During April, a dilemma was presented. Two occasions would be taking place in the South Island, on two seperate weekends, involving two people dear to us. Could we go down to one and not the other? Don't be ridiculous. Could we go the weekend between and kill two birds with one stone? Possibly, but I tend to be a bit of a nature lover, and don't like all this talk of killing birds. So I used up some airpoints and nutted out some ways to make things cheaper, and we just went ahead and did both!
To keep costs to manageable levels, we had to fly as far as Christchurch, to where flights are more frequent from Auckland than direct to Dunedin, and then take the 6 hour Intercity bus from there. It ate into the amount of time we had in each place, and we had to be pretty organized, but it was a good way to sit back and get to know the scenery along the way, and was a guaranteed amount of time when we wouldn't have to be doing anything, a sort of mandatory rest period so we could get the most out of our trip everywhere else.
Although we went on two seperate weekends, for the sake of simplicity I've combined both sets of photos into the one gallery in logical, not chronological, sections. The flight down the first time it was cloudy most of the way anyway, so it didn't matter that I'd forgotten to charge my camera battery - I more than made up for it the second time. Contrastingly, the first time we didn't have much time in Christchurch, save from our walk from the airport to Rosie's sister's flat in Upper Riccarton, but the second time we had an evening and a morning at our disposal. Dunedin was similarly contrasting - I took many photos the first time of the city and the university campus, so about all I took the second time was going up Baldwin Street (steepest street in the world) and at our friend Verity's 21st party, the reason for our 2nd visit. Photos from that are not here, but can be seen here, as I've categorized it more correctly as one of the special features.
Predominantly, the bus journey pictures were taken only on the way north again, as the bus from Christchurch was both times a late service, and there is veyr little to be seen on the Canterbury plains by night. Most were taken the first journey, but I snapped a few off the second time around, as we were at the front on the top level of a double-decker bus, affording us a much better and uninterrupted view than previously.
No pictures were taken either time heading back to Auckland, though I'm kicking myself a bit for that being the case coming back for the last time, as we had splendid views of snow on the Kapiti ranges and the Big 3 mountains on the central plateau. I'd left it in checked luggage though, so there was no helping that. Next time.