Winter School Holidays 2018

The winter school holidays this year were from Saturday 7th July through to Sunday 22nd July. We had planned out a fairly action packed two weeks, with trips to Gore, Queenstown, Hanmer, Kaikoura and the kids had Picton on their list too.

First on the visit list was Ma and Pa Mockford in Gore.

The Gore Trout


We spent three nights with them which was great. Ryan built us a new bird table with Grandad (which is working very well!!) and I think Liam tried to show Grandad how to do some colouring in and drawing on the Tablet.

Liam showing Grandad how to draw and colour in on the tablet

Next on the adventure list was Queenstown which the boys were looking forward to as they hadn’t been to Queenstown before. We drove up from Gore on the Friday to spend two nights there before making the trip home to Geraldine on the Sunday.

We got our accommodation at the the Earnslaw Lodge which offered a two bedroom unit at reasonable prices (reasonable for Queenstown anyway!!). It is tricky finding accommodation for reasonable prices with a family of five that’s for sure. Anyway it was warm and tidy and worked well for us and it had pretty good views up the lake, across to the remarkables and across to the gondolas so we were happy. Oh and it was within good walking distance to the CBD which was great.

the view from our Queenstown accommodation

We had arrived in Queenstown with still enough time to go and do some exploring so we decided that a trip up the Skyline Gondolas was in order. It was a great trip up the mountainside and the boys certainly enjoyed the experience. Once at the top we explored the place and had some lunch.

From the Skyline Gondolas
Great views over Queenstown
More great views
There would be a bit of puffing getting up the hill without the gondolas

After lunch we went for a walk further up the hill to where the parasailers launch from. It was pretty cool to be able to stand right beside them whilst they jumped off the side of the mountain with their clients strapped in. Ryan reckons he wants to have a go at it; he may have to save up for a while as it wasn’t cheap!!

What a Rebel!!!
On our way up higher into the snow
Into the forest
Looking West to Ben Lomond

Overlooking the luge to Lake Wakatipu
Say Cheese!!

After the gondolas we went for dinner at the Lone Star which was awesome as the boys were surprisingly very well behaved and the service was very good. That ended our first night in Queenstown.

The next day we had no fixed plan of attack but it panned out pretty well. We did the trout observatory, Kiwi birdife park, minus 5 ice bar and finished up with a quick drive and walk out to Moke Lake.

In the trout observatory
The boys checking out the fish
Liam and the Moa
Liam and Isaac at the Kiwi Birdlife Park. Cool spot to visit
Falcon or Hawk??
A friendly Pukeko
Time to get a bit chilly
Perfect Fit!
It was minus 8, they lied!!!!!
Liam riding the ice train
Isaac looking out at the window

Moke Lake
Moke Lake
Just finishing our short walk

After Moke Lake that was the day concluded for us. It had been awesome exploring around Queenstown and the buzz about the place was great. It is certainly not cheap there, everything is set up to extract the most $$ from your pocket as possible. As a treat experience though, the costs are OK.

The next day we headed for home via Cromwell where we caught up with our old neighbours from Darfield.

That was the end of the first week. The second week saw all three boys get picked up by Nana and Grandad Forbes for a week in Picton. This left us child free for a whole week. We weren’t letting this rare opportunity go by so we decided we would have a few nights away too. We stayed one night in Hanmer Springs and then two nights in Kaikoura.

In Hanmer Springs we climbed Mt Isobel which is a 1319m peak in behind Hanmer Springs. It was a fairly clear day so visibility was pretty good. There was also a fairly brisk wee breeze at the summit too which kept our stay nice and short.

At the top of the first wee climb
Can you hear the puffing?? That would be me behind the camera!!
Another rock for the cairn
Mt Isobel trig with Hanmer Springs in the background
Panoramic looking South, you can just see the Mt Isobel Trig
Panoramic looking North West

Later that day the Hot Pools were a welcome opportunity to soak the muscles before heading to Kaikoura.

Time for a soak.

Whilst in Kaikora we did the peninsula walk which was great. We were very lucky to have great weather, I would highly recommend the peninsula walk.

Kaikoura Coast looking North
Friendly seal,so long as you don’t get too close
Kaikoura Peninsula
Kaikoura Peninsula
Kaikoura Peninsula
Kaikoura Peninsula
Kaikoura Peninsula

It was a great two weeks with heaps of different adventures and experiences. It certainly was hard to go back to work and school on the Monday!!!!

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