Adventures at the end of the Long White Cloud

Our Next Life

  • David Swann

Any Cunning Plan needs a Recce

Hearts are all-in, heads are wondering what on earth is going on. Emotions are afoot... time for some thinking! Time for a recce.

We're going to be taking a long road trip down to Southland from our current home in Wellington which is on the Southern tip of the North Island of New Zealand. Words fail... here's a map:

Oh, that's a LONG way!

So that's going to be around 2,500 km in 6 days. Gulp! I know it's useful to understand what that translates as. So here are some equivalent journeys:

  • San Diego, California to Vancouver, British Columbia (one way)

  • London, United Kingdom to Marseille, France (return)

The first stage is a ferry crossing across the infamous Cook Strait - one of the windiest, roughest stretches of water in the world. Fortunately only a small part of the crossing is exposed - 45 minutes in Wellington Harbour, an hour in Cook Strait and then the remaining 90 minutes in the sheltered Marlborough Sounds. It's a wonderful crossing - I'm really looking forward to it.

After picking up a rental car in Picton, we're doing a six hour drive down to just south of Christchurch. It's going to be our first time down the coast road since it was utterly destroyed in the Kaikoura quakes... should be interesting to see the recovery work.

We're going to be staying in airbnb properties throughout - quizzing hosts about their experiences and figuring out what works and what doesn't. So first night is a cabin on a farm in Darfield which was the epicentre of the Christchurch earthquake of 2011. Not for nothing is New Zealand known as 'The Shaky Isles'.

We're then going to do the southbound drive next to the Southern Alps which should be snow-capped now we've had a few southerly blasts heralding winter. That's going to be most of day two which will end up in Riverton, just to the west of Invercargill.

We then have a day and a half to scout out properties in the Riverton to Ohai area before moving to Bluff and spending another day and a half looking at the southern part of our area of interest.

And then the drive back... via an overnight in Kaikoura.

That's the plan... stay tuned for the next blog which will tell the tale of what should be a fascinating week.

43 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Bluff, Southland, New Zealand


©2019 by David Swann. Proudly created with