Day 7: Sun...
So early morning was good to stroll through Queenstown center, walk along
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...
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.
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.
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
The same day we continued our way down to the south leading us via Tuatapere
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.
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.
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.
Of course there are some more interesting things to see in Dunedin like
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.
After escaping a huge thunderstorm in Dunedin, we made one more stop to
Moeraki Boulders on our way up the east coast. We stopped for the night in Kaiapoi.
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