We got up early again to catch an 8am flight from Paraparaumu to Blenheim. We were kindly allowed to leave our car at Jack and Debra’s and Jack drove us to the airport and then took Debra on to Wellington airport for her flight to Auckland.

Sign at the airport 🙂


The cloud was a bit low at Paraparaumu but we were told it would clear up near the South Island.


The beach at Paraparaumu.


Kapiti Island.


Cloud clearing to reveal the Marlborough Sounds.

IMG_2654_resized IMG_2656_resized IMG_2662_resized IMG_2665_resized IMG_2672_resized IMG_2673_resized

On Final for Blenheim.

IMG_2675_resized IMG_2677_resized IMG_2680_resized IMG_2681_resized IMG_2682_resized

After landing we picked up our hire car, visited the Tourist Information centre at the train station in Blenheim and then headed for a breakfast and coffee at the nearby Raupo café.

First on the to-do list was to visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre and the ‘Knights of the Sky, Great War Exhibition’.

View from the car park.


I took a number of photos – the exhibition was very, very good. However, the pictures are not allowed to be shown in public so I can’t put them on here. Through Peter Jackson’s involvement, the people from the Weta Workshop were involved in staging the scenery and mannequins and the exhibits have been brought to life. I definitely recommend visiting if you’re in the area.

After leaving the museum we drove from Blenheim to Picton. There were two Interislander ferries in port, which was a surprise as there had been some recent problems with one or other of the ferries. We’d seen them both moored up in the harbour at Wellington on the 17th Jan after another problem.

Picton after the ferries left.

IMG_2695_resized IMG_2698_resized

Shakespeare Bay.

IMG_2699_resized IMG_2700_resized

Havelock from the east.


After a long and winding drive we got to Nelson and stopped at the Tourist Information centre where Noel took a call from his Dad in Napier to say there had been a 6.2 magnitude earthquake near Masterton at 3.52pm and he’d felt it in Napier! We had felt nothing, we’d been in the car. We heard after that Jack had been driving in Paraparaumu and thought he’d got a flat tyre and then realised it was an earthquake. I was a bit miffed to have missed it as I’ve not yet experienced an earthquake (not that I wish it on anyone) and have now twice missed feeling one by a day.

We stopped for a coffee while we worked out where to stay and found that one of the giant eagles inside Wellington airport had fallen to the floor. Or should I say, The Eagle Has Landed?! 🙂 I had taken a picture of it aloft 3 days previously. It’s the first picture in the sequence on that day’s blog.

Approaching Tahunanui in Nelson we saw a swarm of about 25 kitesurfers out on the water!


A word of advice – it seems to be common that fish and chips shops and the like close much earlier than in the UK. We had earlier passed a fish and chips shop so went back at 7.45pm to find it closed, not the first time this has happened to us. Luckily we found somewhere else to eat.