Two Nights in Jail, NZ

Hello again, thought that title may get your attention! Let me start again by apologising for the delay in keeping up to date with theblog. We have just been on a remote island in Fiji so there was no internet and we are now in Hawaii, so too much sun for internetting!!! But anyway back to the tales of travel and onto NZ.

So we arrived into Christchurch after a short 3 hour flight and faced the cold air on NZ. Hopped in a shuttle and headed to our hostel, “Jailhouse Accomodation”.  The hostel was a converted corrrectional unit which had closed in 1999 and some bright spark decided to turn it into a hostel. We were shown to our cell and headed off to sleep as it was about 2 am. The rooms where a little small and we had seperate beds but generally the place was clean and quirky. I had a few dodgy dreams of ex cons coming toget me in the middle of the night and I thik Al was a little daunted going into the shower! (careful not to drop the soap!!). Even the loos had barb wire in the seats!

Our Prison cell A cell Barb wire toilet

They had left some of the rooms how they would have originally been and I wouldn’t fancy a night in one of those!!

Old Cell 2 Prison Art1 Old cell 1 Solitary Confinement

The atrium and outside was pretty much how it had been and definetely look like a jail!

The Jail Quarters Addelton Christchurch BarL 

So the next day we got up and decided to go out for a spot of lunch and then have a tour round. Spoke with the women at reception about hiring a camper van and she arranged for a guy to bring one out to us. After lunch we went for a small stroll it was boltic. Found a Sally Army and tried to look for jackets but Al couldn’t be arsed and said everything was gross. Al soon developped a cold and wanted to go back to bed. When we arrived back at the hostel the guy was there with the van - a real Del boy. Van looked great though and had a shower, toilet, central heating, fridge, cooker etc and was pretty cheap (200 quid for 2 weeks). So agreed to book that for the next day and Al went off to bed. I sat and wrote an entire blog entry but then ran out of credit on the computer prior to me saving it so lost the f##king lot - I was not happy.

Anyway Al finally got up and we went and got some Chinese and a few beers and labelled up some photos and relaxed the night away. Met an Irish guy just before going to bed who had just done the biggest bungee jump in the world in Queenstown and after showing us the DVD Al seemed keen, I seemed scared.

So the next day the campervan fool came and picked us up and took us to his garage to collect the van. After signing our lives away we headed off in the Venga Bus to get supplies for the trip. After a savage spending spree in the supermarket (never take Al when hungry), we set off for a magical mystery tour of Christchurch.

Colombo Street Christchurch River  

Spent ages driving round trying to find and HSBC to exchange our Ozzie dollars but no luck. Chrsitchurch was pretty small and cold but did have a nice Cathedral (small church) and sqaure.

Chch Cathedral2 

From there we headed off south Dunedin bound.  The campervan fool man had assured us that we didn’t have time but as it’s supopse to be the mini Scotland we couldn’t refuse. Also as you are all probably aware (if you ever went to the downstairs loo in our house) that I am keen on Black and white Feathered birds and we had been told they hung out around there so we were off in search of Pengu.

Left Christchurch and soon had to pullover to sample some of our food. After eating Al became tired so I had to begin my bus driving. After a few dodgy gear changes (kept missing 5th and going back to 3rd) I had the knack and was drving like a pro!!! (I don’t think Al would agree)!!.

Crazed manic driving 

Tanked it all the way down to Dunedin, passing through the Kirkliston ranges,

Kirkliston Ranges2 

and St Andrews.

St Andrews Hotel 

Finally made it in the dark to Dunedin and headed straight out to the Otago Pennisula to camp over night and meet the penguins in the morning.

Got up bright an early and I was as excited as a child at Christmas, and we left Portobello bay where we had been staying, drove round Otago harbour en route to the Yellow eyed Penguin Conservation reserve. Views en route where just gorgeous, looking over the bay and out to sea.

Portobello Bay Black swans at Otago Otago Harbour3 

Arrived at the penguin reserve to find it closed. it was about 9 am and the first and only tour of the day was leaving at 4pm. Unfortunately no time to wait as had to push on to the next place. So no penguins. Headed further north along the penisula to the Albatross centre where apparently there were more penguins, but sadly just an empty beach.

