Our BIG move

This is my diary of our new life in New Zealand up to 2011 when we moved to QLD to be near our grandchildren...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Our House

On the Wednesday morning we went and explored Invercargill more.....it has all teenage amenitys...big macs, burger kings, pizza hut and KFC...as well as cinemas and other things for them to do...oh and colleges!

So we thought we would pop into a rental office, to look at what was available to rent.

we talked to the Rental personnel and they said that there was a house that would suit us to a T.
close to school, town centre etc and its near the racecourse, which has horses in the fields in front of it................

By Thursday we had moved in, bought furniture and had it delivered! bought a microwave, fridge freezer and washing machine and dryer and had it delivered by friday....they would have been delivered thursday but because of the weather the stock hadn't arrived on Wednesday and was due friday!

One thing I must say about Invercargill, the people are very helpful and friendly...well the ones we have met so far are! and the service from the shops is great.

any way heres our home for the next 6 mths.
the front view, its a brick and rough cast 3 bed house with a tiled roof.

Two garages and a basketball hoop

This is the view of the street

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

When we arrived in Invercargill, we booked into a really nice motel about 5 blocks from the centre, and it was getting late, but the roads were clear...Good sign!

After dropping our bags off we drove into the centre to explore.....this is the main street.

We Liked it even better.

This is the rush hour traffic..... :-)

we spotted a sign saying Oreti Beach........well you know I like my beaches so we went to have a look before it got dark..............

YES! Invercargill got a big thumbs up from me, we drove through Sandy Point reserve which is huge and full of woodland and walks etc...more on that later, but we drove onto the beach and the views were spectacular.....the mist from the sea and the pink skys were so much more vivid than the picture shows.

I think Rob likes it too.........so we are going to explore and look at rentals.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

we move further south

We drove towards Southland on Tuesday, still no terrible weather like we'd left in Canterbury, so I think that our decision to travel was a good one!

this is a picture of the bridge before Balcultha.

we see a sign that says welcome to Southland, its still sunny and we are enjoying the countryside.

We drove through a few nice towns, but Gore was a good contender for a place that we would want to live.....If it was up to me and Rob it would be, but the boys may have found it a bit quiet.
and it was a bit far from the beach, if you hadn't noticed by now, I like my beaches!

This is the town centre roundabout, on the way out to Invercargill

Monday, June 19, 2006

views of Dunedin and from the Peninsular

When we arrived in Dunedin it was getting dark and we drove into the city centre, parked the car and walked to the Octagon...on the way we noticed a hotel (well we actually parked the car next to it!)
So we walked in and asked how much and did they have heated rooms......Heat Matters!

They replied yes, heaters and also Electric blankets on each bed, with dual control....to all UK readers...Electric blankets are a BIG thing in New Zealand, the last time I'd seen one was as a kid stopping over at my nana Harrisons. She didnt have central heating, and had Electric blankets. When people say New Zealand is like the UK in the 50's and 60's they don't mean that they have black and white TV's and bad fashion...no they mean the Houses and the Heating systems.....although I think its all starting to change now, what with Electric Heat Pumps (a bit like an air conditioning system that does both hot and cold) but they still have open fires, log burners etc.....and why not they have loads of wood and they sure kick some heat out...oops getting off track here....can you tell that being Warm is a priority!....now where was I?

oh yeah- the Peninsular....

We drove out to drive up the peninsular to Portobello........a very long drive, we turned back half way as I said there was no way I was going to consider living so far up a hill, the roads would be terrible in the freezing winters.

But the few views we did see mean that we are definately going to come back to Dunedin in the summer for a holiday and visit the places we didn't see.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

our journey takes us further south to Otago

After a week in Christchurch and Sumner,
we were not getting the right vibes from the area, Christchurch is a very big sprawling city, and we are not used to a 45 to 1 hour plus commute to work, and we were not prepared to settle for that just so we could live out of the city.

