Bluff, Invercargill, Te Anau
The ferry back from Stewart Island was more fun than the trip out had
been, perhaps because it was calmer. There were good views of Stewart
Island and the Prince Edward (Muttonbird) Islands out the back, and of
mollymawks and shearwaters soaring above the waves.
At Bluff we picked up the car then drove out to Foveaux Point and then to
the top of the bluff. There were great views - across Foveaux Straight
at Stewart Island, of the giant Tiwai Point aluminium smelter just across
from Bluff, and of the peninsual joining Bluff to the mainland.
In Invercargill we ended up back in the Heritage Court Motel. We showered,
put a load of washing into the washing
machine, and went into town. I had my photos so far - some 300MB -
put onto CD and sent off a brief email and blogged a brief note to
let everyone know I was ok. I accompanied that with a smaller version
of this fur seal photo. [Weirdly,
I couldn't connect to the University of Sydney at all - no route - so
I telneted to my webserver in the US and back to Sydney Uni from there!]
While I was doing that, Camilla used a public phone to book somewhere
to stay in Te Anau the following night - and was attacked by insects.
We went back to the motel to put our clothes into dryer, then came back
and found a restaraunt, where I had an excellent grilled fish sole.
Then we went to the supermarket and bought food for the Kepler Track.
Friday 7th February
We got up around 8, got our washing, had breakfast, and packed - we'd
unpacked pretty much everything the previous night, so the place was
a mess, but we just bunged it all in the car. Then we visited the
Southland Museum, which had decent natural history exhibits, including
a live tuatara display, some nice photographic exhibitions, and an
Antarctic display. We filled up with petrol and then set off
for Te Anau - taking the "Southern Scenic Route" rather than the direct
route through Gore.
We stopped in Riverton for lunch, then at McCrackens Lookout for a view
of Te Wae Wae Bay - no dolphins were to be seen, but tens of thousands of
birds (shearwaters) were flying east across the bay, a few hundred metres
off-shore. And the hills of southern Fiordland made a great backdrop.
a giant thistle in Te Anau (cropped)
We stopped in Tuatapere ("sausage capital of New Zealand") for a drink,
then pushed on to Manapouri, where we stopped briefly and booked a Milford
Sound cruise. In Te Anau we stopped at the DOC office -- too late to
collect our hut tickets, but I bought some citronella insect repellent.
Then we moved into the B&B we'd booked (Matai Lodge), which was
just over the road from the YHA. I left a message there for Murielle,
who was going to be joining us for the Kepler Track.
lake Te Anau
We wandered around Te Anau - being a tourist town, many shops were
open quite late. I checked out the options for having photographs
put onto CD and we browsed the books in a Paperplus (the closest thing
to a bookshop). We settled on one of Chinese restaraunts for dinner.
Afterwards we walked along the lakefront, along with quite a few others,
before returning to our B&B to pack.
This was pretty much the slackest day of the trip - no hiking and not
that much driving. Packing for the next day was probably the most
strenuous thing we did!
Next: Kepler Track - to Luxmore Hut
Previous: Rakiura Track (Stewart Island)