Friday, March 13, 2009

New Zealand - Day 5

For those who do follow the updates of my travel journal, my apologies for rather a long wait. I had been busy this week with both elder girls sat for their 1st test this year. They missed 8 days of school & obviously needed extra effort to score in this test. Yesterday was the last paper & here I am...

On the fifth day of our NZ adventure, we started very early. We woke up at 5am & started waking up the girls (eldest first ) half an hour later. By half past 6, everyone was ready, fresh & looked forward to the journey awaited.

This trip for those who had read the pre-journey, would know was supposed to be a big surprise to the girls. We failed that part but managed to keep some surprises in the itinerary. The fifth day especially was full of surprises. Yes! A surprise even to HB & I... ;-)

The girls had been interrogating us on our next transport since HB sent off the Toyota. We either came up with a white lie or changed the topic. We had booked online tickets for the Tranzcoastal. For those planning to get tickets on this train ride, do browse the net for any offers. We managed to get a 50% discount on the summer promotion. The only problem then was we had to book the tickets in NZ. I emailed Tranz Scenic (the company) & a staff was kind enough to book the tickets for us. It was rather risky yes for revealing our CC particulars to a stranger without any formal documentation. I tell you it was a great relief when the very next day I received the e-tickets emailed to me.

The main reason for us putting up the night at Addington Stadium Motel was because it provided complimentary shuttle to the railway station. The owner, Bob, had to make 2 trips. First was HB, Wardah, Balqis & our luggage. Next was the remaining 3 of us.

Yasmin, in front of our room. All photos on day 5 were snapped using HB's ixus. I'm sure you still remember what happened to my dslr... :-(

Bob, ushering my two girls inside his wagon.

Wardah & Balqis posed at the Christchurch Railway Station whilst waiting for the other half of us on the second trip.

Tranz Scenic tickets counter

The queue to check in the luggage

Striking a pose next to the train. Check out the time... 646am.

Adjusting themselves in the train carriage

At 7am sharp, our train ride began

The scenic views we captured. We passed through Christchurch, Rangiora, Waipara & Mina.

The train ride all the way to Picton should take us more or less 5 hours. After the first hour Wardah & Balqis submitted themselves to dreamland.

Nadeen followed suit.

HB grabbed the chance to rest & enjoy the trip. No driving for him that day but little did he know, it was going to be a long day.

After a couple of hours ride, we were informed of a mishap which technically involved us. There was an accident. A trailer fell onto a railway track somewhere in Kaikoura. It was impossible to lift the trailer in such a short time. Hence all of us boarding the Tranzcoastal that morning had to get off at Kaikoura Station & from there we were to take a coach which would take us to our destination. Hmmmph...

Approaching Kaikoura, the coastal view welcomed us through our windows. It was such a peaceful sight. The sea on our right, mountains & greenery on our left.

Can you spot Yasmin's reflection?

I liked this one... we were falling in love with the view outside.

Sipping on hot chocolate & trying their luck to spot for either a whale or a school of dolphins perhaps.. ;-)

This looks like we were picnicking by the beach itself, right?

By this time, we had woken the girls up. Freshened up & eased themselves before we stopped at Kaikoura for our next ride. Wanting to surprise the girls with our rides that day but we were surprised with an additional ride.
Discussing anxiously of their next ride, I assume...

The girls right after we got off our second ride that day (1st was Bob's wagon).

Striking a pose whilst HB claimed our luggage.

This one was with the Pacific Ocean in the background.

Our locomotive to Kaikoura - the Tranz Rail, rather ancient don't you think?

A family portrait

The station was very near to the Whale Watch centre. This was the place to board the boat that will cruise to the ocean with luck to come face to face with the largest mammal - the whales. But due to the bad weather that day, their excursion was postponed.

I must say that the tourism in NZ is rather efficient. Once we reached the station, there were 3 coaches waiting for us. One was for those stopping in Blenheim & the other 2 to Picton.

This was our ride to Picton.

Amongst the first thing we saw upon settling ourselves on the seats was this sign. The driver actually went through all of us passengers at the back to make sure the rule was enforced.

and we obeyed...

Part of Kaikoura that we passed.

As we were enjoying the stunning coastal Alpine scenery of Kaikoura, the bus driver announced of the accident which put a halt to our train ride was right in front.

