Tuesday, December 13, 2011

End of the road trip

Day 15 (Sun, 4 Dec 2011)

Dunedin - Christchurch: 355km

After 2 glorious weeks, this would be our last day in NZ :(

We spent it mostly driving, as we had to get to Christchurch - our final stop. Along the way, we stopped at the Whitestone Cheese Factory in Oamaru. Whitestone has won many awards and the cheese has been featured in the US sitcom "Scrubs".

The factory in Oamaru produces all the Whitestone cheese for NZ.

There were tastings at the shop and of course, we bought some. Hopefully, the cheese will survive the long journey home!

Not too long after we resumed our journey, we came by a funny place called Riverstone Arts and Crafts. The sign read "The best bloody shop for miles!" How not to stop?

It sells a multitude of curios and knick-knacks, everything from stuffed toys to Christmas ornaments and furniture.

The two-storey shop is covered wall to wall with stuff in seemingly random order and you have to wade through the trinkets, but there are many gems.

There was sooooo much stuff it was overwhelming. We ended up just buying a giraffe windchime.

But it was loads of fun looking around. There was even a wooden pool table (using golf balls) out side!

Our next stop was Butler's Berry Farm and Cafe. Didn't eat anything, we just wanted to look around as we had yet to see a berry farm. Originally, we thought we'd be able to stop at a farm and pick berries but it was too early in the season.

Strawberry fields forever...

The shop sold shelves of berry preserves, sauces and fresh fruit.Have you ever seen a gooseberry? I haven't. We tried it - it's sour! It's usually used for pies and jams.

Our lunch stop was at Timaru, a sizeable town.

To our delight, we saw another Speight's Ale House! Yay! The menu was slightly different from the one in Dunedin but the food was still good.

Finally at about 3.30pm, we arrived at Christchurch. We decided to stay at a hotel close to the airport as our flight home is at an unearthly hour of 6.40am. Checked into Copthorne Hotel Commodore which offered a very convenient free 24/7 shuttle service to the airport. It's only 5 minutes from the airport.

View from our room. We're gonna miss all this greenery when we get home.

We returned our car to Apex, located just around the corner.
The Camry we rented served us very well for our journey. In total, we clocked 2,929km. What a feat in itself!

To end the day, Kenneth's friend from JC now living in Christchurch, picked us up for dinner at her place with her lovely family. The place is actually her rental home as her real home was damaged in the earthquake and is undergoing repairs.

Absolutely super to enjoy a home-cooked meal among friends.

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