|Hi Greetings from the Deep South (where most little villages don't have internet access !)
After my trip to Doubtful Sound, I decided to use my final day in Te Anau to visit Milford Sound one of the other great fjords in the south of NZ. The two hour drive is full of some spectacular scenery, in particular, some of the glaciers at the homer tunnel which breaks through to the fjord. To break the drive, I did a two hour hike up part of the Routeburn track which is one of the NZ Great walks. Again the views were good although in this case they were blocked by low clowd. I also had the opportunity to see my first Kea which is a type of NZ parrot that for some reason likes to eat the rubber sealing on cars !!. A small selection of photos is attached.
The following day, I decided to follow the Southern Scenic Route which drops down the eastern edge of Fiordland, to the south coast where there are some beautiful beaches. Unfortuantely, as there was a strong south westerly breeze blowing I wasn't able to hit the beach. Most of the towns in this are have only a few hundred people and the car are few and far between on the roads. This is where your start to realise that New Zealand really is full of sheep this region contains some of the NZ's best farmland. Fortunately, there are lot of nice little cafes and quaint nuseums in the towns along the way. After a quick detour to Bluff, the southern most point, 46.36 degrees South, of route 1 the main road through New Zealand, I then headed east to the Catlin coast, where there are thousands of rounded hills created by glaciers and some really rugged coastline. This is also a good area to see yellow eyed penguins, fur seals and sealions that breed along the coast. My stop for the night was in Curio Bay where there is a petrified forest along the coast and where there was an interesting camping set between the sand dunes.
Unfortunately, Saturday started out pretty wet which limited the amount of sightseeing I could do but the weather picked up in the afternoon which gave me the opportunity to explore the coastline around Picnic Bay. From there it was up the coast to Dunedin but rather than stay in the city, I decided to head out the Otago Peninsula and stay in the village of Portobello where the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed. Otago peninsula is known for its Seals, Penguins and Albratrosses but unfortuantely I did not get the opportunity to see any of them despite mountain biking out to multiple headlands and cliff faces. nevertheless the views made up for the lack of sea mammals.
Monday, was basically a driving day with a short dstop in Dunedin to see some of the old building, visit a National Sports museum and to get information on my next adventure The Central Otago Rail Trail which I will update you on in my next blog.