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  • Day94

    On to the Bottom of the South Island

    March 13, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Today the news about the Coronavirus was not good. Prime Minister Trudeau is self-isolating as his wife is being tested for the virus; President Trump announced that he was shutting U.S.A. borders to European countries; and schools in Ontario will be shut down for 3 weeks. We are becoming a little concerned about our travel plans and if we will have any troubles. From Auckland, we fly into Houston before changing planes and flying into Toronto. In 17 days, we will see. New Zealand hasn’t really been affected ...yet...

    This morning, we left Te Anau in Fiordland and headed further south to Invercargill. It had been suggested that we take the scenic road which would take us a little longer but was a pleasant road.

    The drive usually takes about 2 hours but we happily stretched it to 5 hours. Haha. The road was great - fairly straight for a change, few cars, undulating pastures with sheep, cows, deer and wapiti, a type of elk. It was so different (calm) than what we have been through for the past 2 weeks. I loved it.

    Our first stop was to see a historic suspension bridge in Clifden. Built in 1899, it spans the Waiau River and is 111.5 m long. It is sometimes called the "Iron Bridge." The bridge has been accessible to pedestrians only since 1978.

    Then we pulled over to check out Mc Cracken’s Lookout with hopes that we would see whales or Hector’s dolphins. We didn’t but the sun shone and the water sparkled.

    The trees in this area are all bent away from the ocean. There was hardly any wind when we were there but it would be easy to imagine what kind of winds would bend the trees into their present shapes.

    The former timber-milling town of Tuatapere was next. In 1988, it won a sausage making contest so we stopped at theTui Base Camp and bought some frozen sausages for breakfast. The town is known to be the sausage capital of NZ.

    On we went to Gemstone Beach and had fun looking at all the wonderfully coloured stones on the beach. We spent an hour bent over and looking for a gem.

    Lunchtime was nearing and I had read about a restaurant in Riverton called the Beach House, that served a creamy seafood chowder ‘studded with juicy mussels and hunks of salmon”. Oh, the Lonely Planet was right on. It was delicious!

    Finally we arrived at our destination, Bushy Point Fernbirds BnB, in Invercargill. Another great find! More about this place later.
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