Taking the scenic route

Trip Start Aug 24, 2008
Trip End Jul 07, 2009

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, May 29, 2009

I cooked David scrambled eggs for breakfast (aren't I lovely?) and then we drove south along the Southern Scenic Route. The motorway would have been quicker, but far more boring. We passed fields, sheep and sheer cliffs. Our first stop was Nugget Point on the Catlin's Coast. It was a lighthouse on a cliff with huge rocks (called nuggets) in the swirling seas below. It was very wild and windswept, but pretty. We even saw an albatross. David loved driving the wiggly country roads to our next stop, Cannibal Bay. Here we saw a huge sea lion on the beach, who quite happily posed for photos for us, but got aggressive when a crowd of people showed up. He started running and barking. After admiring the pretty bay and the sea lion we headed for Jack's Blowhole, a huge cave with no roof about 55m tall. The walk to it passed some quizzical sheep and some gorgeous views of the rugged coastline.The blowhole was very impressive with its dark swirling waters at the bottom. We ate lunch there and then headed along more wiggly roads to Cathedral Cave, which was unfortunately shut due to high seas. We stopped off at a lookout with lovely views over a sweeping sandy bay backed by hills and cliffs. Next we visited Maclean Falls, a pretty waterfall in dense green forest full of tree ferns and trees with red bark. After this we went to Curio Bay to see if we could spot any dolphins (not today) and to see the fossilized forest. This is basically some ancient fallen trees that have now turned to stone but you can still see the grain of the wood. It was a weird place. Our last stop was Slope Point, the Southern-most point of New Zealand mainland. We walked across a field to the top of a cliff declaring the distances to the equator and the South Pole. In the fading light we drove to the city of Invercargill, where we checked into a hostel, had dinner and went to sleep.
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