Wednesday, 7 September 2016


Welcome to Dubai the land of the rich, or so they say. We flew with Air China from South Korea, the flight was good time pasted fast and we were fed, well I say fed it was a little questionable but isn't all plane food. There was a little turbulence so unfortunately no hot drinks were being served but the flight cost us £175 each which we thought was relatively good.

At Dubai airport we were met by our home owner and took us to their house. We were about 30 minute drive from the airport and pasted the bright lights of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and the Mall of Emirates.

Upon arrival it was close to midnight so we had a bite to eat a chat and headed to bed. The following day we had the morning to ourselves as they were working so we had time to sort ourselves out and become acquainted to the animals. We have Sandy the Golden Retriever, Charlie the miniature Yorkshire Terrier, 2 cats Fluffy and Snowball and PeTe the cockatoo. We have never looked after a bird before so wasn't sure what to expect from him but he filled our day with laughter. He could only say 'Hello' but at the end he started saying 'Hello Pete' and trying copy us on a night time. very loving too followed you around in his cage.

The house sit was positioned slight out of the city around 30 minutes from the Mall of Emirates and as we could not drive in the UAE because I only have a UK license we relied on the buses/metro which were very easy.

NOTE: You need a ticket before you board the bus/metro, they do not accept money on the bus and if your there for a while it is best to purchase the SILVER card which can be used on the buses and metro's. There is an option for a Gold card and this allows you to sit in first class but you are charged more per journey so not really worth it.

NOTE: There is a book for Dubai called 'Entertainer Dubai' which is full of vouchers for restaurants, activities and hotels. My advise it to price up the activities you want to do then see if there are vouchers in the book before just buying the book as it does cost 500 Dirham (today's exchange rate £102).

NOTE: Also before buying the entertainer book look at 'Entertainer Dubai Voucher Swap group on Facebook as people do put vouchers up on there and even full books if they are leaving Dubai. You can also ask for the vouchers you need and people may have them to give. You will need to arrange a collection point so check what your nearest Malls are as that will probably be easiest.

Dubai's weather is hot hot hot in July/August something we knew before we went but perhaps wasn't quite prepared for. 40-45 degrees celcius everyday ALL day. There wasn't much you could do during the day except for the malls which are all air conditioned. We did have a pool at our house sit which was a blessing and the dogs loved it too. Even jumped in before us!


  • Mall of Emirates: This was one of the first malls in Dubai and is big, plenty of shops to choose from with easy access from buses and the Metro. (Vouchers for restaurants in the entertainer book).
  • Dubai Mall: The biggest mall in the world. We only saw a fraction of this mall it was so big. There is a huge aquarium in the mall which you can stand and watch for divers cleaning or the public learning to dive in. (Vouchers for restaurants in the entertainer book).

  • Fountain: The famous fountain can be found at Dubai Mall. There is a Venice feel as you look across the bridge and out to the fountain. The show is only about 5 minutes long but great to watch with the synchronised music.

  • Burj Khalifa: This used to be the tallest building in the world, and is situated in between Dubai Mall and the fountain. You can go up the Burj Khalifa and if that is something you want to do please check the weather as a sand storm or smog will affect your viewing. Also book in advance. To the lowest section of the building it will cost you 200 Dirham (today's exchange rate £40) but if you pay on the day it will cost you nearly 500 Dirhams (today's exchange rate £102). We did not do this as we didn't think it would be worth the money. We have been up things like this in the past and I can not say I was impressed then.

