My New Zealand Family Holiday: Day 2 CHRISTCHURCH TO QUEENSTOWN

This should actually be Day 1 and Night 2, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll count the day  His Royal Highness, Amanda and I took off for New Zealand as Day 1 instead. So this will be Day 2.

Due to the two-hour time-difference between Brisbane, Australia, and Christchurch, New Zealand, we had difficulty falling asleep on our first night there. To send us off to beddy-bye-land, we opted, perhaps unwisely, to watch a movie based on the true story of an Irishman who brings the Italian mafia to its knees. It was compelling TV, so we hardly noticed the time when we finally nodded off. I suspect when we did it was close to 3am.

Notwithstanding the few hours of rest we had, His Royal Highness brought back the hire car at 10am the next morning and we hit the road half an hour later. ACE Car Rentals wanted to saddle him with a Subaru Impreza that had done180 000km but he told them that if he’d wanted a bomb, he’d have paid for one instead. Upon hearing this, they tried to fob him off with $10 discount on each day’s rent, but he stuck to his guns and they gave him a newer Nissan Primeria. If you’ve never driven one, it’s very similar to a Honda Civic. Thanks to cheap Japanese imports, New Zealand drivers have access to cars in makes and models unavailable in Australia.

To break the seven and a half hour drive from Christchurch to Queenstown, the three of us stopped at Rakaia’s Salmon World for lunch. His Royal Highness had pan-fried Salmon with vegetables, Amanda had a kid’s platter containing cured meats and cheese and I had the first of many bowls of seafood chowder. In fact, I had so much seafood chowder this trip, I probably should have a post entitled, “The Hunt for the Best Seafood Chowder.”

Standing in front of the big salmon statue at Salmon World in Rakaia, New Zealand

Standing in front of the big salmon statue at Salmon World in Rakaia, New Zealand.

Giant Salmon Statue at Rakaia, New Zealand.

Giant Salmon Statue at Rakaia, New Zealand.

Salmon World Cafe, Rakaia, New Zealand.

HRH and Amanda walking towards Salmon World Cafe, Rakaia, New Zealand.

Entry to Salmon World Cafe, Rakaia, New Zealand.

Entry to Salmon World Cafe, Rakaia, New Zealand.

Outdoor seating to Salmon World, Rakaia, New Zealand.

Outdoor seating to Salmon World, Rakaia, New Zealand.

HRH at Salmon World, Rakaia, New Zealand.

HRH dining on pan-fried Salmon at Salmon World, Rakaia, New Zealand.

Amanda at Salmon World, Rakaia, New Zealand.

Amanda making a face at me over her kid’s platter at Salmon World, Rakaia, New Zealand.

Me at Salmon World, Rakaia, New Zealand.

Me and my seafood chowder at Salmon World, Rakaia, New Zealand.

Our meal came to NZD58. Fed up with all the processed food we’d been consuming since our arrival in New Zealand, we visited the New World Supermarket in Ashburton on our way south, for some fresh fruit to punctuate our coming meals. There, I came across a box of bright orangey roots, which I’ve since been told by my good friend Tania, a Maori of New Zealand, are yams. Tania claims they are delicious roasted, especially with a sprinkle of sugar. Unfortunately, the only time you will find them in stores is during winter.

Yams at New World Supermarket in Ashburton, New Zealand.

Yams at New World Supermarket in Ashburton, New Zealand.

HRH picking up fruit at New World Supermarket, Ashburton, New Zealand.

HRH picking up fruit at New World Supermarket, Ashburton, New Zealand.

As we headed south, we came across our first one-lane bridge. It’s the kind of bridge where cars on both sides have to take turns in order to cross.

One-lane bridge, South Island, New Zealand.

One-lane bridge, South Island, New Zealand.

A lonely homestead along the way in South Island, New Zealand.

A lonely homestead along the way in South Island, New Zealand.

The road south, past Ashburton, New Zealand.

The road south, past Ashburton, New Zealand.

Going inland along Highway 8, South Island, New Zealand.

Going inland along Highway 8, South Island, New Zealand.

Going FURTHER inland along Highway 8, South Island, New Zealand.

Going FURTHER inland along Highway 8, South Island, New Zealand.

Shops at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

Shops at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

On our marathon journey southwards, we stopped mid-afternoon at the picturesque Lake Tekapo. There, because of the blistering cold, the three of us were forced to buy beanies and gloves.

Shivering in the cold at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

Shivering in the cold at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

Me at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

HRH said, “So how do you want me to take this picture?” I said, through gritted teeth, “Just take it NOW!” Freezing my buns off at Lake Tekapo in New Zealand.

Ice on the ground at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

Ice on the ground at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

HRH and Amanda at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

HRH and Amanda at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.
Can you see the hand of God? This is Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

 

A cafe in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

A cafe in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

On the road near Lake Pukaki, New Zealand.

On the road near Lake Pukaki, New Zealand.

On the road between Twizel and Cromwell, New Zealand.

On the road between Twizel and Cromwell, New Zealand.

After yet more hours on the road, we took a break at Cromwell and had dinner at a local pub there. We were now less than an hour from our final destination, Queenstown.

HRH at dinner in Cromwell, New Zealand.

HRH at dinner in Cromwell, New Zealand.

Me and Amanda at Cromwell, New Zealand.

Me and Amanda at Cromwell, New Zealand. You can see we are worn out from the journey.

My liver fry with mash, peas and gravy.

I fancied something truly Kiwi so I ordered this liver fry with mash, peas and gravy.

HRH and his ribs in Cromwell, New Zealand.

HRH and his ribs in Cromwell, New Zealand.

Most standard pub meals come with chips. We found them hearty and filling. This whole meal came to NZD45. Amanda shared with us, as per normal.

In Queenstown, we were greeted by this wonderfully warm room at the Millennium Hotel. His Royal Highness likened it to sleeping in an oven, but I absolutely loved it. Through  www.wotif.com it was NZD154 but the deal came with three full buffet breakfasts.

Our Room at the Millenium Hotel, Queenstown.

Our Room at the Millenium Hotel, Queenstown.

 

My night time snack of oysters and wine.

You can tell someone was hoping to get lucky. My night time snack of oysters and wine.