We headed off from our back paddock behind the local pub camp ground – which sounds alot worse then it was – the toilet flushed the water was hot so all was good. We cranked up the little kitchen in our mobile home for some lovely steak sangers. We woke to the sound of rain on the roof and a definite chill in the air. Yep sure enough the front we had been trying to keep ahead the past few days and caught up and it was cold !!!! The weather man says there will be snow down to 600m in the South east, the very direction that we are heading.
We backtracked to what is reportedly the most photographed waterfall in NZ as it was too late last night to stop and for a short stroll it wasn’t too bad at all. From there it was back through Owaka to Surat bay and an adventure we wel could have done without – the so called path to the beach was a dogs breakfast and basically didn’t exist so after humping through tussock grass for about 30mins we finally reached what can only be described as a disappointing view, so then it was on to Jacks Bay and hopefully a blowing blow hole, though given the low tide we weren’t too hopeful! It was quite an uphill trek to the blowhole that wasn’t blowing and uphill walks have been given their own catch cry .. uh ohhhhhhh, which basically means what goes down must come up ! From the blowhole it was back to owaka and then onto nugget point and kaka point and finally Dunedin.
By the time we reached Dunedin it was about 5pm and the temperature had dropped to a chilly 8 degrees so the weather man have earnt their money this week!
It also appears to be Guy Fawkes day/weekend here in NZ which means cracker are sounding as i write this and crackers aren’t illegal in NZ !!!!
Well we went to sleep with the sound of rain on the roof and woke to some clouds so took the opportunity to have a sleep in and a late start. Once up and on the road again we headed out to explore Invercargill and found the usual gardens churches and main streets. Its quite an old town and there are still are a large number of buildings not only standing from the late 1800s but in good condition and obviously well looked after.
We hit the pak n save and grabbed some bread, milk cheese and of course some sweet treats ! Then it was out to the beaches and The Bluff. Our adventures to find those lovely little nooks and crannies have lead to some well pretty pathetic finds really – like today driving down a bumpy gravel road to see …. the expanse of estuary that we could have seen from the old strand street wharf, but thats what you get sometimes and then other times you find little gems.
The Bluff is quite pretty and also quite well maintained. The lookout was amazing and some great frescos along the sea front always grab my attention and make me wonder why we don’t do them in Newy – they make old buildings and what could be crappy streets look so much better. It was well after lunch by now and we started the trek towards Dunedin with the realistic intention of hopefully getting Papatowai (?).
we followed dirt roads and sheep trails to some great little beach views and the southern most point of NZ, attempted to locate some seals and penguins to no avail and investigated some petrified trees which were pretty cool. As dusk was approaching and we were looking for a motorpark it seems that they had either closed and were non-existent, we eventually found a lovely little park behind the Owaka pub where the friendly nag came over to say hello upon our arrival.
After a reasonably cool night in the milford lodge park, we woke to some cloud but sun which we were very happy about. We headed down to the docks for our cruise with the littlest boat in the harbour. We had a quick look in the harbour before heading onto the boat and were greeted with some dolphins frolicking along the shoreline. We had two hours cruising the sounds seeing the waterfalls and the majestic Mitre Peak rising straight out the water way up into the sky. We saw some very cute little fiord penguins, lazy NZ fur seals sunning themselves in the sun and some more dolphins playing with the bow waves of the boat. After the boat ride we hit the road to try and beat the parade of tour buses along the sometimes narrow and winding roads to make our way towards Invercargill unsure if we would get that far today or not. The clouds had started to roll in as we headed into the open waters of the Tasman, as the weathermen had been predicting so we were pretty happy that we had had sunshine for the cruise and now we were just hoping that we didn’t get any rain along the road back to Te Anua, though i imagine the waterfalls off the cliffs would be just amazing!
We arrived back in Te Anua about lunch time and headed to the supermarket to fill up on our dwindling stock of food, then it back down to the lake edge for some lunch. After lunch we headed to manapouri to check out the lake, which surprisingly didn’t have any real pull-offs or stopping points. We managed to find a way to waters edge and again the site of the snow capped mountains behind the water really is mind blowing no matter how many times we see it now. From manapouri we are taking the southroads scenic route through tuatapere – sausage capital apparently, to Riverton and then Invercargill. The roads are lined with golf course like green grass fields littered with sheep and the cutest little lambs from the calving season, they are just the cutest little cuddliest things especially the littlest ones that are still so white and fluffy. We stopped along the way to look at the mountains to look at the sheep and wetlands, and then as we left the snow caps behind we stopped to look at the beach, which actually resemble a beach not pebbles J, and the clouds seemed to have stayed in the north as we have lovely sun and blue sky with us.
Tonight we are again at a Top 10 in Invercargill.
Today we headed to shotover canyon for a jet boat ride. The ride was great but somewhat disappointing in that the advertising says it 90 mins but in actual fact the ride is about 15 mins max and the ride from Queenstown to the canyon and the hoo ha etc and then the ride back to the Queenstown makes it about 90mins, but you get that in tourist hot spots
After the jet boat ride we hit the road and headed towards Te Anua