From Kaikoura, we passed through Seddon, Blenheim & finally Picton. These were the snapshots of the beautiful countrysides.

I began to see the blessing in disguise. We managed to experience viewing the north-eastern of the south island from a different perspective. In Tranzcoastal obviously, we would follow the coastal route, via bus we had the chance to experience the vineyard all around us & less cattle.

We also witnessed salt making from far.

As we were approaching Blenheim, the road got rather hilly. I was worried about Wardah & even for myself as I'm not good traveling in a bus.

At last, we were almost there...

The bus took us straight to the Interislander terminal knowing that we were going to Wellington via ferry (Our fourth ride that day & another surprise to the girls. They thought we were to fly back to North Island). When we wanted to claim our luggage, the driver & a Tranz Scenic staff informed that our luggage would be sent off directly for check in. We were so glad. It was quite a day for us. We entered the building with our Bluebridge e-tickets, looking for a counter. Couldn't find one. It was totally an Interislander terminal. HB approached a staff & true as I had guessed... we were at the wrong ferry terminal.

How would we know that? It was one big terminal. Our assumption was that the terminal accommodates all ferries. We were wrong! Come to think of it, all of our luggage was not with us. The question then was... Where could they be??

If it were not for HB, I would have freaked out. We walked back to the place where the bus dropped us. Thankfully we saw a lady with a Tranz Scenic uniform. According to her our luggage should be at the railway station because we had a blue tag instead of yellow tag which would go straight into an Interislander.

Tired but worried we herded the girls to Picton Railway Station which was about 500m away. Mind you, the stroller was together with the luggage. It was a chaos there at the station. I was sure it was due to the accident. From Picton, passengers had to board the bus to Kaikoura & then only they would take the train to Christchurch. After making like a merry-go-round around the station (good thing it was small), we found the staff who was with us in the bus. She showed us our luggage. My... it was a big relief upon finding them nicely seated on an open area.

One problem solved, another awaited to be figured out. Where in the world was the Bluebridge terminal?

Picton Railway Station

I approached a tourist & she pointed to a big guy who looked like a local, working at the station. Once I mentioned Bluebridge, he confidently told us to walk across the station & wait for a white shuttle. The shuttle should take us to the correct terminal. We just had to trust him. By that time it was like an hour before our ferry departed.

The girls obediently followed instruction to stay put for a white shuttle.

Out of a sudden a loud voice came from the other side of the road. It was that big guy again, reminding us to board a white shuttle. Thank you sir! When I realised there was a couple of tourists there also boarding the Bluebridge, I felt more relaxed.

It was about 10-15 minutes wait. Balqis entertained her sister playing with one of our lost luggage.

When the white shuttle arrived, I made sure all the girls were safe inside the almost full vehicle. HB made 3 trips up & down the shuttle to secure our luggage. My poor darling! He was sweating even though the temperature outside was at 15 degree C.

Yasmin & Wardah in the white shuttle.

Frankly, I was again nervous at the Bluebridge ticket counters. What if I printed the wrong tickets!!! We had enough for the day... really!

Alhamdulillah, all went well. We had to board the white shuttle again to take us to the pier. Again like in Milford Sound, somebody was asking why didn't we board the Interislander(it was bigger) instead. Well dear, it was the original plan but the day I wanted to purchase the tickets online, Interislander was fully booked. Perhaps, it was summer, a Saturday & also a Valentine's Day.

We were famished. Straight went to the cafe on board but it was full! We waited...

Can you spot HB with Nadeen?

At last, we found a place. Ordered our late lunch. Nadeen was really in a good mood. She enjoyed her banana flavoured chocolate drink. Not for me though.

Our lunch, fish & chips & the girls had fish nuggets.

Not only she loved her drink... she enjoyed her nuggets too!

After lunch, the girls except for Nadeen followed HB to the deck. I chose to stay as it was quite tedious to carry our belongings up the stair case. Here are some of the photos taken.

Next, HB took Nadeen up.

The diagram of the sea bed.

Farewell south island...

The journey to the north island took about 3 hours. After the 2nd hour, Wardah & I could no longer stand it. The sea was getting rough. Good that they supplied sea sickness bags. Yasmin, didn't vomit but she felt unease. Nadeen & Balqis especially had no impact at all!

Balqis was trying to massage me & her sisters.

