First New Zealand Visit

I first visited New Zealand in 1979 and again in 1980 but I’m not sure that I have photos, maybe somewhere. Of course it was a totally different experience then, a long trip too. Returning on BA 001 took something like 30 hours with stops (no getting off) in Sydney, Perth, Bombay and Frankfurt as I recall).

The cars were old and beaten up, “You’ve arrived in Auckland, please set your clocks back 20 years” as the old joke has it.

New Plymouth was the destination and seismic surveys over the Maui gas field. The 6 o’clock swill was still on. I’d never seen anything like it down at the dock bar in NP. The barmaid filling row upon row of pint glasses from a hose.

According to the article it was abolished in 1967 but not at the docks in New Plymouth I’m pretty sure – for the public bar anyway.

Hania and I came first in 2000 to see if it was a place we would like to settle in, hopefully our last move too. July was cold but clear for the most part and coming from Singapore we really appreciated it. We slept 10-12 hours for the most part – making up for the deficits of the previous 2 years – neither of us could sleep well there with the constant heat and humidity.

We were in a camper van and the first thing to buy was a hot air blower.

We arrived in Christchurch and our first stop was Akaroa – I still remember the fish and chips – a massive piece of blue cod and real potato chips.

Akaroa was originally settled by the French and the street names still recall that time – as does the graveyard.

Below is a bit of NZ history. Even in 2000 you could take your empty plastic coke bottle and fill at up with draft beer at the bottle shop.

I’m sure we have more photos from that trip somewhere because we travelled much of the central South Island in our 30 day stay.

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