Exploring with Dora

Narrated by Alaina

Today was the day! We picked up our amazing minivan/camper, now named Dora, and overcame our fear of driving on the opposite side of the road. While really weird at first – rear view mirror is on your left, blinker switch is on your right – we got the hang of it and even drove through Christchurch.   IMG_9088

With all our excited energy, we had heard from a local yesterday that one of her favorite things to do is the Repaki Track on the outskirts of the city. With Dora in tow, we headed for the track entry which reminded us of the hills in LA.

This was the perfect first track for us. I am so proud of Mike because there were definitely some steep hills and by the end he was standing right on the edge looking over. For someone that is not the most comfortable with heights, he owned the experience. The track took us over a gorgeous valley and then all of a sudden we had the most beautiful view of Christchurch, the harbor and the sea.

 We were in awe of the people running and biking this track. The speed that the mountain bikers were moving was impressive. Mike and I were just happy to have accomplished the first challenge!

On another note, this is where we saw our first sheep! Some were on the path, but most were grazing the hills. Since our hike, we have seen perhaps thousands of sheep, sooooo the novelty might wear off as the days go by 😉

While on the track we met a group of people, one being from Phoenix who was visiting NZ for three months. We started talking and he said that we should definitely drive to Akaroa, about 90 minutes southeast of Christchurch. After finishing the track, we were trying to figure out our next step and while Akaroa was not on the original plan, we decided to make the detour, because we can!

It was 100% worth it. As I am writing this, we are sitting in our camper having just watched the sunset over the mountains and harbor. The town is a picture perfect oceanside retreat, with the most adorable pier and businesses that have gorgeous gardens. We enjoyed a delicious dinner, were introduced to some local wine and beer and walked the town.


We have already had some good laughs with the camper and know there will be plenty more to come. It’s a good thing Mike and I really like each other because we are definitely dealing with some close quarters!