No pengus at Pilots  

We did see a few other birds though.

Taiaroa Head2 

With my tail between my legs and a sad face we left the penisula and headed back into Dunedin for a quick tour. Saw the cathedral and the train station and had a quick tour.

St Pauls Cathedral Dunedin Railway Station1 Anzac Avenue - Dunedin Leavin Dunedin2

From Dunedin we headed futher south destination Invercargill. Along the way we drove mainly by the coast and did a small detour to visit Kaka Point,

Kaka Point No Dumping in Kaka

and Nugget Point, where al bought postcards for Kevin and Andy, can’t think why? From there we continued South to Purpoise bay, another notorious penguin hang out. Buy yet again I was dissapointed, no bloody penguins in sight.

Kaka Beach 2 

We did see plenty of these creatures though.

Sheep en route to Papatowai Sheep Rocks 

We also went to a lovely waterfall, Purakanui Falls.

Us at Purakaunui Falls  

From there we continued through the Catlins range, heading to NZ’s most southernly point - Slope Point.

View over Catlins3 

En route there Al noticed that we were running very low on petrol and we had another mad dash arounf trying to find gas. Saw a sgin that said gas in 500m and thought - yeah we’re saved, however the 500m was the turn off for gas and the good stuff was still 20k away on unsealed roads. Made it by the skin of our teeth then headed back to Slope Point for the sunset. Gorgeous.

Slope Point Trip Southern Tip Slope Point 4 Toetos Bay sunset2

Drove on a little further towards Invercargill to camp up for the night and the sunset continued to dazzle us.

Toetos Bay sunset5 

Awoke early the next day and headed off again, Queentown bound. Passed through Riverton,


and along the Foveaux Straight Vistas,

Foveaux Strait vistas2 

and came across the beautiful McCrackens Rest, where the snowy mountains met the beach and sea. Quite possibley one of the most stunning views.

McCrackens Rest3 McCrackens Rest5 McCrackens Rest8

From there it was mountainous scenery along with lakes all the way to Queenstown.

Lake Manapouri1 DSC01509 DSC01520 DSC01518

Arrived in Queenstown and booked our Shotover jet boat ride, which Morven had bought us for the wedding, but were told it may not go due to the snow and ice. Queenstoen was freezing and we could not stand the cold so found a cheap shop and bought jackets and jumpers and gloves and hats for the bargain price of $100.


Found a lush campsite with spa baths and saunas! The next day it was off for the shotover, but unfortunately it was cancelled due to ice stopping the engines, but we got a refund which we’ll spend on some diving so thanks Morven (hope you got the postcard).

DSC01530 DSC01532

Spent the rest of the day just hanging out around town and found a pub for the afternoon. The next day we awoke with slightly sore heads and went on our next adventure, but I’ll let Al fill you in on that one!!! Speak soon.






17 Responses to “Two Nights in Jail, NZ”

Iain said:

Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy…
Happy Anniversary!

1 whole year… Who’da thunk it?

Posted on August 12th, 2007.

Happy anniversary you two from Big Bro and the other half. Can’t believe it was a year ago you got married (although some of your driving adventures in Oz sounded like you were ready to divorce each other). You look and sound like you are having a great time, but good to see a dose of reality with the shitty weather in Sydney. I can hardly wait for Canada (any tips for us amateurs about travelling on a multi-destination holiday). It’s been great catching up on all your adventures and see you in about three weeks. Camy & Val xx

Posted on August 12th, 2007.

Keri Graham said:

Hello my lovelies,

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!! What a blast you’re having! Crap about the penguins Sarah, what are they playing at?! How dare they, don’t they know that their Queen has arrived?! Please take a picture of your camper van, I want to see it! Cooool! It sounds like luxury, our wee van in NZ was a heap! Had to push start and jump in the side door and it wasn’t what you would call water-proof, never mind we had a laugh!

Can’t wait to see you both! Keri-dollxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted on August 12th, 2007.

Mr Glen said:

Happy Anniversary to you, Happy Anniversary to you,Happy Anniversary to you Mr and Mrs Reid. Hope you enjoy your bottle of champagne in the Kona Island restaurant. Thanks to the big wide web we can track you down any where in the

Posted on August 13th, 2007.

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