New Zealand
Otatara

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11 travelers at this place

  • Day85

    The little tent that wanted to fly away

    January 30 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    After last night's bad weather, the sun was back in the morning. We welcomed it with open arms, as a lot of our stuff was still wet. There was a strict 10:00 checkout time so at some point we had to leave. We visited Jack's blowhole, a canyon 200 meter inland with rough sea water. We didn't see a blowhole though as we've seen in small at other beaches, and neither did we see anyone called Jack, so it was slightly underwhelming, especially as it took 40 minutes of hiking to see it.

    On the way to our next stop we drove through Papatowai. This town hosts the Lost Gypsy Gallery, a place where someone with lots of free time and creativity created lots of small or big toys that would move when either pressing a button or turning a handle. Very random and somehow cool.

    After lunch we decided to visit only one of the many waterfalls, our choice were the McLean Falls. A short walk through awesome forest brought us there. Having seen plenty of living forests here, we also went to see a petrified forest at the coast. There were mainly tree stumps and some logs. Hard to really tell that they were stone and not still wood but the weird look in that specific location made the stop worth it.

    We had been driving south for the last few weeks, now this came to an end, as we reached the southern most point of the South Island of New Zealand and didn't intend to visit Steward Island or Antarctica. From here on we noticed how incredibly windy it had gotten at the coast. Going west from here, we reached a nice little light house and found yet another sea lion. This time he was up for a selfie.

    The campsite of the day tried everything to provide wind shelter for us. We were basically surrounded by trees, bushes, a campervan and our car. But it was nonetheless so windy that we had to go rock searching around midnight because our pegs were being pushed out of the ground by pure wind force. When we were trying to fall asleep, we noticed one of the corners at the feet was not attached anymore. We secured the 4 main pegs with one rock each and hoped we'd survive the night.
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  • Day95

    We are Heading Home

    March 14 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Fifteen days early but all is good. Flights cancelled and new ones made from Invercargill. Rental car can be returned at the airport here without any extra fees. Refunds from all remaining Air Bnb and Booking.com sites. Ferry to the North Island cancelled.

    Better safe than sorry. We have had an amazing trip and have no regrets.
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  • Day94

    On to the Bottom of the South Island

    March 13 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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Otatara

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