Holidays and Valentine’s Day Earthquake

So I’m well overdue for a blog post – I’ve been a bit slack of late thanks to being away on holiday and also work commitments have been fairly all-consuming. Hence a lack of photos. Anyway, enough excuses! Here’s a few of my photos from my 2-week holiday. As for that earthquake we had on Feb 14th – it’s been nicknamed the Valentine’s Day quake. Bruce (my valentine) and I were in the central city when the 5.7 quake hit. We’d had lunch and a cold beer as it was a hot day. We both wondered why we were having so much trouble with our walking – as the beer surely wasn’t that strong? Next we heard a boom! Like something crashing onto metal, and the building being constructed on the site opposite us (near the Bridge of Remembrance) shook like it was on a bed of jelly. I started running at that point thinking a crane was falling somewhere (though strangely I couldn’t see one). It wasn’t until I heard someone walk by and remark that it was ‘5.7’ that’s when the penny finally dropped. The odd thing about my experience was that I’d just been talking to Bruce about how the day would change instantly if there was a big earthquake – never thinking for a minute there was a chance of that. I guess with the 2011 earthquake anniversary coming around very quickly on Feb 22nd, earthquakes are on everyone’s mind. Perhaps we all mentally conjured it! Fortunately, we got home to find no damage, other than a few pictures hanging a bit askew on the wall.

We’d not been long home from our holiday – which saw us travel to the West Coast, Nelson and the Marlborough Sounds, following the sun the whole way. While we were in Marlborough at Linkwater we felt a quake that was located quite a bit further south near St Arnaud in the Nelson Lakes area. So I’ve kind of had my full of earthquakes thank you!

So, here’s a few of my holiday snaps – as you can see, we had quite the holiday.


We stopped in Reefton for lunch and had a bit of a walk around. Lots of interesting historic buildings and decorations on houses. Reefton is on the West Coast of the South Island about 80kms from Greymouth. Reefton refers to itself as the ‘town of light’ and with good reason – as:

“In 1888 Reefton became the first town in New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere to receive electricity,[3] and its streets were lit by commercial electricity generated by the Reefton Power Station.”




We stayed a few nights in Hokitika – camping right by the beach. We were lucky to experience beautiful sunny and hot days. While we were there we got to take in the driftwood sculptures that were on the beach.



Okarito Lagoon

A couple of hour’s south of Hokitika is the stunning coastal Okarito Lagoon. We got up very early one morning to kayak the lagoon and view the White Herons that live there.


Kotuku – the beautiful White Heron. As you can see I was able to get quite close to it.
Bruce kayaking down one of the tributaries


The Westcoast Treetop Walkway

Not far out of Hokitika is the Treetop Walkway and Cafe. We walked around it and even went up the large spiral tower and the cantilevered walkway.


Can't believe I actually went up there!
Can’t believe I actually went up there!

Day out at Kaiteriteri

While staying in Nelson, we took a day trip to Kaiteriteri to enjoy the beach. It’s well known for it’s beautiful golden sands and stunning beaches – and is not far from the start of the Abel Tasman walkway.



A Short Walk on the Queen Charlotte Walkway

While we were staying in Linkwater near Anakiwa, we took a short walk along the Queen Charlotte Walkway – which is popular with walkers and mountain bikers.



Dinner and Dusk at the Portage in Pelorus Sound


DSC04334 DSC04323

Cheeky - chip-stealing Weka
Cheeky – chip-stealing Weka

A Day Hanging out in Picton

Picton is such a beautiful spot and it’s where the inter-island ferries leave from to take you to the North Island. It’s a beautiful cruise through the sounds.




Large cruise ship at Picton’s Port in Shakespeare Bay


So this post is getting quite long – so I think I’ll break it into two and do Nelson and other highlights tomorrow night!



4 responses to “Holidays and Valentine’s Day Earthquake”

  1. Glad to hear you’ve had a great holiday and that you all came through unscathed after the Valentine’s Day quake! Interesting that a friend of mine had also spent a week on holiday at Kaiteriteri, but during the last week of January. Seems like a popular place during the summer months.

    Great photos — these will surely give me plenty of time to explore more fully no doubt!


  2. Hi Robert,

    I think you’ll find Reefton fascinating – I’d have liked to have stayed a day or so there to explore the area more, but we were watching the weather and keen to get a clear day for the kayak. Holidays just make you want to go away more!


    • Michelle, you do seem to know me quite well. Thanks for the tip about Reefton — definitely my kind of place! This does seem to be more than a one-off place for visiting as it’s a perfect historic town which still has its small town charm and plenty to keep a person busy exploring for quite some time, plus there are some small shoppes and cafes there too, and not to forget mentioning it’s relatively nearby proximity to the scenic views along SH 6 near Buller. I believe my bucket list just became a good bit longer 🙂


  3. Some beautiful shots- those snow capped mountains particularly.

    There was a quake here some years ago, enough to feel, but relatively little damage. One lasting memory was leaving the building I was in- it set off fire alarms. Everyone was orderly in leaving but one guy who, if his grandmother would have been in his way, would have shoved her aside. He was running in an absolute panic.


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