From Invercargill we wended our way to Queenstown arriving on Friday afternoon and looking forward to a weekend in one of New Zealand’s best playgrounds.
On Saturday we cycled to Arrowtown and rewarded ourselves with monstrous ice creams. Then came back to Queenstown through Millbrook – home to the rich and some famous! Sunday morning was church at City Impact and another day of cycling wearing T shirts, on the Kelvin Heights track, which was also stunning!
Lower Shotover Bridge
I was expecting to speak to the senior students in Wakatipu College on Monday morning but instead awoke to a blanket of snow over everything! The school closed for the day and we had a lovely time holed up in our comfortable Traillite motor home. Diesel heating and every luxury mod con meant that we by no means suffered and had a relaxing day off! That night I spoke to the parents at the school as the snow had melted enough for people to travel.
Wakatipu High School
Coco the Snowman
Next it was off to Greymouth via Cromwell and Wanaka then the West Coast through the Haast Pass, stopping in Haast and Franz Joseph. The scenery was spectacular but the one lane bridges hairy! We did get used to them though and I even had another stint of driving. After speaking at Greymouth High School – we took a detour on our way to Nelson to visit the Pike River Mining Disaster memorial, which was a very sobering experience.
Our last tour stop was the Motueka / Nelson area. Talk about saving the best to last! We caught up with our dear friends Johny and Marlen O’Donnell. Johny is a MIOMO graduate who came on the programme when he was just turning 17. He showed himself as a leader then and has continued to shine as a talented entrepreneur and change-agent. We had a wonderful time cycling from Motueka to Kaiteriteri – one of the best beaches in NZ.
Johny and I shared the stage to speak to senior students at Waimea college and then I spoke to the parents that night.
Johny and Yvonne speaking Waimea College Students
So, now we are on our way home and will touch down in Auckland on Friday 29th September. It has been a real privilege to bring encouragement and hopefully some good learnings to around 3,000 young people and 800 parents.
We couldn’t have done this amazing tour without help. I would like to thank and acknowledge these incredible people an organisations who supported us in so many ways:
Traillite for sponsoring the Cook Strait crossing
AA Smart fuel and BP
Anna Godfrey for the website, blog, banner and social media
Sally Webster for the press release, radio interviews and newspaper articles
All the people who gave a Koha and for the wonderful gift baskets, which have found their way to my hips!
The schools and City Impact Churches who hosted the events and let us camp on their school grounds
The people who let us stay on their properties
Paco and Lou Mones – Cazon
Col and Liz Ferguson
Darryl and Roberta Watson
Leesa and Sam Buckingham
Sarah and Mariano Arias
Steve and Jill Dunn