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  • Day96

    The End of the Road

    March 15 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    Yesterday, we were able to get everything we needed to get done in preparation for our travels. home. Today is Sunday and we planned on making it a special day as we are leaving NZ tomorrow.

    As we are almost at the very bottom of the South Island in Invercargill, we decided to head 27 kilometres further south to NZ’s southernmost town and port. We planned on visiting the 265 metre high Bluff Hill and eat some Bluff Oysters that we had been hearing so much about. Ian and Jenny also suggested a few other places to check out.

    The first spot we came to was the peaceful Omaui Scenic Reserve. We found and took a 1 hour 30 minute loop trail that goes through the native forest to a sheltered picnic area and a wonderful lookout. What great views we had of the beautiful Omaui Beach and sea.

    This area was originally occupied by Maori and later was used as a whaling base, pilot station and health camp by Europeans.

    We met a couple, who as kids, had come to the local YMCA camp located nearby and had many fond memories of scouring the beach looking for treasures - shells, fishing apparatus, cool stones, etc. The beach had two sections - a sandy beach and a rocky beach.

    When we got back into the car and got back on the main road, we looked for a sign pointing to a ship graveyard. And there is was - not the graveyard but the Green Point Walkway to the Ship Graveyard. It looked very interesting.

    The walkway and boardwalk meandered beside the shoreline to Greenpoint, where we had a panoramic view across Bluff Harbour. It wasn’t long walk but we enjoyed every minute of it - the seabirds, the rocks, the views and of course, the shipwrecks.

    Shipwreck Bay is known for its historic value. In the 13th Century stone tools were manufactured there by the early Maori people. In the 19th Century, the first European whaling and sealing boats used this area

    Over the years, 14 oyster and fishing ships have been scuttled in this bay, some dating back to the 1870's. Many of the wrecks are still visible today and at low tide these hulls can be clearly seen. The signs have the names of all the boats and the year they went to their watery graves. This was a sight that we have never seen before and it was neat that the township has made it a historical site.

    We just had to continue on and have our picture taken at a famous spot - the Sterling Point Signpost. Stirling Point marks the southern end of State Highway 1, which runs the length of New Zealand. The large signpost displays distances to major cities in the world and is a well-known endpoint for people who have cycled, walked, or driven the length of the country. Amazing that this is where our trip ends, due to the coronavirus that is sweeping the world.

    Of course, we had to have our photo taken here!
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