In the Shakey Isles for 10 days before xmas in 2004. The temperature never rose above 16° and it rained every day. Easy to understand why everything is so green.
I stayed in Palmerston – a quaint little South Island village with interesting street names.
Palmerston is only eight kilometres from Shag Point on the coast. A crib (known in other parts of New Zealand as a ‘bach’) is a modest beach house.
It was only another few kilometres north to Koekohe Beach to see the famous Moeraki Boulders.
We detoured to Trotters Gorge on the way back to Palmerston. Trotters Creek has carved through limestone to create a gorge that has been developed as a popular picnic and camping site.
We drove to Macraes Flat, following Route 85 through Dunback.
Macraes Goldfield is New Zealand’s largest gold producing operation. It consists of the Macraes Open Pit and Frasers Underground mines. Operational since 1990, it has produced over 4 million ounces of gold.
From 1999 artist Gavin Hipkins installed nine large billboards as an artistic statement in nearby paddocks.
Close to Dunedin, the university town capital of Otago, is Lanarch Castle. The castle was built in 1871 by a wealthy politician. It has been restored and landscaped and is open for accommodation, functions and events.
We visited the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown (it snowed as I was crossing the carpark of the motel).
No visit to New Zealand’s South Island is complete without trying the world famous Shotover Jet boat ride. On board photography was an issue so one has to rely on their promotional shots.
Shotover Jet began operating through the Shotover River canyons from the beach at Arthurs Point in 1965. The first jets were wooden boats that carried only five passengers.
Next stop was the adventure tourism resort town of Queenstown.
Queenstown is noted for skiing and snowboarding, jet boating, whitewater rafting, bungy jumping, mountain biking, skateboarding, tramping/ bushwalking, paragliding, sky diving and fly fishing. The town and its surrounds have been used as the locations for numerous television shows and movies.
Coronet Peak is one of New Zealand’s most popular ski resorts. The view from the skifield south across Lake Wakatipu and the smaller nearby Lake Hayes is breathtaking. It has been dubbed the ‘original’ resort ski area.
On our way south we stop at the foot of Lake Wakatipu to see the Kingston Flyer steam train.
Our journey south took us through Invercargill, the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. From here we followed the coast east and north through the Catlins.
The Catlin Coast is a rugged, sparsely populated area with scenic coastal landscape and dense temperate rainforest.
Purakaunui Falls are an icon of The Catlins. The bush walk from the carpark to the viewing area is as worthwhile as the view of the Falls themselves.
The Catlins is known for wild weather and the rain followed us into Owaka.
The last stop before returning to Palmerston was a visit to Karitane Beach.
I escaped the rain and cold and arrived back in sunny Oz on xmas eve.