Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
53Trip End Mar 23, 2013
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When we left Milford Sound, we decided that we would like to head South, not only so we could say that we had "done" the whole island but also because Neil was keen to check out the Catlins National Park in regard of maybe doing some trekking there with his next bunch of visitors.
The day (and a half's!) travel was in some ways unremarkable but in regards of the weather/climate, it was a story of three thirds! We left the (summer) Alpine climate as we drove through the Southern Alps and as we reached the South Coast, we ended up in a temperate rainforest sort of climate. The following morning, as we headed North, we ended up in something half decent with sunshine on our backs and no vicious winds blowing.
We reached the South coast at Invercargill which, from what we saw, I would highly recommend no one ever puts on their travel itinerary
Instead, we headed off to a campsite on a headland between Curio Bay and Porpoise Bay, which if you check out Google maps is not a million miles further North than Slope Point. This campsite was VERY basic but it had features that offset the poor facilities. Within half a minute of checking in - which incidentally was the cheapest night's camp yet at $16 between us - we saw three or four Hectors Dolphins just messing about in Porpoise Bay. Neil decided to see if they would play and donned his boardies (see how I'm getting into the lingo here?!?!?!?) while I decided to check out Curio Bay. So within another twenty minutes, I had photographic confirmation (but agreed only just!) of seeing three Yellow Eyed Penguins just sitting chilling.... Neil didn't get his playtime as the Southern Ocean (I guess?) demanded a wetsuit for comfort. Anyway, we went for a walk on the beach at Porpoise Bay later on and saw a sealion heading for a night's sleep - or whatever - on the rocks. Not a bad haul for the day....
Our pitch was separated from Antarctica only by several thousand miles of ocean and about 2 metres thickness of flax bushes. It was a chill wind!!! And it peed down (sorry to offend anyone) in the night so we woke in a sort of bog. Cold and wet, not a good combination....
We had done just shy of 2000 kilometres since Picton in reaching the South coast. Now we were to embark on the return journey....