Day 26: Spending the day in Invercargill

After a good night of sleep, we woke up to a silent and rainy world. Not the perpetual type of rain, but more like a drizzle which turns into rain now and then and sometimes even dies down completely.
This weather is not too bad for driving and so we took off.

Before we went to Invercargill, we had already decided yesterday that we would visit the local wildlife sanctuary. They have a few native species of birds in pens amongst which the very rare Takahe. This is a chicken sized Pukeko. For those not familiar with New Zealand wildlife: a Takeha is like a fat, flightless black chicken with a very large slightly rounded beak. It is nearly extinct and there are about 300 birds in captivity or managed wildlife on predator free locations. There are a few still in the wild, but they don’t know the exact numbers of those populations.

At 09:15 the Takahe are fed, and a small introductory talk is given. After this we quickly were on our way further south to Invercargill.

Here, we spent the day walking in the park, which had a small museum, an aviary with lots of birds, a small zoo with local and native species of animals like feral goats and Kunekune pigs, rose gardens, a Japanese garden and quite a lot more.
What a wonderful way to spend the day over here!

Tomorrow, we are crossing the strait to Stewart Island, and this time not by boat.
We spent the evening repacking our bags, as we are only allowed 1 piece of baggage with a weight of 15kg per person on the plane. Let’s just say we carry quite a lot more on a daily basis!
It is a small plane, but I guess you’ll see more tomorrow!

Day 24: Passing Paradise to Te Anau

Wow. Even after such a short amount of time, Kinloch has really grown on me. Surrounded by majestic mountain ranges and lying directly opposite to Glenorchy on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, it is utterly quiet and peaceful.
There are loads of outdoor activities to do, and the surroundings are beautiful. Stunning views everywhere!
Yes, it does rain quite a lot, and no, apart from the lodge there is nothing else, but the location is simply awesome.

After some muesli this morning, we are off heading towards Te Anau. This means we have to drive the dirt road back towards Glenorchy, passing Paradise and driving the full hour to Queenstown. That is also when we reach civilisation, the other places I mentioned are tiny by all standards.
From there, Te Anau is just a few hours away, and mostly an easy drive.

We encountered no rain at all on the trip, and have had a wonderful time driving through the lovely New Zealand South Island scenery.
Arriving at Te Anau, which lies on the shore of Lake Te Anau, we booked a tour to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves.
Being quite a tourist attraction, it is just one of those things you have to do, and even though it is insanely overpriced, the experience is quite nice, as is the boat ride to the caves themselves. The pamphlet speaks of a ‘scenic tour of Lake Te Anau’, but it is more of a ferry or shuttle than anything else.

We did find a very good Italian place over here, and we’ve both had some great fresh pasta. Go check out Da’ Toni whenever you’re around!