This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind, but mostly in New Zealand style, still chill and relaxed. In the past week we traveled the longest distance in the shortest amount of time. Since my friend was leaving New Zealand behind for new adventures we had to get up to Auckland in a week. Along the way we decided that he had to see the eastern coast of the North Island before he left. He had seen a part of the rest of the country so we had to complete the trip with experiencing the east coast of the North Island. From Dunedin to Blenheim (846km), Blenheim to Wellington by ferry (131km), Wellington to Napier (322km), Napier to Gisborne (214km), Gisborne to the East Cape Lighthouse (190km), East Cape Lighthouse to Matamata (377km)m Matamata to Thames (107km), and from Thames to Auckland (103km), our final destination together. This whole trip was a good 2,290km for our old station wagon but left a multitude of memories to add to our New Zealand adventure.
Everything started with our morning departure from Dunedin. We stopped at Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach along the Otago coast not too far from the city. The boulders randomly laying out along this beach were fascinating. These boulders are uncovered concretions. Now I definitely had to look up what a "concretion" was as I had never heard of such a thing. I am going to let you take the opportunity to look it up for yourself. It is a rather interesting process, which if I try to explain I will do it now justice. Before looking all this up it was actually quite fun to imagine how on earth these boulders ended up on the shore of this beach.
From here is was time on the road in the wagon, listening to our staple playlists, talking about anything and everything, and sitting in silence taking in the never ending incredible scenery. We arrived in Christchurch in the late afternoon. We stocked up on food/snacks and went on a hunt for for coptic drawing pens for my dear friend since he would not be able to find them in SE Asia. We were thankfully successful. This was the most we saw of Christchurch as it became dark as we drove out of the city. We could see some remnants of the earthquake as we drove through the city but because we didn't stray from the main roads. If I ever make it back I would like to explore more of this area for sure. Our drive continued on until we made it to our campsite for the night, Blarich Campsite right near the ferry. We had stayed here where we first crossed over to the south island. We enjoyed a very healthy road dinner of chips and the best coconut oat cookies this night as it was so late when we arrived neither of us wanted to put in the effort to cook anything. Once again the night sky of New Zealand did not disappoint. So many beautiful stars, all the time. We woke up and made our way to the ferry. On the way through the valleys and orchards we found some heavy laden apple trees on the side of the road that we were very happy to help ourselves to.
And one last trip on the ferry for us to end our South Island adventures. There were certainly places that we did not have time to see but that was okay. There is sooo much to see and we had seen so many places that it was impossible to see everything in the time we had. North Island here we come.