The last week for a tourist in New Zealand | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce
Posted 5/10/23

Our last week in New Zealand continued with folks, just like all over the world, claiming the weather is never like this.

They said it was going to rain, and it hardly ever did. Pretty nice.

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The last week for a tourist in New Zealand | Life in Ludlow

Posted

Our last week in New Zealand continued with folks, just like all over the world, claiming the weather is never like this.

They said it was going to rain, and it hardly ever did. Pretty nice.

Of course, New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere so they are just beginning to experience fall.

We stayed with our daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons for the week as the weather migrated toward winter. The grandsons, 10 and 15 years old, are in fall sports as those of us in the northern hemisphere are tuning up the gardens and welcoming the sunshine. The 10-year-old was given an assignment in school to write a haiku.

Last leaf on the tree/Trying to push back the wind/Hanging on to life

The leaf starts to tire/Many days and nights go by/Still, the leaf holds on

The earth keeps spinning/This leaf’s fate cannot be changed/It’s time to let go

I need to get him to write a haiku for summer in the Pacific Northwest.

While the grandsons were in school the adults did some touring around.

A winding, twisting road took us up the “Sign of the Kiwi,” one of three stone-built rest houses built along the top of the Port Hills looming above Christchurch on one side and Lyttleton on the other.

Lyttleton is actually the port you may have seen had you come to the area via cruise or container ship. The “Sign of the Kiwi” is a delightful small café and on that day, we were bathed in sunshine and cool breezes for lunch before another curvy ride, this time to the bottom and Lyttleton.

After a stop to pick up some “merch” and some Band-Aids to aid in the healing of my severely injured head which had recently come in violent contact with the opened hatch in the back of the car, we took the tunnel through the hills to Christchurch. Yeah, a little exaggeration there.

New Brighton and the windy Pacific called us the next day.

The main attraction of the area is the New Brighton Pier which stretches 300 meters out into the ocean. It was opened in 1997, the original version from 1894 having been taken down in 1965 due to increasing decay. We walked to the end and thus earned lunch at the nearby aptly named “Salt on the Pier” café.

What is a day of tourism without a little wine-tasting? New Zealand is known for Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and others.

We headed for the Waipara Valley with the destination being the Torlesse Winery. We chose them because of their fabulous selection of wines and, well, they were open.

Remember it is fall in NZ and many places are shutting down, wineries included. Our experience at Torlesse could not have been more fun. My new best friend in the wine business, the French born Jo-hanne, educated and entertained us for an hour.

The winery is actually a small family-owned business and when I asked her if she was in the family, she confessed to being a daughter-in-law.

After selling us some wine she gave us great advice about Waipara Springs Winery and Restaurant nearby. Lunch in the sunshine was great and our daughter bought BJ a Mother’s Day present! Be sure to ask her to show you the T-shirt.

Then we spent a day in Christchurch, eating in the Riverside Market and touring the sights. One of the stops was at the art museum with our 15-year-old grandson. He and I found the art less than compelling so we took advantage of a chess set available for patrons to use for a game. He won, but not by much after a 45-minute battle.

Our daughter joined us for the tram ride around the city, slow but interesting. They had their first tram on display and took pride in the fact it was built in Philadelphia.

So, this week we happily return to the brink of summer in Port Ludlow.

Love a curmudgeon and have a great adventure.

(Ned Luce is a retired IBM executive and Port Ludlow resident, and now, illustrious world explorer and newfound expert in bruised melons of the cranial classification. Contact Ned at ned@ptleader.com.)

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