Rakiura Cruise, Day Zero

To start with we needed to travel from home to Invercargill. That meant setting off with our friends in the car at about 0915. We drove ~100 Km to Wellington Airport, parked in the long-term carpark, caught the free shuttle to the terminal and hung around until the flight left around 1230. Because it was a local flight on a small plane we didn’t have to go through security.

After a 1 hour flight to Christchurch, enjoying views of the snow-capped Kaikouras, we had a quick lunch and boarded the local flight to Invercargill, so again, no security rigmarole to worry about.

Kaikoura Ranges.
Kaikoura Ranges.
Kaikoura Ranges.
Kaikoura Ranges.

This time it was about an hour and a half, with views of snow capped Alps, but not on my side of the plane.

Finally we saw the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter and a small nearby wind farm, banked to the east and landed at Invercargill, Waihōpai.

Our tour leader, Alison, met us and kindly drove us to the Quest Hotel in the middle of Waihōpai, where we shared a comfortable 2 room apartment with our friends Chris & Jan from Waikawa Beach.

Alison had organised a meal for most of the tour group at The Rocks, a few minutes walk away.

With a group of 20 to feed, along with other customers, our meal was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait.

The restaurant was pretty noisy so conversation was a bit tricky, but it was a good chance to introduce ourselves to a couple of our fellow travellers. My neighbour had travelled from Palmerston North, while the person across the table from me came from north of Whangārei.

It was early to bed for me, though Deb joined the end of a Zoom call for the training she’s completing this year.

Tuesday 20 July 2021.

Miraz Jordan @Miraz

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