New Zealand Itinerary Days 7 - 11

Day  7: Sun... So early morning was good to stroll through Queenstown center, walk along the jetty
            before taking part in one of those crazy Shotover Jet Boat "cruises" (great fun...).
            Returned back to Queenstown and took a ride on the local Gondola to enjoy the
            breathtaking view over the area. Before leaving for Te Anau, we visited Arrowtown,
            an old Gold mining town close to Queenstown.
            In the evening we joined a tour to the Te Anau Glow worm caves, cool...

Queenstown jetty with Lake Wakatipu          Shotover Canyon          Shotover Jet Boat cruise

The time stands still in Arrowtown          Queenstown and the Remarquables          Arrowtown view

Day  8: For today we had booked a tour to the Doubtful Sound, so we had to leave rather early
            to Manapouri to join the cruise over Lake Manapouri. This was the first part of the tour
            but if the Kiwis say that Lake Manapouri is one of their most beautiful lakes,
            you can imagine that it was really nice. After crossing the lake, a visit to the West arm
            power station was next, before heading over Wilmot Pass towards Deep Cove.
            Unfortunately the weather had changed once again, and instead of having a beautiful
            view from the pass over Doubtful Sound, the only thing to see were big rain clouds.
            Once on board our cruise ship, it really restarted raining and so the whole trip
            over the sound was spent under cover. During the cruise we saw some of the sound's
            wildlife, some Bottlenose dolphins and two Fiordland crested penguins.

Beautiful Lake Manapouri          Another view of Lake Manapouri          Doubtful Sound under huge rain clouds

Day  9: Another cruise was planned for today, this time the destination was Milford Sound.
            After a drive through parts of beautiful Fiordland National Park, we arrived at
            Milford to join another cruise. As Milford Sound is synonymous with rain... it rained.
            Usually there are just about 4 waterfalls in the sound, however due to the abundant
            rain, water cascaded from about everywhere, making the whole a beautiful but wet
            cruise. Again we saw some wildlife, namely penguins and seals.

Water cascades     Some more water     Mitre Peak under heavy rain clouds     Bowen Falls     Series of water cascades

              On the way back, several stops were made in the National Park, and at a certain spot,
             one of these cheeky Keas posed for some pictures. If you imagine that they can become
             very naughty...

Fiordland National Park          Kea - a large parrot          Another view of Fiordland Ntl Park

             The same day we continued our way down to the south leading us via Tuatapere and
             Riverton as far as Invercargill. This was done using the southern scenic route.
             At the end it would perhaps have been better to stay in Riverton. Invercargill is one
             of the southernmost cities of the world and an excellent starting point to
             Stewart Island. On the way to Invercargill you can also see the famous Windshorn
             trees around Orepuki.

Windshorn trees               Windshorn trees

Day 10: Still following the southern scenic route from Invercargill towards Dunedin.
            The first stop in the morning is Bluff and it's ocean lookout with the signpost.
            Another one is the Paua Shell house, rather strange place.
            Then all the way long through the Catlins with stops at Curio Bay Petrified forest,
            Florence hill lookout, Matai falls and Nugget Point, where a Yellow eyed penguin
            could be spotted after an hour waiting time. Of course during the whole journey
            you mustn't forget about the millions of sheep you see about everywhere.

Bluff sign post     New Zealand sheep     Matai falls     Florence Hill lookout     Catlins

Day 11: The first part of the day was spent on Otago Peninsula with visits to the Taiaroa
            Head Royal Albatross center and a walk around the area, then a visit to the
            Yellow eyed penguin conservation reserve with spotting of some seals, and finally
            some craft places like Happy Hens, Blackbird Pottery or Clifton Wool 'n' things.

Seal          Otago Peninsula cliffs          One more seal

Yellow eyed penguin with chicks          Yellow eyed penguin          Yellow eyed penguin with chicks

            Of course there are some more interesting things to see in Dunedin like the Speight's
            brewery, Cadbury's chocolate factory or a visit to another brewery or whisky distillery.
            But already running out of time, the only thing else we saw here was Larnach castle
            with a beautiful view over the area from it's gardens.

Otago Peninsula view     Seagull     Larnach castle     View from Larnach castle gardens

             After escaping a huge thunderstorm in Dunedin, we made one more stop to see the
             Moeraki Boulders on our way up the east coast. We stopped for the night in Kaiapoi.

Moeraki Boulders          Moeraki Boulders

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