We drove North towards Christchurch. The road was becoming steadily busier as we progressed. Long straight sections, fairly easy to overtake. I have noticed a reluctance amongst NZ drivers to overtake, even when they can see the road is clear for a mile or so. I also see some drivers still treating major highways as a country lane and pulling straight onto the road right in front of traffic driving along it a 100kph.
We turned off and drove to Birdlings Flat, where we expected to see birds. Not sure why as Jonno very explicitly says the beach is all pebble and has semi-precious stones. We then tried the road along the spit. This is a wide spit and seems fairly impossible to get to the sea or inland lake and mud flats. Both sides had sheep rearing. We did stop and photograph of some Australasian Harrier Hawks fighting over a bone. While we were parked on the verge a farm lorry drove at us to intimidate us.
The grass areas were covered with flocks of Goldfinches, who also sat on the road but kept their distance no matter how slowly we drove up to them. Now, to find a camp site. This proved harder than expected. The first place we found was on a gorgeous position on Lake Ellesmere, but the clouds of mozzies put us off. We headed for some more inland sites, marked on the atlas, but these did not seem to exist. We ended up driving into Christchurch for the night, staying at a Top-Ten. Was expecting it to be expensive because it was a Superior site, but no. The facilities in our area were not particularly plush.