Stayed just one night, place chosen to be convenient for the early morning Picton train, which it was.
Arrived about 1pm, and asked about touring the earthquake-hit red zone in the centre of town. The lady owner could not have been more helpful. She phoned immediately, got me on the last tour of the day and even got her son to give me a lift there! And then the next morning was up at the crack of dawn to make sure we got our transfer to the station.
Moreover the apartment room was very well appointed, providing scope to cook if you were so inclined, and also providing plenty of tea/coffee options, plus free milk of a type you choose on arrival. No wifi but cable internet worked very well. Room was spotless and the bed very comfortable.
My only issues were unrelated to the accommodation. Someone tried to run me over on a pedestrian crossing (deliberately) nearby, so beware, and the maps that you get from the tourist office show roads that don't exist, which means they are no good for navigating around the train station.More
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