  • Gold and Spice Souk: You can get a City Tour Bus for this and it will take you to several other placed around Dubai City Center but after adding it up we found it was cheaper to find our own way there and it was very easy. If you get the Metro from the Mall of Emirates get on the red line to Burjuman Metro station the switch to the green line to Al Ras, exit the station to the right and follow the road round until you see a hotel. From there turn right and walk straight you will come across the market. I was looking forward to going here but on arrival we were hounded by people from their stalls 2-3 guys approaching us trying to sell us something every step we took, so we didn't stop and was in and out in a few minutes.
  • Water parks: As the weather was so hot we didn't like the thought of waiting in queues at a water park so we didn't go to any but you will get Wild Wadi vouchers in the Entertainer. There is also the Atlantic water park and the best on is Yas water park but this one is in Abu Dhabi so you will need to get a taxi there.
  • The Miracle Garden: Full of flowers and different colour plants but again it was so hot we didn't fancy walking around a garden in 40 degrees celcius. 

  • Desert Safari: There are sooooo many desert safari's to choose from, all of which offer the same thing. We went with Arabian Nights Tours as there was a 2 for 1 voucher in the Entertainer book. I must say this is definitely a TOURIST TRAP! You have been warned. We paid 300 Dirhams (today's exchange rate £63 for two people) which you say isn't too bad until you do trip. In reality your basically paying £63 for a meal. We we picked up at 4:15pm and didn't arrive at the sand dunes until 5:30pm, here we waiting for the other groups to arrive so we took pictures. We then went on a 20 minute dune bashing in the cars and arrived at camp.You have the choose to ride a camel. RIDE is not what it was, you are on the camel for approximately 2 minutes and walk in a circle! You are entitled to a free henna tattoo which takes 30 seconds to do. There is a choice of having a sheesha pipe on your table for £12 or you can have one for free if you walk 50 steps to the stall!! The food was very nice you are given a chicken kebab on arrival and the main meal was a large selection of salad, chicken curry, beans, chicken leg, sausages and fish. In the description of the tour is did say desserts but we never got any. Lastly the entertainment, if you want to call it that. It was the most ridiculous form of entertainment I've ever seen. A grown man spinning around in a circle with a colourful dress to the sound of a baby crying and then a 15 minute belly dance.
I was disappointed with the tour as I was expecting a lot more.

We were at our house sit for 4 weeks and we booked tickets to France. We had to get a taxi to the airport which took about 30 minutes and cost £16. Taxi's around Dubai are very cheap in comparison to other countries.

Join me next time for Craon in France. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Incheon - South Korea

I am not sure about other travelers but for us we liked to travel on the cheap which means getting budget airlines and the longest waiting time, and this is exactly what we did when traveling to South Korea, we had a 4 hour await at the hotel before heading to the airport, then a 4 hour await at the airport. We flew to Kuala Lumpur which took an hour but as we had booked two seperate flights we had to collect our bags and re-check in which was a long process (we left 3 hours between flights but the check in at Kuala Lumpur and border control takes a while) so we just made it to the gate in time to board. The the flight from Kuala Lumpar to Incheon airport took around 6 hours. On arriving at Incheon airport we bought tickets just outside the exit doors for the limousine bus to Songdo which cost 8,000 Won each (today's exchange rate £5.45 each) and you want to get off at The Korean Coast Guard stop and this will be in the centre of Songdo. Alternatively you can get the public bus 303 and get off at the same stop. This cost 2,500 Won each. (today's exchange rate £1.70 each).

When we arrived we met with your house sit at Starbucks and walked to her apartment. Songdo seems a bit daunting when you first arrive but it is really easy to navigate, all you have to remember is the main street which runs down the middle of Songdo has loads of flags all the way along.

This house sit we were in an apartment looking after 2 cats, Kimchi and Taco. We were told there were other house sitters in the area at the same time as us. Our sit as with most was 6 weeks long. On thing to note about South Korea is that there are very few people who speak English and not a lot of signs or restaurants are in English, which can be a struggle if you get lost or want to buy things at the supermarket. We did get suck with the bus once and someone jumped off to help us out which was lovely so you might be lucky to find one.

I think a week would be long enough in South Korea if I'm honest as it isn't very tourist friendly. The bus drivers didn't acknowledge or speak any English and there isn't many attractions to see.


