Sunday, February 10, 2008

Travel Catch Up

Last September (yes, LAST September!), we explored more of the South Island yet we only managed to post half of the trip on the blog *tsk tsk*.

So, here's a retrospective and brief look at the remainder of the trip.

Wanaka - Te Anau - Milford - Te Anau

After leaving Wanaka we drove to Te Anau via Arrowtown, which took us around 5 or 6 hours at a scenery-gawping pace.
Te Anau was beautiful, and the Top Ten campsite we stayed at pretty luxurious as far as they go! Granite benchtops, chrome appliances and flat screen TV's.

Next day we took the minibus to Milford Sound. The weather was perfect with rain, low cloud and mist that made any colour photograph appear black and white, as below.

Milford Sound (taken from onboard ship)

Milford Sound itself was stunning, as was the long drive from Te Anau to get there. We'd been told that the Sound was best viewed in rain and cloud as the waterfalls would be in their full glory. They were right, the waterfalls were indeed impressive, and I learned that a couple are higher than Niagara Falls, they just don't have the same volume of water. Of course, ever the person who HAS to get as close up and personal as possible, I headed for the bow as the captain shoved it under the torrent of a not-so-high waterfall.

Te Anau - Invercargill

After a night back in Te Anau we drove to Invercargill to visit Kat and Rob. On the way we drove through more dramatic scenery - made more dramatic by the rain which seems to have been ever present since Te Anau.

We stopped off at Gemstone Beach (thanks for the tip Kat!) and explored the bach built in to the cliff and hunted for beautiful stones which lay everwhere.

Onwards to Invercargill and we headed straight for the Burt Monroe exhibition at the museum. We arrived half an hour too late. But... as only Kiwis can do, we were told to wait 5 mins and someone would unlock it and let us in for a quick squizz! Well, that quick lookaround turned into a half hour personal tour! Fab.

After picking up pizzas we headed to Kat's and were given an impromptu tour of an amazing beach near their house where Kat rides her horses. After staying the night at Kat and Bob's great lifestyle block we headed down the road to Bluff.

Hmm... Bluff. The place may well be renowned for its oysters but, hey, what a dump! I hate to diss a place but it really was dreary and shabby. We took the obligatory photo of the signpost and took the road straight out and onwards - our destination, Dunedin.. quick!


The drive through to Dunedin from Invercargill was dreary - the Catlins were obscured by low cloud, mist and rain. We'll have to organise another trip to appreciate the area.

Dunedin is supposed to represent Edinburgh. Having lived in Edinburgh I can safely say that it does have some semblence but nothing of the atmosphere. We preferred Dunedin to Invercargill, and I'm sure that when it's not raining and cold it's a lovely city to live in.

We drove from Dunedin to Port Chalmers and then on to Aramoana. What a beautiful area, rural and coastal, bright green and turquoise everywhere, cute settlements and not a mall in view!

We spent a long while walking on a beach at the end of a track near Aramoana with it's "keyhole" rock and penguin trails. The beach was a bed of tiny shells and fine golden sand, a real gem of a beach. There was absolutely no-one about, bliss.

Back to the car and off to see the famous Moeraki Boulders.


At 7:46 AM, Blogger Shagen said...

I was there recently and the photos bring back memories! What a place this is!

Did you guys visit Sand Fly Point?

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Helen Leggatt said...

No we didn't make it to Sandfly Point - in fact we didn't get bitten once when down that area which is very unusual!! I wonder if it was the time we went - September? Usually I'm a walking buffet for sandflies...


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