Sunday, 11 January 2015

South Island Holiday 2014-2015

We had an early Christmas with Oom Ron, Oma and Opa in Lichfield, on the way to the South Island.  We had a ham and yummy food for dessert like pavlova and ambrosia.  We also got to open presents while we were there, as we would not be with Oma and Opa on Christmas Day.  I got a book on NZ roads less travelled (a NZ Geographic book with lots of photos) and some new clothes.

We spent one night in Wellington and we visited Parliament Buildings, Te Papa (the museum of New Zealand) and went on the cable car.  We did a tour through Parliament Buidlings and we saw the big cushions which were made for earthquake strengthening in the basement.  At Te Papa, there was a platform to jump on to see how strong you needed to jump to create an earthquake - my jump was Magnitude 4.  I made my own squid on a computer, next to the colossal squid.  The colossal squid has eyes as big as soccer balls and it has ot chew it's food small as it's throat goes through it's brain and if the food is too big, it coudl suffer brain damage.  The cable car was fun - it goes up and down the side of the hill.  There is only one cable and both cars stop at the same time when travelling.

We did a night time crossing over the Cook Strait.  The narrowest part of the Cook Strait is only 22kms, but the trip on the ferry takes 3.5-4hrs.  Once we got to Picton, we started driving all the way to Christchurch, and we got to Nana's house about 6am.  We got to sleep for about 1hr, then had breakfast with Nana.

We caught up with some friends in Christchurch, and then on Christmas Eve, we went over to O'kains Bay to stay in our family holiday house.  Nana, Mama, Papa, Karl and I went to church on Christmas Eve - it was held in the old school house as the church in O'Kains Bay was damaged in the earthquakes and has not been repaired.

Uggie (Nana's sister who lives in Auckalnd) brought Grandma and Gugs over to O'Kains Bay for lunch on Christmas Day, and Papa and Nana took them back later in the day.  We all got spoilt with presents - some of my favourites include a book, $10, Lego and chocolates.

We were at O'Kains Bay for 10 days, and filled in our time with swimming, biking, walking up the hill behind our house, drives to different bays, reading, playing with Lego, watching TV, and relaxing.  We got to see cruise ships in Akaroa Harbour (they used to go to Lyttleton Harbour but the infrastucture there was damaged during the earthquakes, so now the ships moor in Akaroa Harbour and passengers take a small tender to land).

After we left O'Kains Bay, we visited a few more friends in Christchurch, then left to head north.  We went to Blenheim for 2 nights, and while we were there, we went to a couple of wineries, Makana Boutique Chocolates, and the Aviation Heritage Museum in Omaka.  It focuses on WW1 aircraft and has the Red Baron's handkerchief, taken from his body when his plane crashed behind enemy lines.  Before we left, Karl and I both bought ourselves some Jubilux sets (which is similar to Lego).

We crossed on the ferry during the daytime, and as well as looking out at the Marlborough Sounds, I watched the Nigel Kennedy magic show and played in the playground on level 2, which is under the water!

We started driving up the North Island, and stopped at the Fisherman's Table in Paekakariki for dinner and dessert, then drove back to Oma and Opa's house in Lichfield, arriving just after midnight!  The next day, Papa, Mama & I went for a mountain bike ride.  One of the tracks that Papa and I did was really steep in places and Papa crashed into a tree and fell off his bike!  I had to walk my bike down the track in places.

The next day, Karl stayed with Oma and Opa, and Papa, Mama & I drove back to Auckland, stopping in Hamilton to visit Tante Norma (who had been in the Philippines before Christmas, so hadn't been with us when we went south).

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