  • Seoul - The Capital of South Korea is really nice as far as cities go. The streets are clean and very easy to get around with plenty of beauty shops and clothes shop but the city center lacks gadget shops and gaming shops. We are gamer's and thought we could pick up some cheap PlayStation games but we were disappointed, we got the train to Sinyongsan and there are plenty of game shops around that area inside the Mall and also if you walk under the under pass you will see indoor markets with lots of games in various shops.

  • War Memorial - We didn't go to the war memorial as after reading reviews and Trip advisor we learnt that although they have war planes outside there isn't much inside, large rooms with a few objects in and a lot of writing on the walls. If this is your thing don't be put off but we watch a documentary on North Korea called "Propaganda Game" and found this more informative.
  • North Korea Tour - There are a few tours which run up to the North Korean border, our house sit advised us to go with DMZ tours if we were to do one, but they didn't really enjoy it, and after again reading reviews i felt it was a 'tourist trap' and most of the day was driving, a couple of opportunities to take pictures because remember North Korea like their privacy and the look out point you need binoculars to see North Korea so your pretty far away from it. lol.

  • Central Park - This is in Songdo and lovely to walk around as the sun is setting. You can rent canoe's or pedal boats and go around the lake which is in the middle of the park. 

  • Korean BBQ - Korean BBQ's are very popular and most restaurants offer them, but the one you NEED to try is Dino Meats Grill in Songdo as it is all you can eat for 9,000 Won each (today's exchange rate £6.14 each) and is delicious.

  • Night Flea Markets - The night flea markets and Korean street food can be found near to the Hongik University and you can find some great bargains here.

There is only 1 large supermarket in Songdo called Lotto which is opposite central park and a small mart close to the allotments in the middle of Songdo.

All in all its a place we never planned on visiting but thanks to Trusted House Sits it gave us the opportunity to see somewhere new, if your thinking of going just bear in mind a week would be long enough.

Thank you for reading we shall be back in a few weeks with out adventures in Dubai.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Kata Beach - Phuket, Thailand.

After our house sit in New Zealand had finished we could not find another house to fill a 12 day gap, so we looked into Hong Kong and Japan. As we have grown accustom to house sitting, it wasn't that easy parting with the cash on a hotel. We searched for nearly 2 weeks straight looking for hotels in both area's but non of them seemed value for money. The best prices we could find (for what we wanted) was £500 and this was only for one week. This I guess is what you pay for a city, but the size of a room was tiny compared to what we have paid else where in the world. So after a long thought we decided neither place is where we wanted to go so we settled on going back to Thailand where we knew we can get value for money and food is cheap.

Now we have been to Phuket twice already on this trip and both times we have stayed in Patong, but this time we wanted somewhere a little quieter to enjoy more of a holiday experience, because any traveler will know its hard work!!! lol. My sister and her husband had just been to Karon beach and loved it (please read her blog if you haven't already so we looked into this area and also Kata Beach, which are in walking distance from each other.

We finally settled on Kata beach and we were not disappointed. We didn't want the busy streets that are in Patong and we are not clubbers so that scene did not matter we just wanted a quiet relaxing hotel. I don't know about you but when I read reviews on TripAdvisor I am always left more confused then when i started because everyone is different and some people just nit pick. (I too am one of those people at times). We found a hotel called Chanalia Flora Resort and on reading reviews I learn that there are too many stairs to climb, there isn't enough choice at breakfast and the pools were small. So I was a little dubious of what to expect when we got there, but from the moment we stepped out of the car the staff were fantastic. They could not do enough for us, and with it being low season there was maintenance going on around the hotel, the first room they put us in had no view and they were chopping trees down outside our window so we asked to move rooms and the did this immediately. We were given a top floor room with a sea view and it was perfect. (We did ask ourselves why they gave us the first room when the hotel was quiet??) There were stairs to climb to reach the lifts to the rooms but there was about 15 steps at the most so who ever complained about the stairs is just lazy. The breakfast had loads to offer from toast, noodles, pancakes, eggs, rice, cereal and fruit so there is enough to have something different each day.

