03.11.2012 - 03.11.2012 12 °C
We had our last feed of whitebait last night before farewelling Hokitika this morning. The day was a bit brighter to begin with but we encountered drizzle again shortly into our journey. We had a pleasant trip through the scenic and impressive Otira Gorge and stopped at the lookout to stretch legs and look at the views. Whilst our backs were turned, a Kea decided to take up residence on the roof of our rental car. After we (and the gathering crowd) had photographed him, we tried to encourage him to move away but he was having nothing of it and we eventually drove away with him still in the roof! We presume he flew off eventually. We continued through the changing landscapes - the top of the Waimakariri River which has carved a huge braided river bed amongst the hills, then the flat areas around Lake Grassmere and over the last lot of mountains where it was snowing. A short while later we arrived in Springfield where we stopped for lunch which included a Homer Donut (had to do it!) Just past Springfield we turned off and headed towards Oxford which is lovely little town. It was another scenic drive through here to Rangiora where we started looking for lodgings for the night. The few motels in Rangiora and Kaiapoi we found all had no vacancies (due to cutting our stay in Franz Josef short by a day we have arrived in Christchurch one day earlier than expected so have no accommodation booked), so we finish up in a place in Belfast on the ouskirts of Christchurch. We will fill in the day here in Christchurch today and fly home tomorrow so this will be the final day entry. I will add one more once home to recap the whole trip.