Day Twelve: North to Christchurch

None of us slept well in the church! We gathered at 8am and made our way in foot through the middle of Dunedin for a breakfast cafe. We were very lucky in our venture and we came to a cafe rather quickly. I wasn't feeling very hungry so I ordered toast with local honey and a spirulina smoothie. We took off and went the scenic route to Christchurch rather than highway 1. We ended up at a town called Seacliff and as the name suggests, it had ocean views… And a cliff. During our scenic route, we had to go over the train tracks numerous times (total of 14) but it was worth the detour.

First stop was Shag Point. It was initially a visit just for a giggle but we found out it is a haven for fur seals. And there were some right near the car park! Back in the 19th and early 20th century, the fur seal was valuable for its blubber and its skins for warmth and was nearly slaughtered into extinction but in recent decades, it has become a protected species and numbers have improved.

Next stop was the Moeraki Boulders. These boulders are almost perfectly spherical from contact with waves and is a strange phenomenon along one part of Moeraki beach. It is now a tourist attraction with a gift shop, cafe and alpacas you can feed. It was too commercial for my liking.

We had lunch at a cafe in the town of Oamaru before driving the final 3.5 hours to Christchurch. We stopped briefly for the marker stating that we were exactly in the middle between the equator and the south pole.

We got to Christchurch in the midst of peak hour traffic but we managed to get into the city centre rather well. Jips dad was unable to reserve regular rooms so we each have a junior suite with amazing views of the city. We had a drink downstairs before Guus, Wytske, Jip and I went in search of food. Everything seemed expensive so we went to a dodgy Chinese restaurant that had reasonable food. I wouldn't go back again but it was definitely a cheaper option. We retired to our ‘rooms’ and we were excited for our sleep in tomorrow.