Now to the pools, there was 2 pools a top and bottom, the top was one depth all the way along but had seats so you could sit in the water and bubbles and the bottom pool was deep at one end with a water fall, both of which we enjoyed. The thing that made this hotel greet to us was it was my birthday while we were there and without any prompting they sang me happy birthday and bought me a cake which i felt was lovely. I would definitely stay here again.

Kata area itself was just what we wanted, a lovely clean and not over crowded beach, plenty of shops to look at, night markets and restaurants everywhere. Our favourite and an absolute MUST is Danny's Bar Restaurant 44, the food here is a good price and the duck dishes they do are to die for. This became our local for the 12 days and we ate there every lunch and dinner it was delicious.

While in Kata we found another house sit in South Korea, which we are currently at hence the delay in blogging as I don't want to catch up with myself. So off we go to Incheon, stay tuned for my blog on 2 cats and an apartment.

Hotels we stayed in are:
Chanalia Flora Resort, £202 for 12 nights. We booked the room through their own site as we got free fruit platter on arrival, 15% off drinks and 15% off food in their restaurant and also breakfast was included in the price. Its the first time was more expensive. The rooms were big and modern with a large shower room and large wardrobe space. TV reception was good and we WIFI was OK a little spotty now and then but the hotel dealt with this when informed.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Wanganui, New Zealand

Hello and welcome back. After a very early morning flight from Melbourne and some waiting around in Auckland for a second flight down to Palmerston North we finally made it to our next house sit. For both our flights to New Zealand (Jetstar) it cost us £308 for 2 people.

We were greeted at the airport by our house sitters, which was a little strange for us as they were just about to fly out for their holiday so we actually only met them for 30 minutes, but we had been in contact prior to our arrival and it just shows how trusting people can be. We got a ride back to Wanganui where they lived with their daughter and we began our 8 week house sit. Now i know what your thinking '8 weeks is a long time' and we did think this at the start of the sit, as the area was small with no close malls and of course it was coming into winter so a lot of attractions were closing down, but 8 weeks flew by, we don't know where the time went. The saying 'time fly's when your having fun' is really true, it does!

So Wanganui or as it is now spelt Whanganui, it a city on the west coast of the north island, it does have its own airport but flights from here were 3 times the price hence our flight into Palmerston North. Wanganui river which runs direct into the sea was a major European trading settlement, and grew into a military centre during the New Zealand wars. It now hosts Grand Prix motorcycle road race through the streets of downtown Wanganui, this is usually held on Boxing Day, and it is also one of the oldest rugby unions in New Zealand. As it was coming into winter there wasn't very many tourists in the area and the place itself was very quiet.

The house sit was very centralised to all supermarkets and the main street of shops in town. We had the pleasure of looking after Hudson, the miniature poodle who after a few days became inseparable to us and when ever we would leave the room he would follow and when we went out for the day he would cry until we left the house. It is amazing how dogs can adapt to new owners and when he realised we were no threat to him and we would play with him he was our best friend. We also looked after Bella, the cat who slept pretty much most of the day. She was our first cat we looked after and we knew cats slept a lot but didn't think this much, she was 13 I guess. She made the rare appearance if she was cold and came looking to snuggle into you for warmth. The friendship her and Hudson have is funny to watch, Love each other but hate each other at the same time. lol.

