Our 14 Day adventure in New Zealand on crutches

12 destinations in 14 days in New Zealand’s South Island

It all started when I was making my way home from work on Friday afternoon. While crossing the road, I managed to roll my foot for the 6th time that day, only this time, I heard a crack. I thought, “that doesn’t sound good“.

Needless to say, I ended up in hospital with a confirmed fractured left foot. Fantastic timing! It was a week before my holiday in New Zealand (NZ) and I had great plans of adventure, hiking, hang gliding, mountain biking… Oh well, it could have been worse.


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I got the all clear from the doctor to fly and we flew out the following Friday morning. We landed in Christchurch and picked up a new hybrid Camry hire car. I can’t believe how quiet they are, and they are fantastic on fuel too. I highly recommend hiring a hybrid or diesel vehicle, because petrol over there is quite expensive and diesel is half the price of petrol!

The upside is, you get good old fashioned customer service, with a helping hand filling the tank for you, with a friendly smile to boot.

Our adventure would take us on a figure of eight journey around the whole of the south island of New Zealand.


Our first night was spent in comfortable accommodation at City Centre Motel in Christchurch. It was quite sad to see the damage from the earthquake of a couple of years ago. Apparently over 54% of the buildings in Christchurch had to be demolished and rebuilt. Having said that, numerous building facades had been painted with giant, beautiful, colourful murals, brightening the city skyline. My fractured foot paled into insignificance.

Kaikoura - Seal
Kaikoura – Seal

Next stop was the the Mediterranean Motel at Kaikoura, where along the way seal colony’s are dotted along the amazing coastline.  Only, being on crutches made it impossible for me to walk out along the rocks and get up close and personal (sad face). We were lucky enough to see literally hundreds of seals, though. So adorable!


Picton New Zealand – Photo taken by Mr Bullitt from Sweden, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=677258

Our third night was spent in the quaint, picturesque town of Picton, the port where the ferry takes you to the north island of New Zealand. We stayed in the Picton Yacht Club Hotel overlooking the bay, conveniently located across the road from restaurants and bars.

Nelson – café precinct

The following day we headed off to Nelson which is a beautiful, European style town where we stayed in the glorious old English style B & B, “Woodsy House“, which was set in the side of the mountain.  The views to the sea and over the town were stunning.

I did a spot of shopping in town and bought my man a couple of funky dress shirts, (David Smith and John Lennon labels). I do like him looking a bit hip, groovy baby. Besides, his birthday was only a week and a half away.

Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks
Punakaiki – Pancake Rocks and Blow holes

Day five and we were off on a 3 and a half hour or so drive, to Punakaiki on the East Coast of the Island. It was the first rainy day, however that didn’t stop us from exploring the Punakaiki “Pancake Rocks” and “Blow Holes“. Granted it was a little difficult and slow on crutches in the drizzling rain, but completely worth the effort.

We stayed in the Blue Waves B & B with a super lovely couple. Our room overlooked a perfectly manicured garden, directly across the road from the open seas and rolling waves. We were entertained with stories of stinky penguins, old mining and fishing tales, of course!

Day six, we made our way over the mountains through Arthurs Pass to Ashburton, where we stayed in a farm house, built in the early 1900’s. The majestic tree-lined drive led to a prestigious farm house, named “Coniston House“, which was centred in a circular drive, surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens.

The property was bound by lush green paddocks of cows and sheep. In the middle of the back garden was a water fountain, where rabbits playfully bounded early the next morning. The accommodation was luxurious, befitting a queen and I felt privileged for the experience.

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Next stop was Queenstown, staying at the Sherwood Hotel. Oh my god, Queenstown is absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful! The photo’s don’t really do Queenstown justice. We stayed two nights and took in as much as we could. This included Bruce doing some extreme mountain bike riding and me joining him for part of the journey on the Gondola ride up the mountain. That was extreme enough for me on crutches. The views from the Gondola are spectacular.

We are definitely coming back when I am fully capable. My adventures can wait until then…

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Milford Sound

Milford Sound Overnight Cruise on the Milford Wanderer, here we come! The canopy of trees lining the winding roads to Milford Sound, were picture perfect. The most humbling experience was being in the presence of  the ancient, snow capped mountains. I was spell-bound by their prehistoric magnificence, which engulfed the senses, is the only way I can  explain it.

On the cruise, we were treated to an up close and personal view of the Milford Sound Waterfall. The Captain expertly navigated us so close, we got wet from the spray. Part of the overnight cruise included an hour long hike along a mountain track, via a Tinder (boat), which of course I couldn’t attend, as I was on crutches.

The Captain was very generous, treating Bruce and I to a private Tinder ride around the Sound. As luck would have it, we got close enough to almost touch a couple of young seal pups, relaxing on a rock and showing off frolicking in the water.

Next stop was Invercargill, home of Burt Munro’s “Fastest Little Indian” motorcycle that set land speed records for motorcycles at the Salt Flats in Utah, back in the late 1950s.

Bruce was in heaven when he discovered the original bike, including Burt’s other collection of vintage bikes. All of which, were but a couple of blocks away from where we were staying, in a hardware store, of all places!

We were getting closer to the end of our adventure.

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Otago Bay – Dunedin

We drove through the beachside town of Otago, on our way to our accommodation, Hulmes Court B&B, located in the heart of Dunedin city for two nights. I would describe Dunedin as a picturesque, Victorian, almost industrial style town. There is certainly a lot of history here. We visited the rather large and impressive Otago Museum, which takes you on a journey from the first settlers to current times.

We ate in a traditional Italian Restaurant, the best in town of course, enjoying having a rest from driving. I have to admit, there wasn’t a night I didn’t enjoy a local beer. The food in New Zealand is top quality and always fresh. The people are really helpful and friendly. I felt like I’d taken a trip back in time 30 years, from growing up in Australia. The traffic (what traffic), the classic cars, the customer service, all amazing.

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Rakaia St Itas B&B Guesthouse

Our second last night was spent in the quaint country town of Rakaia. We stayed in luxury in St. Itas B & B, two minutes from the local pub where we ended up having dinner. After dinner, Bruce and I crashed the locals at the bar, joining them for a few ales. We laughed, shared stories, drank more beer and talked footy.

The publican even dropped us back to our accommodation. Who does that anymore! They are so lovely.

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Our last night loomed as we made our way back to Christchurch, we stopped for lunch in the magical town of Akaroa. The drive into this magnificent town was like a journey into paradise.

As we rounded the mountain, the scenery opened up to a stunning azure bay, bound by the historic French style village nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. Galleries, craft stores, and cafés front the main street all walking distance to the bay. You can swim with the dolphins, see penguins and the occasional whale, if your lucky.

Last but not least we returned to Christchurch for our last night, back at City Centre Motel and our final flight home.

We are planning our next trip for the same time next year, end of January through February, because it rains the least this time of year and it’s their summer. We will definitely stay a week in stunning Akaroa, a night catching up with our friends in Rakaia, a few days of adventure in Queenstown exploring the Glaciers, Mt Cook and doing all the adventure stuff I didn’t get to do this time around.


Navigating the South Island of New Zealand on crutches wasn’t so bad. I enjoyed beautiful scenery, friendly people, great food, the odd beer and generally had a blast.

Life is definitely great in my world and New Zealand is definitely a destination everyone should have on their bucket list.

Happy travels.

Love Fe xo



2 thoughts on “Our 14 Day adventure in New Zealand on crutches

  1. You write so well! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! You are a breath of fresh air- the most positive, enthusiastic person I know! So glad you still managed to have a fantastic holiday! Hope your (very) sore ankle is starting to improve too! Ali xx


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