So we decided to pack a few things and go exploring....well it was freezing in Sumner, so it didn't really matter if it was colder as they say further South!....this picture of the cliffs out of Sumner looks warm....but the outside temperature was a lot colder!

As we neared Ashburton we could still see the snow on the fields, but the roads were thankfully clear.

We stopped for lunch in Timaru, but I didn't take any pictures...I was too busy whoofing down my KFC Sizzler burger! It looked a big town, there were some houses that were cheaper than in Christchurch, but we pressed onto Dunedin as we decided to visit all the way to the South before making a decision to where we thought we would like to live.

The roads to Dunedin were open too - Phew!

we stopped to stretch our legs and have a sarnie at a beach near a place called......'Shag Point'!
and the resident chooks came to see if we had any scraps....so of course we shared our pita bread with them.....but we didn't tell them that they'd contained.....................CHICKEN salad!

Before we got to Dunedin, we saw a sign for the Moeraki Boulders, that Diny had mentioned when we had visited her....as she'd said they wern't as big as you'd expect....but still size isn't everything, and they were unusual......and the beach was nice.

We arrived in Dunedin just before it got dark...thank goodness, as the roads were a bit tricky and I wouldn't have liked to drive on them in the dark.

Our View from the Law Courts Hotel, a few blocks from the Octagon, the rooms are renovated and had the origional bathroom suite from what I am guessing was the art deco period.

The suberbs were a bit hilly! I wouldn't like to drive up one of those drives!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Christchurch and Sumner

We arrived in Christchurch on the 10th June, here are 2 pics of the central city, the river Avon runs through the city.

We were invited to a bbq at Debs and Paul Wilsons, in Rangoria which took us 45mins to get to from Christchurch on the sunday- and we had fun talking to other people who have been living in NZ for a while and a couple of Kiwis too.

We even at raw fish Kiwi style!

Christchurch seems a nice city, but not that easy to drive around, (driving in cities is not one of Robs favorite passtimes - hence the sharp exit from Welly) and the tourist maps are usless...they only include the big roads...so for anyone not coming to New Zealand as a tourist, buy a proper map when you get to here, the Kiwimaps are good.

The suberbs of Christchurch are big and merge into one another, and we were always getting lost and driving around till we found our bearings!

Sumner is a nice place by the sea with a nice beach, but theres only one road in, and it takes about 35 mins to get into the central city (not rush hour, we wer never up that early) and its 50km per hr all the way, plus the traffic lights...you get the picture.

We were staying in a rental in Sumner which I had booked for a month, and it was a great appartment, but in the winter, with its huge open plan style it was COLD! and although it said it had underfloor heating, we couldn't find any heating other than an electric fan heater...a small electric fan! But there again it may have had something to do with us arriving when Canterbury was subjected to a "weather Bomb" and huge amounts of snow fell and temperatures got down to around minus 2 to 5 or below depending on where you lived!

Poor Sheepies!

heres a pic of the road driving up to sumner, after the snow had melted...it didnt stay long near the sea (its behind that hill in the background)

Heres a picture of the beach as the sun was setting.

The weather in Christchurch was freezing and we were not getting the right feelings, so we decided that rather than freeze our butts off there we would pack a few things and head off further south for a week......Which was a good idea as it snowed the night we left and the weather got COLDER!.....................

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Drive towards Christchurch

The drive to Christchurch was a sunny one, the picture on the left was when we crossed a river over an old iron bridge, it was a tight squeeze but there was an artic lorry behind us!

The drive was through windy roads over hills and valleys, and then we came across our first South Island Beach, somewhere near Wharanui and Halfmoon Bay.

The beach was a pebble beach, the sea was clear and the sun was shining, I could have stayed there all day walking along the shore.....

We drove for a while longer and then we saw the mountains in the distance, and crossed a few rivers, New Zealand is certainly a picturesqe country and I look forward to making a home here.

the story so far....

