A small Brisbane family, travelling, homeschooling and doing it on a budget!
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Road Trip Day One!

Day 1 - Nelson to Hanmer Springs by Jason

Lewis Pass today! 

We woke at 7am and realised we had a house to clean before we departed. I did a fantastic man clean which basically involved cleaning the fireplace and washing floors, all the while content in the knowledge that today would be a great day - after all, the All Blacks had just cleaned up the Wallabies a mere 8 or so hours ago.

We had no time (or food) for breakfast so we would have to just grab something on the road. Shona talked about making biscuts or sandwiches but it was 10 am. We hit the road.  I was hungry already. 

We drove the first 90 minutes to Murchison, we had done this trip lots before!  At Murchison we generally headed right to the West Coast, but this time we went straight down through towards the magnificent Lewis Pass scenery.  I was hungry, did I mention that? 

It was now high noon, I didnt want a gunfight just a burger.  I awaited Springs Junction,  a roadhouse with bad food, but by now i was famished.  We passed a scarecrow - I wanted to eat it. We passed pine trees and flax bushes - I wondered which would taste better.  I was ready to eat gravel when Springs Junction appeared, just in time too, as I was considering cannabilism.  We went to order burgers, but thought why stay longer in a roadhouse than need be, so we changed to warm pies. Bad move, the pies were terrible, we drove on. 

The Lewis Pass, on a fine day is very scenic and amazing landscapes. Before long we were at the Hanmer Springs turnoff and 5 minutes later we checked into the Top 10 park in a kitchen cabin. It contained a small kitchen, a tv and bedding.  I turned on the tv and the Rugby test was being replayed. I bought a few items for dinner from the store and made a coffee. Life was good.

Ps from Shona!  

We are still keeping to our budget of $100 a day!  Thanks to a members card, our Top 10 cabin is only $72 per night!  Not bad!  Slightly stressed at no ensuite, but we are trying to think of it as camping without the canvas.  

Top 10s are reliably clean, have playgrounds, camp kitchens and warm showers - a great way to travel around New Zealand on a budget.  

So far I am quite impressed with the Top 10 in Hanmer Springs - clean, quiet, lovely mountain views - although it is almost 11 at night and these birds chirping loudly in the trees don't seem to notice that the sun has gone down! 

Tomorrow - Kaikoura! 

The cabins with lovely mountain views on a rainy day. 

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