Our first land stop after Hobart and five days at sea was Timaru, a major port in the south Canterbury region of the South Island of NZ. The region is renowned for its proximity to mighty Mount Cook, its scenic beauty, historic country towns and its ‘Food & Wine Trail’, which showcases vineyards and artisan food producers. Timaru and nearby Geraldine have several art galleries worth visiting – I only had time for the McAtamney Gallery in Geraldine (www.mcatamneygallery.co.nz), which specialises in contemporary works (particularly those of noted artist John Badcock) and came away very impressed.

Lucky me was met at Timaru’s tourist centre (i-Site) by one of my best and oldest friends, Jane McKenzie, who runs boutique tours for visitors to the beautiful South Canterbury region. She arranges specially tailored tours for cruise passengers and tourists and you’re sure to have a thoroughly well-informed, entertaining visit with Jane – just check out www.southcanterburytours.co.nz. and bookmark it for the next time you’re visiting the South Island.

The weather wasn’t showing off the mountains and lush green landscapes in their full glory but it was enough to get a glimpse – until next time.