Kaikoura is top of most tourists NZ bucket list

In this ‘blog4NZ’ let me remind you of a north Canterbury place that is well worth visiting while you’re in the Christchurch area: Kaikoura is top of most tourists bucket list for New Zealand, and these two places are well worth spending a night, or more,  at.

Despite being called a marine Serengeti, as well as whales, dolphins and sea birds, there are many places to visit and things to do on land too. I can recommend the luxury hike up to the valley of the gods then stay at Shearwater Lodge

A boutique eco-hike, the guides tailor the day to the abilities of the walkers, stopping for photos, drinks and rests as needed. We watched and heard many birds, had superb views of the North Island and the Pacific Ocean, saw feral goats and deer, and, as well as stopping to admire and learn about various native trees. Our guide Lance said ‘this is the most picturesque place in Kaikoura’.

Shearwater Lodge nestles in the Seaward Kaikoura mountain range

Another place to stay in Kaikoura is in a tree house: surrounded by deer, an olive grove, and nestled between the Kaikoura Seaward Mountains and the famed Mangamaunu Bay, Hapuku Lodge has it all.

Kaikoura, number one of New Zealand’s eco-marine activities has many attractions – best of all, it’s only two hours north of Christchurch, I’ve stayed here many times in tents, motels, hostels, hotels, and caravans, as well as these two wonderful places.

Tekapo via Christchurch International Airport

Despite the inner-city  part of NZ’s 2nd-largest city being off-limits now, the Christchurch international Airport is of course still open and many hotels are continuing to give their usual high level of service. So, the message to all is Christchurch – and the rest of New Zealand – is open for service. In this ‘blog4NZ’ let me remind you of a couple of Canterbury places that are well worth visiting.

Wrap around views from the Mt John Cafe

With a population of about 300, Tekapo, in the Mackenzie Country, is one of the world’s special places where you can still see the night sky clearly. From the top of Mt. John, you will have a 360º view of the big skies and the carved-by-ancient-glaciers landscape.

The glacial waters flowing from the Southern Alps fill the 30-kilometre long Lake Tekapo with its remarkable turquoise colour which is caused by the refraction of light through the finely ground rock particles of the melt waters. Read more about the night sky and tours available here.

Of course the area is also famous for stories of sheep rustling, and the beautiful church of the Good Shepherd: it’s well worth a few nights stay – don’t just drive through on your way to Aoraki Mt. Cook, New Zealand tallest mountain.

This church is on everyone's 'must-see' list when in Tekapo