Well we left Auckland and started our drive down to Lake Taupo on Monday morning, the drive was very scenic and at lunchtime we stopped at a small town called Tirau, where we met up with old forum friends.

We set of again after having an excellent lunch. I had Lasagne and Rob had steak, the pub was owned by an English family from St Helens!

We arrived at Lake Taupo at about 4pm and found the Camilla Motel easily it’s a family run motel, clean and the rooms have everything you need, even sky TV. Not bad for $165 for 3 nights….that works out at about £55.

The volcanic heart of the Nth Island, its amazing landscapes have been crafted over millions of years by water and geothermal activity.

The Town has everything…even MacDonald’s…..bet you wouldn’t see that in Grimsby now would you.

On Rob’s birthday we went to Huka Falls,

which is free, there are pay toilets and a donation box and a small kiosk which sells drinks snacks and gifts,


were going to go on the Huka Jet too,

although when we went there, it was $79 each for 30 mins!

So we went walking through the woods surrounding the falls and the Waikato River (see we’re getting fit already, the sun starts to go down at 5pm, and you wouldn’t want to be out in the woods in the dark.

Rob found a tree almost as old as he is......;-)

so we went back to the Motel and later we went for a drink and then to the pictures to see X

Men 3, but when we came out the town was shut for the night….it was 10.45pm, must be winter closing times!

Wednesday, we went to the Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, where there are geysers and mineral terraces and tracks through the surrounding woodland. It cost $25 each but you could spend as much time as you liked there, and the place was spotless – I have yet to see a grotty

bathroom since arriving in New Zealand! The food was excellent and a large Capo was exactly that – I couldn’t drink it all. The gift shop was reasonably priced too.

After visiting there we stopped off to look at the Mud Pools on our way to Rotorua, we had a quick look around there but preferred Taupo, so we hea

ded back. though the swans were pretty cool

We had a great steak meal at a surf cafe in Taupo, and then we set off to Ashurst the next day, which is near Palmerston North, to see Diny, who we met at the NW meet in May, she had

offered to put us up for the night, and it will be nice to see her again and see a real NZ town, rather than Tourist sights.

And Diny's house was wonderful, shame she'd already sold it as I'd have loved to pick it up and throw it over to Christchurch!

this pic is of her kitchen/diner, and the Hallway, the ceilings were all high and It was WARM........in fact I had to take my flannel PJs off half way thru the night!!!

well we have arrived in Christchurch now, we didn't take to Wellington (sorry folks from Welly but we're country folks at heart and don't take to the stress of driving in big citys...although Christchurch has been ok so far)

and that's another update...so thats all folks for now.


Sunday, June 04, 2006

First Sight seeing trip

Well on Saturday, Marie and Dave and Ellen, Louise and Joe took us to Auckland Central, the picture Left is Auckland Town Hall. and the picture below of Louise, is taken at the train station, the fountain behind her is actually a window to the tracks below, there were others dotted in the carparks, and you could look down through them...you wouldnt get that at Doncaster station...or even London!...and it was so Clean!!

We walked through the streets to the Tower, we went to the Metro Centre first for lunch, a big mall with Burger King, pizza, Thai etc, all in one spot, a cinema above it etc....very modern and the grown ups had Thai, and the kids had pizza and BK, the Thai was good, and you got loads for $8.50 (£2.84 at current rates) and free bowl of soup!

Rob and I went up the tower, while everyone else stayed down below, $42 dollars for both of us to go to the very top.

The Parkers, had done it before so they waited in the Lobby and had a look around while we went up.

The price to Jump was astronomical, so I kept my cents for something important Like a house!...I'll jump off something crazy when I have everything set up and paid for (probably never then!! ha ha)

Heres one of me stood on the glass panels, and considering that I am not keen on heights I was ok with it!

The views were fantastic, and the pictures don't do the views any justice....

Any way, with the sun shining down all day we had a glorious day, and then went to Food Town to get some food in for tea....they sell Good Wine too...and we went to look at the Parkers future home....not bad views hey.........