Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Tranz Alpine Train getaway
We left home just after 6am to reach the station for 7:40 boarding. Rachel came in at 6 so that we could leave Asher in her care and head off for a much needed break.
Not the greatest photo as I took it off the TV screen. They regularly showed the map and our progress through the trip as well as having audio to listen to about things on the trip (which we listened to a little on the way back).
We left Christchurch at 8:15 and arrived in Greymouth just before 1pm. So a bit less than 5 hours for the trip.
A very dry scene. Not what people normally think of when they think of NZ mountains. :-)
As part of the package you could have one activity or have a rental car. As we had Anastasia with us, we decided to rather use the rental car option. So we picked that up as soon as we arrived.
The sea is so beautiful. It was lovely to just watch it for a while.
Anastasia had her afternoon nap and we managed to see the sun set from our room.
Tuesday 12th: All the planned activities were for yesterday afternoon (including a trip to Pancake rocks). The advantage of having the car rental was that we could rather head up to Pancake rocks this morning, at high tide.
The ride itself was so beautiful.
We arrived just minutes after high tide.
Unfortunately the tide wasn't very high this time and so that was the biggest "blow" that we saw. There was a man with a very fancy camera set up that had been there for hours and he said there was nothing. So at least we knew we were not too late.
A tourist bus arrived at around the same time as us. I offered to take a photo of a couple for them, and then asked if they would take one for us. Win, win. :-)
BELOW: This was probably one of my favourite photos - taken on my phone actually (the rest were on my camera). I had been trying to see if I could take those 360 degree photos (I don't think I can) but as I had it out I got this one and I just loved the timing with those birds in the sky.
Turn up your sound to fully enjoy the video. It was wonderful listening to the big crashes.
Enjoying the vegetation on our way back to the car.
I took this photo for Ruth. We spotted some pink ribbons on our walk out but as we were in a hurry (with the high tide) we didn't stop too long. On the way back I confirmed what I had suspected, the ribbons marked were traps had been set. There was one closer to the path, and then another ribbon further in, quite close to the trap. The cage is just visible in the photo. With all Ruth's kiwi watch trips, where they bate traps, I thought she would like to see this set up.
BELOW: A map had shown "seal island" a little further along the coast, so we decided to drive a little more before heading back to Greymouth. A beautiful island, but no seals at this time.
And just a note about the fence in the photo above. It's to stop the penguins coming up onto the road. I didn't realize penguins visited this coast.
We had some left over pizza from dinner which we enjoyed today. The ladies on the train were even happy to warm it up for us.
We arrived in Christchurch around 6:30 and so were home just after Rachel had put Asher to bed (she heard us and we went to say goodnight). We are so thankful to Rachel for watching Asher and to Anna for helping with the other 3. Even though it was only 2 days away, it felt so much longer. It was so good for Brendon and I that I'm planning on trying to make it a more regular.