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New Zealand - South Island

After uummmming and aaaaahing about the best way to travel the south island we decided that another camper van was probably the best idea. That way you can cover as much distance as you want during the day and pull up anywhere you want to sleep. It also saves heaps of money on eating out as you can do all of your cooking on the gas cooker.

This time we went with a company called Spaceships as they gave us the best quote on the market and even threw in some freebies (I'm getting good at negotiating). We picked up our little rocket "Casper" from Christchurch and set off for our first destination Akaora.

The roads were narrow, bendy and at times had a sheer drop off the side. Also it was really foggy so visibility was poor. As we got closer to Akaroa the sat nav took us down a steep gravel road (first red flag) where we got stuck behind another car which was waiting for a huge camper van to be towed out of a driveway (second red flag). Once we had started moving again the tow truck man suddenly appeared waving his arms at us. We wound down the window and he shouted that we had to turn around, the road was no good and that the car just in front of us had just skidded off the road and into a water tank! If we were one car ahead that could have been us!

Unfortunately, the weather stayed pretty grey and miserable. We walked around Akaroa briefly but had to take cover in the camper when it started to rain. I don't know if it's just me but when the weather is like that even the prettiest of towns can look glum. We then moved on to Le Bons Bay to check out the coast but as the weather was rubbish there wasn't much to see or do.

We spent the night by a lake in Little River. We had the place to ourselves apart from a family of wild chickens. Did you know they sleep up in trees?!

The next day we headed back to Christchurch to watch Fat Freddy's Drop play at Hagley Park. Luckily the sun came out and we didn't need to wear our emergency gumboots (wellies).

Feeling surprisingly hangover free we headed to Timaru to check the waves. There weren't any, so after a quick breakfast we headed towards Mount Cook Village. We stopped at Lake Tekapo to freshen up in the beautiful turquoise water. It was FREEZING, but so worth it!

On the way we stopped at a pretty lavender farm which smelt glorious and was full of happy bees.

We also checked out Lake Pukaki briefly and decided we'd come back to sleep there after our hike at Mount Cook

Driving towards Mount Cook we were surrounded by breathtaking scenery. We were so lucky it was a gorgeous clear day and we could see the snowy peaks. Our plan was to walk the Sealy Tarns track as recommended but after some confusion about where the track started we ended up on the Hooker Lake track. It turned out to be a blessing as the walk was amaaaazing!

When we arrived at the lake we had clear views of the glaciers, the snowy peak and the beautiful lake.

Sam was straight into his swimming shorts and into the lake. It was so cold there were huge bits of ice floating on the surface!

I put my bikini on with the best intentions but only managed to get my toes in before retreating as they throbbed with pain!

That night we lay in bed watching the sunset over lake Pukaki.