House Sitting New Zealand Photography travel

New Zealand Road Trip – Part 1

Due to the incredible generosity of our cousins here in NZ we are going to be touring and house sitting for the next 3 months. This is the first instalment of our journey taking us from Katikati on the north island to Christchurch on the south.

A Deal on Avos
There are dozens of these roadside carts for buying fresh fruit. We thought we had found a screamer of a deal at $2 for a bag of avocados. However we found the catch was it took two weeks for these avos to ripen enough to eat.
Bungee Jumping in Taupo
We stopped off at Taupo to watch some adventurous souls tick bungee jumping off their lists. It is not on my list so I was happy to watch.
First Campsite
Our first campsite was in a place called Te Atanga, just outside of Hastings. Not terribly scenic, but did the job and the manager was very helpful.
Local Fisherman
The campground was obviously a favourite of some locals. It was a regular destination for this fellow.
Memorial in Dannevirke
As we passed through Dannevirke I was once again impressed with how the honouring of their soldiers is always front and centre.

Once in Martinborough we completed our first of five house sits we have confirmed for New Zealand. You can read more about our time exploring and sampling wine in our previous posts.

Martinborough House Sit
We spent 10 days in Martinborough doing a house sit with two lovely dogs and dozens of wineries.

The next leg of our journey involved a bit of a marathon day of travel getting from Martinborough to Christchurch in one day. It would have been nice to break up the trip but it worked out that our second house sit started on the same day as the first one ended. Thus a 12.5 hour travel day was in order.

Ferry Crossing
We had been warned that the ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton can be a bit rough, however we were fortunate to have a calm sunny trip with beautiful views.

50% of the Green Shelled Mussels and 55% of the King Salmon in all of New Zealand are farmed in the Marlborough straits area which you pass through on the ferry trip between the islands.

King Salmon Farm
As the ferry passes through the straits in the Marlborough region of the south island you see many of these King Salmon farms.
Picton, New Zealand
Picton, the transport hub for the south island.

On the six hour drive from Picton to Christchurch we were introduced to what seems to have come to define the south island these days, earthquake recovery.

Road Replacement
The 2016 Kaikoura earthquake effectively cut off all road and rail traffic on the east side of the south island.
Slow Going
We were very fortunate that the #1 Highway had finally reopened in December, one year after the earthquake. Being able to drive through and witness the massive damage that had been done as the workers continued to rebuild was amazing.
Seacan Retaining Walls
It was incredible to see hundreds upon hundreds of seacans lined up end to end to act as improvized barriers to protect the new highway from falling stones and debris.

We were in New Zealand in February 2011 when the Christchurch earthquake struck but were lucky enough to safely be on the north island. At the time, it was incredible to witness the country’s, and the world’s, response to that event on local news. Now being able to get a glimpse at the type of power and damage that a quake of that size unleashes, my admiration for the people of this nation continues to grow.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

5 comments on “New Zealand Road Trip – Part 1

  1. Bryce Sherman

    AMAZING man.


    Cheers and kind regards,

    Bryce Sherman

    On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 4:25 PM, Peter & Karen Pecksen wrote:

    > peterpecksen posted: “Due to the incredible generosity of our cousins here > in NZ we are going to be touring and house sitting for the next 3 months. > This is the first instalment of our journey taking us from Katikati on the > north island to Christchurch on the south. ” >

  2. Blessings to you in New Zealand…loved this post and really excited for you guys.

    Keep healthy and living strong !!!


  3. Love the water images! What a wonderful travel!
    About the avocados, I learned a trick from my mother to put the not ripe ones in a bowl of rice – usually they ripe within two-three days. I heard as well that we can wrap them with aluminum foil to ripen the avocado. Trust you enjoyed the avocados at the end 🙂 Always love them!

  4. Glad to see you made it through to Christchurch and beyond. Long day, but lots to see as well. All the best for future travelling – maybe our paths may cross again on the other side of the world.

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