Photo captions later
Dunedin to Te Anau (Te-Ann-ow) - 295 KM 10/21/05
Absolutely georgous drive! Leaving Dunedin the landscape opens to broad vistas of emerald green speckled with white rocks - actually as you get nearer the rocks turn out to be some of the 41 million sheep that are a major part of NZ's economy. This is the very best time to be here as spring is the "lambing season" and the fields are full of little white specs; new lambs from days to weeks old. Most are in fields near the roads. Don't know why as there are no predators in NZ. From our arrival it's been obvious that NZ is very different. Today the ephany hit mel. There aren't any weeds in the fields or along the fences. Just clean pristine emrald green fields. The reason -- sheep!! In sufficient quantities the perfect lawn mower.
In the last 50 km the scenes changed drasticaly. Hills and valleys appeared, no longer clean. The vistas looked like parts of Montana or Idaho. We had entered Fijord Country, NZ style. Many of the scenes in Lord of the Rings were filmed in this region. Connie & Coyce took a plane ride to see some of them. The only downside to this very scenic drive is that I was only able to find 2 places to safely stop to take photos. The last (the elk) I had to turn around and go back to get. These are not the US Roosevelt Elk, though a wild herd does exist) but are commercially raised and crossed with the Red Stag deer we're told.
Te Anau is a tourist village on a lake with snowcapped mountains across the lake. We gathered for Happy Hour in the afternoon. This is a very rare group for a tour - of 42 people, no two share the same first name. However, of 20 couples two share the same Anniversary. Sally & I celebrated our 45th and Frank & Linda their 27th today. What a great place for the event