains from our motel door.

Aussie friend, Lake Pukaki and Mt Cook (Aoraki)
We have picked up a couple of visitors from Australia and have taken a whistle stop tour through the centre of the South Island of New Zealand. As you drive you are looking at the scenery wondering how your overseas visitor is seeing things. We nosed around Christchurch until we were tired of the bumpy earthquake damaged roads. We turned toward Darfield and drove down the centre of the Canterbury Plains with the snow capped Southern Alps on our right, and beautiful farm land on our left. We stopped a a little shop in Stavely, where the hosts were so helpful. A big secondhand shop in Mayfield threatened the bank balance. We arrived in beautiful Tekapo. Sunday was spent lazing around this beautiful mountain encased lake area and soaking in the hot pools. We stopped at Lake Pukaki to view Aoraki (Mt Cook) NZ's highest mountain. (Many people have never seen it without cloud... our view was simply amazing.) In Twizel we looked for local "Lord of the Rings" memorabilia and traveled on to Wanaka for lunch. We finished the day having dinner with my two brothers and wives at Clyde in Central Otago. We have a tremendously beautiful country! If you are from overseas, feel free to visit. We also discovered lovely people. We are traveling with a young woman with disabilities. We have needed special things and people have generally been helpful, chatty and friendly.
The prices in touristy places are above and beyond! In Tekapo our friend bought some postcards and simple little things to send to grandchildren. The total for a little bag of bits and pieces was $71! Prices for food in touristy places were also designed to rip tourists off. As hosts showing friends around we found this disappointing. Also there have been places where facilities service have not been as good as they could be. At lake Pukaki Mt Cook look out visitors centre the toilets were filthy, blocked and "Yuck!" I seem to remember they were like that last time we visited.
Last night I had internet access and work emails encroached. Tomorrow we arrive back in Dunedin and will have to hit the decks running to get things done. It has been a nice break and great to catch up on long time friends from Australia.

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