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July 17, 2012

Fairlie Relaxing

Just 188 km (117 mi) from Christchurch, New Zealand is the lovely little farming town of Fairlie.  It’s also on the Inland Scenic Route which connects the Central Lakes / MacKenzie District with the East coast of the mainland – and this relaxing place is just 25 minutes from the picturesque Lake Tekapo (which I may write up another time).  At under 3 Hr drive from the Garden City of Christchurch, Fairlie makes for a great place to get away – as our family did this past weekend.  

Statue of James MacKenzie and his dog
Note the Ooh-lala Shop and Fairlie Bakery in background

On spur of the minute notice, we were able to find a three bedroom cottage on a farm for a very reasonable rate – much less than in the more popular spots.  It was so nice to wake up in the morning to the music of the native birds in the nearby woods – and without the noise of traffic roaring down the road.  Plus, the view of the mountains was quite spectacular once the morning mist lifted.  A fully furnished kitchen allowed us to make a full breakfast in the morning, but it was really nice to visit the Fairlie Bakery for some lunchtime treats (the Raspberry Chocolate muffins are incredible).  Even the grocery store had local fare, including some scrumptious muesli by Morelea Farm. 

The view from our cottage

Frankly, it was a pleasure to drive the quiet roads en-route – and since it’s winter here in July, the snowcapped mountain vista’s were an ever changing backdrop of postcard worthy views.  On our drive home, we saw four different rainbows – a perfect way to conclude a nice weekend in the country.

Dad’s Recommendation:
Spur of the moment weekend trips can be a great way to see the wonderful and scenic places that are a little off the beaten path, and usually cost less than the more popular spots.  It didn’t take long to pack for just a couple of nights, and didn’t take lots of planning.

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