Attractions in Wanganui:

  • Wellington: The drive to Wellington is long and boring, 3 hour drive with nothing to see along the way. The day we went Wellington definitely lived up to its name 'The windy city' as it was blowing a gale and when we left Wanganui it was a lovely day. Wellington is very easy to navigate round and I found the city to be more boutique shops, of course there were your brand shops there but majority of it was posh boutique shops. The streets were very clean and nice to window shop but as you may have guessed from reading my previous blogs we are not city people so this to us was not very exciting. There is a cable car your can take from the city up to the Botanic gardens but we did not do this due to the weather. Parking is expensive in Wellington and you only get 2 hours free, with car parks not very big. There are many museums dotted around the city we went into a few which we found all to be free. We would have liked to look around the Weta Caves which is a multi-award winning design studio and physical manufacturing facility which has worked on films like Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Amazing Spider-man etc but when we arrived they had sold out so you must book in advance if you want to go.
  • Empire cinema:
The cinema in Wanganui is very old fashioned and downs need some updating but on a Tuesday you can get cheap tickets at $9 (today's exchange rate £5) each.

  • Durie Hill: The look out town which can be found on the opposite side of the river from the city. It is very high and there are lots of steps so if your a little scared there is a smaller tower in front of this one. The views from up here are amazing and you can see for miles 360 degrees. You can follow the river down the the sea mouth and see the path the tradesman took years and years ago.

  • Virginia Lake: A beautiful lake just on the outskirts of Wanganui, which is lovely to take a picnic too but be-careful of the duck and geese down steal your food. You can walk all the way around the lake with different paths to take and you can also walk through the wooded area. There are 2 flower gardens to look around an indoor one and an outdoor one. No pets are allowed at the lake though.

  • Palmerston North: This is probably the closest city with a shopping mall and is only an 1hour drive. It is a small city with a huge grassed area in the middle with a river and large chest board to sit around. The is also plenty of street art to find as your walking through the many streets.

  • River Cruises:
Obviously a main attraction in Wanganui is the river so you will find a number of river cruises along the river banks offering different things from 10 minutes to a full day, morning or evening and a night BBQ. Unfortunately for us they had closed for the winter but we did walk along the river as there are boardwalks so we saw what you would see on a cruise.

  • Mail Bus Tour: This tour is as it sounds, you take a tour on the mail bus all the way up the Wanganui river to Pipirki. The tour takes about 5 hours as you stop off and deliver post to the locals, there are no shops along the route so you do need to take a packed lunch or purchase the lunch with the tour. In the summer there are many things you can do along the tour from the Flying Fox, kayaking, jet boats, biking but as it was winter there was nothing open. It takes you up the Jerusalem where an old convent was build in 1892 and still houses 2 nuns who used to work there. In my honest opinion this tour was a waste of money and my advice would be to drive it yourself. We paid $63 (today's exchange rate £34) each. I feel they should drop the price through the week as they are going there anyway, but you were in the van for 90% of the day, you didn't see anything you wouldn't see if you came on your own.We didn't feel it was value for money. 

So before we knew it our 8 weeks were up. We did not find another house sit after this one so we decided to head back to.... you guessed it Phuket. Join me next time when we talk about Kata Beach, Phuket. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Melbourne - Indented head

So here we are again in Melbourne Australia, but this time we are at the furthest point from the city at the tip of Indented Head. Our flight from New Zealand took about 5 hours and cost 490 NZD (today's exchange rate £240) for two people with Air New Zealand.

When we arrived in Melbourne airport we were greeted by border control and pulled to one side. We had no idea why we were asked to stand and wait for an officer, the lady at border control must have been new and was asking for help. After a few moments of standing there wondering what was going on, we were met by the most rude and obnoxious man I have ever met. There was no introduction as to who he was or what was going on, he just stood there with his arms folded asking why we wanted to come back to Australia?! Now we were surprised to be stopped as we had stuck to our visa terms and left Australia after 3 months and returned after what we thought was ample time of 6 weeks, but this guy stood in front of me, telling me he knows the rules and wasn't explaining them to me, I was getting annoying. He was telling us that 6 weeks was not long enough out of Australia but when asked what is a suggestible amount of time he didn't have an answer. After 20 minutes of him looking through our phones and contacting previous house sits he let us through on the basis that we get a visa extension? WHAT!! you can not get a visa extension on the E - visa we had? he clearly didn't know what he was talking about and power had gone to his head! So we went to get our bags and met up with Jim to start out next house sit. 

