Saturday, April 27, 2013

Part 2: Holiday to South Island of New Zealand (28 Nov-13 Dec 2012) - 1-2 December 2012

1 December 2012: AKAROA
After all arrived at Sis. Jess Ting's house @ Hounslow St., with 3 cars, we went to AKAROA, the French Settlement, about 75km from Christchurch. The weather was good and bright ..
About 1 hour later, we stopped at Hilltop Tavern, CafeCafe, Bar, Restaurant located at SH75, Akaroa  A good place to take a break from driving and a popular stop-off  the way to and from Akaroa. The location is amazing with a fantastic view over Banks Peninsula towards Akaora. And the views... oh, the views. The weather was perfect as we sat outside with a cup of hot chocolate and muffin, looking down the valley and across the harbour to Akaroa.
The view from the Hilltop Tavern, Akaroa

Enjoying the good weather outside HillTopCafe

After satisfied with the hot choco and pictures taking (actually each of us just spent a cup of choco and/or muffin but we stayed for more than 1 hour to enjoy the beautiful scenery and good weather), then we proceed to AKAROA.
Akaroa is a French Settlement. Explore the township by food and enjoy the typical French houses, shops and Akaroa Bay. From here you can joint the Dolphine Cruise and many other activities.
We taking our FISH and CHIPS lunch here, closed with Ice cream .. Yummy..
Akaroa Bay

French Villages @ Akaroa
 Tonight's dinner was a treat from Br. Hong/Sis. Lily @ Red Bowl Chinese Restaurant..
Dishes from Red Bowl Chinese Restaurat
 After dinner, we went to downtown area to see the places where the last earthquakes were happened. Many buildings are still im damaged conditions and under renovation/re-building. And there is a containers mall, not a mall that selling containers, but a mall where the shops are using containers as their selling place. The dressed up the container in very nice and colorful designs. Even many banks also using containers as their offices..

Container Banking, CC downtown, after Earthquakes

Christchurch Downtown @ Night

Containers Mall
 *ChristChurch city were strike with 2 devastated earthquakes in the year 2011. Many buildings and houses were damaged, even the famous Cathedral also gone.. More informations about Christchurch Earthquake 2011
In anticipation for the other earthquake *hope will be no more earthquake*, at some dangerous places that affected by the past earthquakes will not be built a permanent building instead using a container as a building.

In the morning we went to collect the cars that we rent for this trip. We rent the car from Jucy Rentals. From 2 to 12 December 2012 we were travelling South Island of NZ. We rent 2 MPV cars (for 12 of us) for 10 days and since we rent 2 cars, they lent us 1 GPS for free... We bought the all-risk-free insurance, though it means extra expenses. It is adviseable since none of the 12 of us ever been to NZ prior to this trip. Yeah.................. car collected, luggage uploaded, and we all ready to start the journey .........
Before the travelling journey started, since today is the Lord's day, we need to remember the Lord by attending the Lord's Table Meeting with the saints from the church in Christchurch.
with the Saints @ the Church in ChristChurch..
 After the lovefeast as our lunch, we ready to go ............. Our first destination was Lake Pukaki.. about 4-5 hrs drive from Christchurch, about 290km. On the way to Lake Pukaki, we stopped at Farmers Corner, Ashburton which is belong to one brother in Christchurch. We bought some souveniers, enjoyed the garden and after a curtosy hot chocolate or hot coffee served with shortbread, we continued our journey..

The garden @ Farmers Corner

Hot Choco and shortbread @ Farmers Corner
As and when we saw a beautiful sceneries or something interesting, we stopped for photo taking.  Along the roadsides and unattended areas full with these beautiful wild flowers, Lupins..
Wild Flowers, Lupinus sp @ Lake Tekapo
OTW to Lake Pukaki
We stopped by at the famous Lake Tekapo. Taking pictures at the beautiful scnenery with its pretty lupis flowers and with the famous Church of the Good Shepeherd. Then we continued to our destination of the day, Lake Pukaki. The distance from Lake Tekapo to Lake Pukaki about 49 Km, but the road to Lake Pukaki was bumpy because of the gravel road so we could not drive too fast. We booked and arrived at Braemer Shearers Lodge about 7PM. This lodge is very simple yet the surrounding view is very astonishing.. After almost 1hr on the bumpy road and 5 hours drove on the road, the view that we saw when we arrived at this place erased all the tiredness... 
Some of us arranged the rooms distributions, some prepared dinner for tonight and some refreshed themselves. Tonight's dinner was Chicken Rice ..*If you stay at this lodge, better bring enough food unless you plan to go out and drive about 1hr to get your food,  no shop or restaurant at the nearby facinity. Also this place not suitable for those who want privacy as most of the rooms are connected one another and. Facilities are shared--there is a kitchen with complete utensils for simple cooking and a communal bathroon with multiple shower stalls, toilet stalls, and sinks. There is a nice lounge area with fireplace. Views out the windows of the sun setting over Lake Pukaki with Mt. Cook in the background are awesome! *
One of the bedroom with the best view

Chicken rice for dinner
Braemer Shearers Lodge, Lake Pukaki

Bit goodnight after saw millions stars on the dark sky .. Get ready for the next destination .. 


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