Thursday, 31 December (New Year’s Eve), Week 12 of Locum Tenens in New Zealand

Happier New Year to everyone! Looks like it will be an early rough ride in 2021, then better times ahead. But I’m ready to give you more distractions! New Zealand is a beautiful country.

I have been busy! I was lucky enough to go to a holiday concert with new friends, and a small dinner party. On Christmas Eve, I was absolutely ragged from 4 straight hard work days. The last day was particularly rough, as my last patient was a 4 year old with strep throat- and as I’m writing his prescription, his accompanying 2 year old sister vomited her entire bottle of milk onto the floor. SPLAT. I turned and looked, put my head on the desk, and burst into laughter! It was such a surprise and I was getting punchy. I almost reflexly jumped up to take a picture of the big white splat. So funny. She also had a high fever so I treated her too. I told the parents “Merry Christmas, sorry I laughed”, and they left smiling, sort of. I had dinner with another doctor and her husband, slept at their place, had a great family Zoomtime, and then HIT THE ROAD on my next adventure to the Nelson area in the north tip of the South Island. I felt like a kid going to college as they waved from their door sending me off.

the red spot is Motueka

It was cloudy and a bit rainy, but still a beautiful drive. My little red Kia and I are bonded forever!

lovely little creche set up don’t you think?

My first night was in Motueka at an adorable B&B- the sweetest little cottage. After drinking at least 1/2 bottle of wine after hairy driving, I slept like a rock in the chilly bed.

Back on the road the next morning there was more crazy driving to Kaiteriteri- a busy beach town next to the entrance of the Abel-Tasman National Park. I walked up to a cute little tour boat and asked if I could go on his next run to Split-Apple Rock. He said sure! So about 8–9 people got on the boat. After a while I realized I had crashed a private family tour- there were grandparents and parents and kids. Oops. I’m sure they thought “How did she get on here?” Hahahahahahaha. SO I became the photographer for them and it was all good. Typical me. Fun ride.

Split-Apple Rock and funny guy trying to think about it…

Then I drove up to the entrance to Abel-Tasman, prepared for wet weather for my four hour hike. Notice my pic- a tribute to the black socks NZ guys wear here.

The Coastal Track Walk is amazing.

horseback riding on beach
arty photo

The rain came down hard my last 5 minutes of the hike. Got soaked. I did the crazy drive back to Motueka only to find the town had just been paralyzed by 4 inches of hard hail. Stores were flooded as outlet creeks had blocked up when the tide was coming in. The whole town shut down and my little cute cottage was ruined- gardens and everything. I helped the owner shovel paths around the place (because she was “gobsmacked” about the whole thing) and then drove to another town for dinner. Here’s a funny fact- when you order a burger and say “well done” they think you are telling them “good job” for taking that great order. Burger was not well done. I will now say- “Please cook it all the way through”, and then “Good on ya’ ”!! I then dragged my sorry ass home to the cottage stepping through inches of hail to get to bed.

National News in New Zealand

The next day I took on those roads again. They say if you can drive Takaka Hill you can drive anything in New Zealand. I have no videos of this because BOTH hands must be on the wheel for the constant zigzagging.


I drove up to the Golden Bay, shopped in Takaka, had lunch in a cute beatnik cafe, then drove to Wainui Falls to hike the trail. The police blocked the road at one spot and randomly tested all cars for alcohol before going onto winding roads. I confess I panicked as I had had half a beer in Takaka with lunch. But I counted 1–10 in a machine and passed. What a disaster that would have been because they are really strict here. I didn’t even finish 1/2 the beer. Yikes. Wanui Falls was cool.

Then I drove back ALL THE WAY to Nelson! But on the way distractions sidetracked me-


Nelson is a cool city- I could live there. In town center is a hike up a hill to the “Center of New Zealand” which may not be true. But cool. There’s also a Cathedral that frames the hip shops and restaurants.

view from hotel room

But a rolling stone gathers no moss so off I went to do the big drive home. And I mean 8–9 hours of winding gorgeous roads. Gobsmacking Gorgeous.

Got side-tracked again by Lake Rotorua-

I’m proud of this pic-

And side tracked again-

do you know how exhausting it is to pull over so many times???? When there’s no sides on the road??

It felt great to get home, crash, and back on the job for three days. I took a peanut out of three year old’s nose the next day, so felt useful. Busy place. I also told another patient he was full of bullshit while excising his suspicious mole for saying he wouldn’t need to get the Covid vaccine. Hope I keep my job.

Next stop Wellington tomorrow! More adventure! Basically my life is working, driving, hiking, and drinking wine, swearing/laughing, repeat.

Kia Ora, Stay Safe!


I have no idea why I took this picture….seemed arty. (Not my clothes)




Family Physician in New Zealand as locum tenens doctor

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Lynn Price

Lynn Price

Family Physician in New Zealand as locum tenens doctor

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