With everything that happened at border control we decided to get the train to city, from Geelong. This cost us $50 AUD (today's exchange rate £26) for two people, return. It took us about an hour and then another hour looking for the immigration office. When we got to the office we explained what had happened and could we get some confirmation that we had the correct visa, but the office told us that yes we are in the right leaving every 3 months and returns, but there was no guide lines as to how long you should stay out of Australia on each visit, it is all up to the person at border control in the airport. This to me is ridiculous, we abide by the rules but immigration can not set out clear guidelines. What if the person at border control has had a rubbish day, he can be really awkward and deny entry! Come on Australia sort it out. If you think 3 months is long enough to see Australia why offer a 12 month visa? Set a time limit on re-entering Australia, its not hard!!!!

Note - Print out your visa requirements so you have them handy if you get into a situation like us. Also take peoples names as reference.

The main town to us without going into Melbourne city itself was Geelong. It had everything to offer from shopping to eating out and had a good cinema there too, although the bigger screens are the better ones. The town was about 45 minutes drive from indented head and had plenty of shops along the high street and a lovely walk along the pier. There is also a Botanic Gardens close to the center.

The drive to Indented Head  from Geelong is filled with winery's. There are many that offer restaurants on the vineyards as well as wine tasting. The one we were recommended was Peter Rabbit Winery. Also look out for small markets along the way selling fresh seafood, we got 1kg of mussels for $5 AUD (today's exchange rate £3) and they were very tasty.

Of course I think the main attraction in Melbourne is the Great Ocean Road. We joined the road at Torquay and as you will know spans for quite a long way so we didn't drive it all, but there was plenty to look at from status in the sand to the large cliffs which wind along the ocean.

We were in Melbourne for 4 weeks with too lovely dogs, Ralph the Labrador and Bess the Boxer. They were such lovely nature dogs and we really enjoyed looking after them. Although there is not much in Indented Head we are glad we chose the house sit here because I don't think it would have been an area we would have come to if not. Next week we will be back in New Zealand at Wanganui. 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Opononi, New Zealand

After leaving Christchurch we flew up to Auckland and then across to KeriKeri. The flights cost around £550  for 2 people. The plane from Auckland to KeriKeri was very small and noisy. At the airport in KeriKeri there is no border control, they just wheel your baggage off into the arrival lounge. The gentleman waiting to pick us up was pretty much standing on the tarmac. Opononi was about 1 hour drive west through very green countryside and hills. The weather was pleasant, warm clean air.

The house sit we were now at was a restored school with large gardens, a swimming pool, hot tub and vegetable gardens. The closest large supermarket was 45 minutes drive away so we had to do a weeks worth of shop each time. There was a small shop about 10 minutes drive but it was limited to what we could buy.

Opononi, although there was not much to do in the area had the best views on our trip. It was lovely to see and there was hardly any tourists in the area which made it all the better. We did drive 2 and a half hours to the Bay of Islands, but i think the best way to see these is from the sky because looking across the dirty water was nothing special. The area they are in is very tourist and lost anything traditional or historical. On the way to the Bay of Island there were hot springs but as the weather was turning we did not stop off here.

The main attraction (and only attraction) in Opononi was the sand dunes across the bay. You could hire canoes to get across or hop on a boat and slide down the huge dunes at the other side.

As this house sit was pretty much in the middle of know where we used it as more of a relaxing place, where we sat around the pool, enjoyed the countryside and how peaceful it was. Through the day there was no noise other than the cows in the fields.

We stayed here for 3 weeks before heading back to Melbourne Australia to start another house sit. Sorry this blog was not very long but join me next time when we are in Indented Head, Melbourne.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Christchurch - New Zealand

When we arrived in Christchurch we were greeted by Charlotte our next house sit who was very kind and friendly on first meet. The airport was smaller than I thought but modern. When we arrived at their house we had a lovely meal prepared for us and a very excited dog Denver.

