Our way lead us down the east coast, towards Christchurch. There are quite a few worthwhile places to stop on the way, like the cute town centre and amazing golden hills of Blenheim, Kaikoura with it's many wildlife watching opportunities and lots of nice coastline and beaches.
We saw heaps of seals, too, just next to the highway sitting on their rocks. They are just part of nature everywhere here on the South Island, not rare sights like in the north.
And the further we drive, the more glances we catch at the mountains to the west. They are beautiful and we can't wait to see them up close.
Before heading to the city, we drove down to Akaroa on Banks Peninsula – a rocky bit of land with heaps of little bays, created by several volcanoes. Akaroa is a really funny little town at the end of the highway, the first and only French settlement in New Zealand. Had the French captain who discovered the Peninsula come just a few years earlier, the whole country might have become a French colony. We spent a night in “Duvauchelle” and went back towards Christchurch on Summit Road, winding to the top of the former craters and offering breathtaking views over the whole peninsula.