Akaroa, Hanmer Springs & Kaikoura

Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura are both towns on the South Island of New Zealand that we have visited previously, but Akaroa was new to the itinerary. We can thank another of our friends, also named Ann, for that suggestion. Each of these towns are unique in their own right, and they are towns that will remain on our list of places to visit again.


Akaroa is situated on the coast, about 80km southeast of Christchurch. It was New Zealand’s only French Settlement, with 60 of the first emigrants arriving in August, 1840. Whilst retaining a French flavour with a few French flags flying and French street names, it was the quaint village atmosphere and scenic beauty that attracted us. Although we didn’t do it, swimming with Hector’s Dolphins, one of the world’s smallest and rarest breeds, is the unique attraction of the town.

The highlight of our day was a picnic by the bay, where we Continue reading

New Zealand – the Legend


Standing at the lookout on the most easterly point of the Kaikoura Peninsula, you can see forever……….well, maybe not forever, but you can see a very long way. They say you can even see the North Island from here on a clear day.

Maori legend talks of the demi-god Maui, who landed an enormous fish from his canoe and used what is now the Kaikoura Peninsula to steady his foot.

The fish became Te Ika a Maui (New Zealand’s North Island), his canoe Te Waka a Maui (the South Island) and the strong seat of his canoe became Te Taumanu o te Waka a Maui or “the seat of Maui’s canoe” (the Kaikoura Peninsula).

Source: Story board at Kaikoura Peninsula lookout