If you're an avid reader of our blog, you'll know that one of our nano test pilots recently took nano on a tour of New Zealand's South Island - covering 3000km in just 3 weeks - complete with two pre-school children. Here's the final instalment in their epic adventure!
Akaroa - Oamaru
Having spent a couple of nights near Akaroa, we packed up once again and continued our journey south. We had been informed that SH1 is a really dull, straight drive and that we were unlikely to enjoy it. So we then opted for the scenic route and headed further in-land to see what beautiful scenery we were going to be blessed with.
After a couple of hours on the road passing small townships and villages, we found ourselves in Mount Somers for the night. The camp ground was in the centre of the village this time and it was nice to enjoy the evening stroll along pavements for once. The small village had a lot of cross-sections but thanks to the great 'kerb pop' on nano, this posed no problems to us or our sleeping daughter.
After a night in Mt Somers, we headed off again and found ourselves in Geraldine - home to the world's biggest jumper (it's pretty big - check it out here ). We spent our time ambling around town and even did a bit of shopping before heading off again to Waimate. Waimate offered some great pre-school entertainment in the form of exotic birds in the gardens and a Wallaby farm! After a couple of nights in Waimate, we headed off again to Oamaru.
Oamaru was an unexpected delight. With Victoria buildings, steam heritage and penguins, the kids and the adults were equally entertained. We stayed at a brand new camping ground right on the harbour and thanks to a tip off by the owner, watched blue penguins come ashore to feed their young every evening. During the day we explored the local themed playground, checked out the botanical gardens and wondered the quirky boutiques and craft shops - all with our trusty nano of course. From here we even ventured to the local 'tourist' destinations of Kakanui, which offered a stunning sweep of sandy beach, and the natural marvel of Moeraki Boulders.
After Oamaru, we had to start heading back north to make it back to Picton in time for our crossing home. Still with plenty of holiday time left, we ventured inland and headed off to the lakes after another tip-off by a local we met in a shop. After an afternoon driving past Lake Aviemore and Lake Benmore we arrived at the picturesque Lake Pukaki where we camped on the shore. Having skimmed stones, collected pine cones and swam in the lake (it was pretty cold!) we set off north again. After another overnight stop at Geraldine, we worked our way up the South Island and found ourselves back at Kaikoura. Having already seen the local sites, we spent the evening dining in a local eatery and even enjoyed a beer (soft drinks of course for the kids). With limited space in the eatery, we were pleased that the nano was small and light enough to be folded and placed on the windowsill - out of staff and customers' way.
Picton and Home
Our three week holiday had come to an end and we found ourselves back in Picton, awaiting the ferry home. Looking back, our holiday had been an amazing adventure. Our camper van, children and our buggy had all risen to every challenge that we had thrown at them. It will certainly be a holiday that is etched in my memory forever.