too late now…

9pm. night before. still packing. so excited. Car too small. need bigger car. repacked boot 36 times. now taking less clothes. didn’t really need posh dresses for camping anyway. no ethan you really DON’t need to take your entire box of lego. Yes Santa will still be able to find us on the west coast. Yes there’s shops where we’re going I don’t need to take entire fridge. Yes Master E we have your Xmas stocking. it has a homing beacon for Santa so wherever we are he will find you. To Mr W, thanks for doing an incredible job today you truly are amazing, and very patient. love you millions. Merry Christmas everyone!!!

xmas 2015_2

PS. Sleep is for the weak. After 2 more coffees I bet i can clean the house before the alarm goes off. ;D

Right decision

Told work colleague about changing plans to stay at holiday parks instead of tent camping at DOC sites. This time he smiles and says “Ah. Good idea. I was wondering how you would put up the tent in the pouring rain. You know it’s really wet down there.”


westport weather this week.PNG

As it turns out…no rain forecast for when we’re there. At the moment. Anything could change, and change several times over the next 4 days.

5 days to go.


But..isn’t it summer?

I think we’ve done it. Finished the planning I mean.

Long discussions with seasoned local travelers of the west coast involving raised eyebrows and awkward long comments of “Woooaahh” in response to my excited declaration that we are going to camp in a tent all down the west coast during December, led to us revisiting this decision.

A colleague at work just kind of paused. Then looked at me smiling, “good luck with that”.


One friend suggested that as long as we took gumboots, lots of socks and could get dry (ie. pack a towel each, for each of the 5 days = 15 towels) we’d be fine. They’d done it last December and it rained. Every day. Torrentially.

westport rainfall.PNG


Long discussions with Mr W resulted in us taking the comfortable route to ensure we didn’t ruin Christmas by putting ourselves in miserable circumstances with Master E. It is Christmas after all. The last thing we want is to arrive at the in-laws on Boxing Day in Central Otago after 5 days straight of camping in the rain in a soggy tent with no dry clothes or towels and glaring accusingly at eachother for the stupid naiive assumption that “oh its December, it’s summer, we’ll be fiiiine”.


Feeling like we’ve taken the easy way out but I think it’s the safer, saner way out! At least this way we’ll sleep in dry beds each night! Mr W raised a good point. How will the tent stay dry if we are attempting to put it up in the rain or if it starts raining before we put the fly on? And on the west coast, even if its not raining, its still wet and misty and humid. the coast is a narrow strip receiving plenty of precipitation off the southern alps on one side and the Tasman sea on the other.


Apparently February is a safe bet. Might think about this next time. This time around it is a whistle stop “taster” tour anyway. a bit of a “what’s over here” kind of stickybeak kind of tour.

So ..west coast journey now looks like this:

Wellington – Nelson – Westport – Hokitika – Franz Josef – Haast – Alexandra

16 hours over 5 days. nice. plenty of time to take in the views and stop for breaks. Like Pancake Rocks nr Punkaiki.

West coast final plan 2

It’s even raining in Nelson right now. Wellington has just had rain and wind ALL week. and its nearly Christmas. very unusual.

So…cheap basic holiday park cabins it is. Except for Franz Josef. Booked a tree hut at Rainforest Holiday park. It has mixed reviews but there was little choice having left our booking so late. not to worry. We’ll spend Xmas Eve in the hot pools in a rainforest. Could think of worst ways to celebrate the festive season!

Oh. I haven’t started talking about the east coast yet. Ooops.

East coast now looks like this:

Alexandra – Moeraki Boulders – Temuka (hi Auntie Jeannie!) – Kaiapoi – Kaikoura (splash!) – Cloudy Bay (slurp) – Picton (sail) – Wellington (home)

14 hours over 5 days. easy.

East coast final plan2.PNG

Sadly, will not be spending New Years Day dinner eating beautifully cooked local seafood that even Rick Stein  drools over at internationally renowned Fleur’s place (devastated). They are closed for Christmas/NY. Reopening on 3 Jan but hanging around for that didn’t leave us a reasonable amount of time to make our way back up the east coast.

So. we shall sit out the front of Fleur’s closed place on the beach on New Year’s Day. Drinking Cloudy Bay champagne and eating baked beans out of the camping stove pot. Wondering how the crayfish will taste 2 days later when we are far north in Kaiapoi. Hmmm. Might think a lil more on that one. Maybe leave a note expressing how sad I am and how much I loved Fleur’s book. And how I hope she’s enjoying her Christmas break. *sniff*.

Hopefully 2 nights at Franz Josef will make up for that. And the stunning views of Moeraki Bay and the boulders. Temuka will be our next stop where the lovely Auntie Jeannie lives. (Hi Jeannie!). Then on to Kaiapoi just north of CHCH. Jet boating is on the list for this lil place next time (Sorry Mr W – all booked out already).

Kaikoura promises to be A-mazing. incredible marine life including resident sperm whales can be seen on a tour. Happy to wait until Master E is older, after his last not-so-happy time on the ocean. I think Kaikoura would be the kind of place you’d want to spend a week. At least. Or maybe never leave. Oh how I LOVE the sea.

Finishing up in Whites Bay (of course!) near Blenheim before sailing home the following day.

*Phew* what an adventure…I can’t wait….!





Job done (almost!)

Couldn’t help myself. It’s done. 1712km over 18 days. now just to confirm finer details with Mr W, run over the equipment and the food arrangements and we are SORTED!

Not sure if its a bad thing that Google maps wouldn’t let me add any more pins to the journey. Harumph. So here are two separate images of the journey. Stopping at Alex for 5 days in the middle. Thanks Nanna and Grandad!

PS Not looking forward to the fuel bill…but it will be amazing!!!


West coast final plan

East coast final plan

West coast progress

It’s all about the plan! Another late night last night but happy to say have secured 2 nights at the incredible Moeraki Boulders near Oamaru where we will oogle these alien rocks and wine and dine the new year in at internationally famous Fleur’s place. How can you focus at work when counting down to this exciting adventure ! I am sooooo excited, its come around so quickly….and we thought we wouldn’t do it for ages!

Car serviced, wheels balanced, aligned and checked. New brakes. Camping gear sussed. Car and contents insurance up to date in case of disaster. Menu plans not organised….there will be lots of baked beans and peanut butter rice crackers. and lots of rainforest, glaciers and beaches. AWESOME!!!!!

Taking a break from planning tonight as can’t really function on 5 hours sleep…regardless of how much coffee I drink!! Tomorrow night will plan the east coast but work backwards as we depart Picton on 6 Jan. Compulsory stay at Whites Bay near Blenheim/Cloudy Bay. Mr P has offered several tomatoes in exchange for a case of delicious Cloudy Bay. That’s a lot of tomatoes and then there’s postage…hmm. Will you come and pick it up Mr P???  🙂

Now if only we had a vehicle like this to get us down those gravel roads…today’s Lego construction…

monster truck.jpg

The Plan

There’s a plan? Ohh thats what I’m supposed to be doing now. In between cooking Master E’s dinner and helping him find his missing bits of lego. And answering the door and emails. And cleaning the kitchen and cleaning up face paint and getting the washing in. First world problems. Ok back to the plan. It’s looking good so far. Mr W and I stayed up late last night to plan our stops on the west coast and it looks like this. So far…. anything could happen in the next 10 days. Gumboots. must remember gumboots….and insect repellant…west coast plan A