When I was flat with Yasmin & Wardah, Balqis befriended this local couple, Graham & Mary.

As we were nearing Wellington, I felt a lot better. Took some fresh air outside together with the girls & we came back to our seats much better.

Our first glimpse of Wellington.

Victoria Hill

At last we reached Wellington safely. This is a shot as we were going out of the ferry. We were given the priority as traveling with kids & a baby.

The Bluebridge

Our first encounter of the Seagull in New Zealand.

The harbour in Wellington

For the record, this was the route we took on day 5. Red was the Tranzcoastal, black, the bus ride & brown, the Bluebridge.

Once at the Blubridge office in Wellington, HB straight made arrangement for our last ride of the day, a shuttle. We exceeded the number of passengers for a car. Hence, we simply settled for a shuttle which was really a van.

Balqis & Wardah outside the office waiting for the shuttle.

Finally the shuttle arrived after 20 minutes. HB was impressed with this tool used to lift up heavy luggage.

Us in the shuttle.

The beehive - House of Parliament.

Wellington Railway Station

We checked in at Top 10 Wellington Holiday Park. The girls loved the place.

We decided to check out the place before it got dark. As usual we headed to the playground. My girls had a great time at the park.

Especially jumping on this trampoline...

We had a big surprise awaited the girls the next day.... HB & I were so looking forward to seeing their expression.

*to be continued


lizamurni said...


As I was reading your post, I myself felt that it was such a long day, hihihi.....

Love the pics and the girls really had fun except maybe for u and wardah during the bluebridge ride....

Can't wait for the next ones...

Take care...

princess said...

Yeay mama got kakakYasmin was jumping at Top 10 !!!

nana said...

Wow!Really an adventure trip for the whole family. I bet the girls will rate this trip is the best!

Anyway, kudos to you and MG. Really a good planner both of you.

Can't wait to read your next post!

a&a'smom said...

Ja, thxs for sharing all these wonderful pics with us.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Jabishah, I really enjoyed all the pictures here. I felt like I was on the train too.
Well posted and the pics are outstanding.
I must say, your Angels sure seasoned travellers, ha ha.

Can see Captain enjoys having all his Angels on holidays.
Have fun, Jabishah, and wow! Nadeen suda besar la, so cute! Lee.

leen said...

Ja...what an experience! But the girls seemed to enjoy themselves.

BTW managed to get the boss hook to the story too...hehehe :-)

MrsNordin said...

Train ride, bus ride and ship ride? You cover the whole transporation mode, dear! Best nya! I'd love to do the same one day, insyaallah...

Kak Ezza@makcik Blogger said...

akak nak tanya..pil apa kamu makan ni....segar bugar jer sepanjang perjalanan...tak letih ker dik oiiii...

jabishah said...

Hi dikny,

It was a loooong day! The Bluebridge was the peak. But yes again the girls had a great time.

The photos turned out quite nice right. Most shots were taken from our transport.

jabishah said...

Princess dear,

I didn't realise that until you mentioned it. It showed she liked that place the best...

jabishah said...

Hello Nana,

Sorry Im a bit late on the next post. School break... Hardly hv the time for myself.

Thanks. Glad to know that you enjoyed the posts.

jabishah said...

No prob at all Sheela. This travel journal is not merely for my readers but also for us. It is a pity when I cant recall much of our past family adventures. These postings I hope the trip is vivid in our mind.

jabishah said...

Hello uncle,

Thank you. I hope the girls will remember this adventure we had as these postings are just a few clicks away...

Seasoned travelers? Hahahha... We owe it to HB!

jabishah said...

Hi Leen,

Yes, they enjoyed the trip despite what happened.

What? Your boss is reading this too?

Hi boss! NZ is the best choice of a holiday reward to boost up your staff's performance. Hehehe....

jabishah said...

Mrs. N,

Ye lah all mode kan? InsyaAllah... perhaps when Nizzar is more dependent , ke tinggal je dia so that you can make him an abg made in NZ... ;-)

jabishah said...

Kak Ezza,

Segar bugar? Dlm feri tu gagal... Lupa nak bwk pil muntah.

Tapi kak, bila tgk the girls happy, hilang penat... esp tgk Nadeen. Happy sgt dia dkt sana. Alhamdulillah semua sihat. Nadeen kan demam 2,3 hari before bertolak.