Today dawned crisp and clear without a cloud in the sky. We watched as the full moon set behind the peaks. We were on the road early and had a good run to Akaroa. The high country plains gave way to busy highways, trees and agriculture. We made only one stop along the way; to take a photo of the big salmon at Salmon World in Rakaia (they call themselves the Salmon Capital of New Zealand).
The drive into Akaroa is up some more of the steep and windy, but pretty, road that we’ve become used to in New Zealand. Thankfully not a dirt road! Akaroa was originally settled by the French and still has a big French influence. It’s a small town at the end of a long harbour in an area that was formed by volcanic eruptions – the Banks Peninsula. It’s a couple of hours drive from Christchurch and a much quieter option for our last couple of nights.
We’re staying in a cottage on a bush property about a kilometre out of the township. We can see the beautiful harbour from our deck (and from inside) and there is constant birdsong. The majority of birds that we’re seeing are New Zealand Bellbirds and they come quite close to feed in the Flax flowers. Unfortunately the highway is also quite close so that’s a bit of a drawback. The Bellbirds have a lovely call, though, so it’s not so bad. We’ve also seen and heard quail, not an uncommon sight on our journey.
We’ve walked up and down and around the shopping centre, checking out all of the tourist traps and cafés and we’ve booked onto a harbour cruise tomorrow morning. There are roses in full flower in almost every yard – so beautiful.
It’s a lovely evening to be sitting outside listening to the birdsong and taking photos.