Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 8 - Te Anau - Invercargill - Dunedin


This morning we left Te Anau with the aim of getting to Invercargill to have a look at Rugby Park Stadium.  It was amazing to see how the scenery changed as we moved south – gone were the brown mountains and in were the green rolling hills.  I know that we are only here for two weeks and I hope I am not putting the jinx on us but we have had such beautiful weather – it has been absolutely fantastic !!!  We have had a few patches of drizzle – not enough to stop us doing anything or make anything we wanted to do unpleasant.  The jackets and pants we bought to wear when we were at Invercargill were certainly not needed – the weather was just perfect.  In fact, when we were in the car, I had to take my two jackets off because the sun was shining in and it was too hot !!!! 

We drove through to Bluff thinking that was the most southerly point of the south island only to read on the way there that that statistic applies to a place called Slope Point along the east coast towards Curio Bay !!!!!!    We went and looked at it anyway before going to Rugby Park (Al said that it always looks like such a little stadium on TV and in real life it actually is just a little stadium !!!!).
View from Bluff
Sign post at Bluff
Looking back down on Invercargill
On the road from Invercargill to Dunedin
 
So then we decided to see how far we would get before stopping for the night.  We were on the scenic route and so continued.  We stopped at Slope Point, the most southerly point in NZ so we can now say that we have been to the most northern point of the north island and the most southern point of the south island !!!!!   Luckily we arrived there before 1st Sept as we wouldn’t have been allowed to use the farmers field to get to Slope Point after 1st Sep (until 1st Nov) due to lambing !!!!! 
 
At Slope Point
 
Wind blown trees at Slope Point

View from Slope Point
Then we stopped at Curio Bay and saw the fossil forests which were amazing.  We walked down to the rocks and saw two yellow eyed penguins.  One we watched for quite a long time as he walked / hopped from the rocks to the sand and back again.  Then he got caught in a wave and we lost him for a while before he popped up and we saw him finally get onto land again.  The second one stayed quite far away and didn’t do much at all. 
 
Curio Bay

Penguins at Curio Bay
 
The next stop was at Purakaunui Falls – they were fantastic !!!  Apparently they are the most photographed falls in the whole of NZ and appear in many calendars each year.  They certainly were worth stopping in to see even though we did miss the turn off to start with !!!!!
 

 
 


At quite a few places we were able to appreciate the stillness and listen to the sounds of nature without any man made noises interfering – it was just great !

By about 6pm we were at Balclutha and so decided to drive through to Dunedin so that we have a full day there tomorrow.  We found a unit with a spa bath in for $105 and checked in – only to find that there wasn’t really enough hot water for the spa bath and then once we were in said spa bath found out that it didn’t work !!!!!!  Not sure if we will be staying here another night – may look for something else tomorrow as it looks like we might be here three nights in order to allow us to visit the Cadbury factory !!!!!  They run shortened tours on the weekend but I would love to see the production line in the factory so we going to see what we have planned for the next couple of days and if we can work it that we stay another night here we will do that.  I guess it just depends on what time the first tour runs on Monday because we will need to go straight through to Christchurch once that is over.  Al wants to do a Speights tour as well so will see when we can fit that in as well as a visit to the Larnach Castle and a look around the city.

While I am missing K and my folks, I am having such a great holiday.  It has done Al and I the world of good to get away like this !

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