After the 2011 earthquake which shook Christchurch it was left with widespread damage and weakened infrastructure on  a lot of the buildings. Most of the are not repaired buildings throughout Christchurch are held up with shipping crates, which was a shock to me at how much repair still needed to be done. After speaking to Charlotte and Pete who were part of the rebuild projects, we found out that there was controversy over whether to pull the buildings down and rebuild or to try and preserve the buildings architecture. Looking at how much still needed to be done and the safety of the buildings I would say pull them down and start again.

When we took Denver for walks we went up to Victoria Park via Dyers Pass which over looked Christchurch. The views were amazing from up here very hilly green grass, a wooded area and a large open dog park. There are also bike paths to take but you have to very adventurous as these are steep and hilly.

The City Center was about 30 mins walk from the house and the area was very industrialised, lots of old shipping containers, warehouses and of course fast food restaurants. They city centre itself was nice, the smallest city I've been to I think but lots of things to look at. A tram line through the centre of a small mall and colourful buildings. The earthquake damaged the shopping area and mall so they have used shipping containers as temporary shops, these are more boutique shops but there are malls about 15 minute drive from the centre.

Attractions in and around Christchurch.

  • Waimak Horse Trek: I have ridden horses for most of my life but Lee has not so I wanted to organsie a trek and this company sounded great with lake treks but unfortunately most horse treks have weight limits of 110kg and when your 6 foot 2 its hard to find a horse big enough for you. Most of the horses at this company are 15 hands or smaller. The price I felt was reasonable at $60 New Zealand Dollars (today's exchange rate £28) for 1 hour.
  • Cave stream: This reserve is a 362 meter long pitch black cave which ends in a deep pool and waterfall and  which has 2 different entrances to walk along. You do need to check the weather before going as the water levels rise within the cave but it is free and lovely for picnic and walking at any level.
  • Christchurch Tram: The tram takes you around the city and shows you the history of Christchurch. There are different price options to choose from, just the tour of the city, botanic gardens tour or even an evening meal tour.
  • Hanmer Springs:  These are natural thermal pools with water jets, rock pools and waterfalls. It is about 90 minutes from Christchurch and cost $22 (today's exchange rate £10.40) but you can upgrade to a  private thermal pool for $40  (today's exchange rate £19) each. I would recommend looking this place up before you go as when I read reviews it didn't sound very good, was more like a water park and the a lot of the reviews now say the pools smell of chlorine and not natural. After reading the reviews we decided not to go as wasn't worth the drive there to be disappointed. 
  • Akaroa french town: This is a 2 hour drive from Christchurch and most definitely worth the trip. When your driving up and up the hills nothing prepares you for the views from the top over looking the town with crystal blue waters. The town itself is small but easy to walk around and plenty of lovely places to stop and eat. We went on a hot day and sat in the park and people watched, very relaxing. 

  • Adrenalin Forest: Among natural surroundings you will find 6 different levels of tree top challenges and 3 hours to complete the course, although I don't think you will manage it unless you do adrenalin courses everyday. We managed 4 levels but the higher you get the harder it is. You definitely have to have some fitness before attempting this. the 3 hours you there costs $42  (today's exchange rate £20) each. A very fun, tiring day.  

  • Mini golf: Within the city there are 2 mini golf courses,Monsters & Zombies and Pirates Island although I think the Pirates Island is closing down. The monsters and zombies mini golf cost $13  (today's exchange rate £6.15) each one round indoor and outdoor.

  • Waimairi Beach: A dog friendly beach to the east of Christchurch. Lovely white sand and the best bit is... it isn't over crowded even on school holidays.

  • Botanic Gardens - In the centre of Christchurch there are lovely gardens to take a picnic and relax under the trees. Plenty to see whether your interested in gardens or not.

Our stay in Christchurch was great and the house sitting made it so much better. Sad to say goodbye but there are more exciting things ahead. Join me next time in North land New Zealand - Opononi.