Still gently raining. Eerily beautiful with the only colour the azure blue of Lake Tekapo.
Breakfast and on the coach for one last 273 Km journey into Christchurch. Dropped down from the MacKenzie country plateau (709m) through Burkes Pass. Through Fairlie to Geraldine for an early morning tea. Still amazed by the quantity of food that people consume. After a full breakfast at 8am of cereals and fruit, cooked breakfast of bacon, eggs,hash browns etc. topped off with toast, jam and coffee, they lineup for meat pies, scones, chocolate slices etc. at 9.45am just in case they don't make it to lunch!!
Still raining steadily as we wend our way North East across the Canterbury Plains. Country changed from typical boggy, dry grassy looking MacKenzie Country to undulating dairy, grazing and farming country dependent on irrigation to maintain rich green pasture growth and supplementary turnip crops. Plus some wheat and oat cropping. Back to the perfect grids of paddocks with carefully manicured windbreaks of pines or poplars. Through Ashburton again and back over the unbelievably wide Rakaia River and into the outer suburbs of Christchurch.
Dropped some of our traveling companions at Christchurch Airport before booking into the hotel from where we will explore Christchurch on our own. Will be a shock having to organize ourselves after the luxury of the tour!
Quick look at our rooms before we headed over to the International Antarctic Centre. Decided on the full tourist experience which involved a very rough ride on a hagglunder, 4D Antartic voyage and visit, blizzard experience and an encounter with little blue penguins. There was also enough interactive info about the Antartic to fill in more than a few hours.