I haven't posted for a couple of weeks because I have been away on a holiday. We had a great time - but - when we flew back into Brisbane I found I couldn't get home that day because of the floods. The Bruce Highway to Gympie was cut by flood waters in four places and the road to Tin Can Bay was cut in 6 places. 24 hours later and the roads were all passable but there was still a lot of water around.
Now for the holiday - my sister and I had 10 days touring around the South Island of New Zealand. It was magnificent! But - not quite the way we remembered it. We last toured around with our parents 51 years ago and a lot had changed!
(I did manage to read some blog postings while I was over there but the places where there was free wifi the reception was patchy. Other places either I didn't have time 0r else I didn't consider the charges worth it and decided to catch up when I got home.)
As we flew into Christchurch we looked down on the patchwork landscape of the Canterbury plains.
We picked up a hire car and immediately set off for our friends' place close to Diamond Harbour on the Banks Peninsular. This whole area was formed by ancient volcanoes and the harbour is the old crater of the volcano. What could be nicer than sitting in the sun room at the front of the house and watching the sun set over the harbour - and then the next morning watching the sun rise! The color of the water and the light and shade on the hills was constantly changing.
The next morning our friends took us around the bay a little further to where we could look over the harbour to Lyttleton.
Then it was up and over the hills to the south ...
...and down to Lake Ellesmere to see some birds. This area has been in drought conditions for some time and the water was further away than our friends had ever seen it. We walked out until we could see the birds strung out along the waterline - but decided we wouldn't go right out. We could see lots of Black Swans and Ducks but I don't know how close the birds would have let us get as we were completely in the open and this is an area used by duck shooters.
Our friends then provided us with directions for getting straight out to the main road south rather then going back in the long way to Christchurch again.
Thanks John and Jackie for a perfect start to a wonderful holiday.
Next time - the Mackenzie country and Mount Cook.