The Great Outdoors

Jan 18th: This blog is not to overlap with anything we may write about New Zealand but it is to share a little story of my appreciation and love for the great outdoors, for camping and for our spaceship ‘Scully’ our trusty stead through NZ.

Now to me New Zealand offers me everything I love about the Great outdoors and includes a few things that will keep Steph happy, which is basically no poisonous bugs, spiders or snakes, we have Australia to look forward to for that!

So it was one glorious day after being in Marlborough wine tasting that we drove the fantastic highway from Blenheim to Kaikoura, which is famed for its scenery (of course!) and its off shore whale watching and Cray fishing (See my blog “most expensive breakfast ever”). I had decided that at the right spot we would stop off and cook dinner by the ocean and then potter onto the DOC campsite (Department of Conservation) for our stop for the evening.

We came across the perfect spot (see below) and around 7pm we sat down with our beef stir fry and glass on pinot to the view of the ocean and the oncoming sunset! It was fantastic, the best seat in the house in the outdoor seats and only an older man in his campervan for company, he chose the inside dining!

So if dinner was not enough we washed up and packed up and drove through the area we had pulled over looking over the bay and I spied a surfer and 2 body boarders out on there own, surf was about 3-4ft and clean and sunset was creeping in so it made for a fantastic view, unfortunately for me we had no boards or wetsuits!

After a while of watching them we hit the road, to our surprise we drove about not even 1km to discover the campsite we were going to use was right there opposite the beach and just over the train tracks, we pulled in, the campsite is limited to 10 spots and we were number 8 for the evening and I was stoked, life cannot get much better than this.

Once we were set for the evening (takes 10secs to park and you’re done!) we wandered down to the beach to marvel at the evening surf and sunset, it was a very romantic moment and a good excuse for a smooch on the beach!

But the Great Outdoors was not done with us yet, as night closed in we were in a secluded bay surrounded by high cliffs, it was as black as I had seen the night for a long time, no light pollution and as a result the most amazing solar show we had seen so far. The crystal clear night sky was a wonder to behold, we stood and watched the night sky for a while and watch the stars, planets and systems dazzle back down at us and also the occasional shooting star. It was so dark that it was hard to see Steph if she was more than a few metres away from me, and so dark that I did not see the attack of the sand flies our first in NZ (See steph’s blog “sand flies” for more on those little buggers).

I also tried to photograph the night sky but unfortunately without much success, I would like to say it was due to lack of equipment, but it turns out after 15 mins of trying some long shutter speeds and different positions for the camera, I had shot completely black skies…..I had left the lens cap on! Oopsie, people I ask if I ever delete photo’s, the answer is no I don’t, today I did!!

But not to be outdone, the campsite had a train track and a road between it and the beach and in these dark hours we would get an occasional truck trundle by on its way from Christchurch north. You could see the headlights in the distance as they came around the headland and weave its way past us and round to the next headland and away. This proved a great opportunity to redeem myself and play around with some interesting photography in the dark.


 Once I had finished playing around we settled into the campervan for the night the back curtains open, lying looking up, again staring at the amazing display the night sky had decided to put on.