We went on the Segway tour with Graeme from Urban Wheels today, and it was fantastic. DH may have jokingly referred to it as the 'Geekmobile' when we first saw the brochure, but it is a very cool way to get around. Besides, I've never denied being a bit of a geek!
Graeme was friendly and helpful, and we got a chance to practice before heading off on the tour. Using the Segway is a great way to cover more ground in a tour, while still being out in the environment, and the it is basically just a lot of fun to ride. Of course, being out in the midst of things can have its negatives - like when the weather turns nasty. While it did rain a few times, it didn't dampen our enthusiasm at all, and we ducked under convenient cover, like the thick canopy of an amazing old tree, a couple of times to sit out the worst of it. We got back just in time though - by the time we had finished parking the machines and had a brief chat it was bucketing down and hailing outside. We got soaked just crossing the road, and ended up getting a taxi back to our motel and having Thai delivered for dinner.
Actually, in my enthusiasm I jumped ahead of myself - we actually spent the morning at a craft market at the Arts Centre, and exploring the centre itself, which is filled with small 'stores' for various arts and crafts - woodworking, leatherwork, textiles, beads etc. Most of the spaces had workshops space where artisans could be observed, but some, like the bead store, were purely commercial. The bead store was huge - larger than anything similar in Melbourne, but disappointing in that, although it had some finished jewellery on display, it all featured Venetian glass. While I'm sure the Jewellery makers were locals, it was a shame that more NZ lampwork artists weren't featured - I only saw beads by one NZ artists on display.
We also visited Canterbury Museum and in particular, the exhibition for the NZ Glass Invitational. The exhibition was really interesting. Only a few exhibits (15 artists, from memory?) but all very different and featuring some lovely pieces.
We have an early start tomorrow - our transfer to the train station is at 7am. Then we take the Tranz-Alpine train across the island to Greymouth on the west coast.