In March 2014 we went to New Zealand to spend a week with John’s son, Michael, and his girlfriend, Leah.
When we visited them in November 2013, we were on the North Island of New Zealand.
This time, we spent the week in Akaroa on the South Island, a town 1.5 hours from Christchurch.
We rented a house for the week: 7 Stanley Place.
It is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom split level house overlooking Akaroa Harbour.
The house is conveniently located for exploring the area and an easy 10 minute walk to the center of Akaroa.
On our first night, we decided to have dinner in town along the harbour.
The food was average (at best), so we decided to eat at home the rest of the week.
There is a butcher shop and a Four Square grocery store in town.
With that many cooks in the house, we ate very well the rest of the week!
Our goals for this visit were simple: catch-up on life, hike, and just be together.
The breathtaking views around every corner were a wonderful bonus!
On March 4, 2014, we were surprised with a storm that brought Gale-force winds to Akaroa.
We are from Florida, so cyclones (we call them hurricanes) aren’t anything new to us.
Like crazy Floridians, we were out playing in the rain and wind.
There were gusts of up to 130 kmh, so a category 1 hurricane in our terms. The whole peninsula lost power forcing most of the town’s shops to close.
Luckily we were stocked-up on food, drinks, and games.
The next day we went to town to assess the damage and see if there were any stores or restaurants open.
The Stables Bar & Cafe was the only place serving food. Their menu was limited:
But it was perfect! Thank you so much, Stables Cafe!
The day after a cyclone (hurricane) is always clear and beautiful.
And that’s exactly what we had on our last full day together.
We hiked the Hinewai Reserve, a privately run but publicly accessible nature reserve.
The famous Banks Peninsula Track passes through Hinewai Reserve.
It was so peaceful up there.
It was just us and the sheep.
We spent most of the day hiking the Hinewai Purple Peak Track.
HERE is some information on the area if you find yourself up that way.
The Purple Peak is that purple colored rock:
We didn’t walk all the way to the top:
But we did go as far as the shelter.
The view of Akaroa and the harbour is spectacular from up there!
It was the perfect ending to a perfect week, hurricane and all!
With heavy hearts, we had to part ways the next morning.
Michael and Leah went to their next WWOOFing destination:
And John, Kelly, and I flew to Sydney for the night.
To see pictures from our other New Zealand adventures — Cathedral Cove, The Coromandel Peninsula, Lake Taupo, Wanaka, Tekapo, Christchurch, Queenstown, and Auckland — click HERE.