My Trip to New Zealand
Pete Grant
Dec 2007 to February 2008


Wednesday, February 5th, I drove to Duneden, a city Lynda and I had briefly visited a year ago on our cruise to Australia. Duneden was not my main goal, however. Instead, I wanted to explore the Otago Peninsula where we had done some sea kayaking on our first visit. Here then is the story covering the 5th and 6th of February 2008:

The city of Cromwell, about 50km from Wanaka.
Scenes of downtown Duneden
It was Waitangi (independence) Day and the city was preparing for a celebration later that afternoon. Just a street scene Now, that's a fancy building for the tourist information center!
A couple of street photos of downtown Duneden.
The road along the shore of Otago Peninsula was curvy and narrow. Once again, as in Coromandel Peninsula, I was not able to stop the vehicle and take photos of the real hairy spots where my outside wheels were only a foot or so from the edge of the road with a drop-off into the bay. The drop-off wasn't more than a few feet but dropping a wheel off the unguarded edge would have been disastrous.
Lynda, do you recognize this spot?
Click here for the answer
The road to the Royal Albatross Centre
Entrance to the Centre View towards Duneden Seagull sat on peoples' cars

I had wanted to take a closer look at the Albatross that we saw from a distance when we paddled by the cliffs a year ago, but the entrance to the area was available only on a guided tour. I (grudgingly) paid the $30 ($23.50 USD) for the one hour tour and went on it. What a disappointment! We got a lecture on Albatross -- which was fairly interesting -- and then went over to the viewpoint where they furnished us with binoculars. We saw a total of three Albatross mothers sitting on their eggs, without moving hardly at all. How exciting! I took no photos during this tour :-(

The next morning I had planned to try to find the beach we visited last year -- the one with sea lions lying on it. After a couple of attempts to find it the clouds began to roll in and I decided to scrap the search and head on out towards Invercargil on the Southern Sceninc Route. First, I needed to fill up my gas tank so I turned in towards Duneden and ended up in a traffic jam.

The next morning the weather wasn't so good. Rush hour in Washington DC? No, in Duneden!
The Southern Scenic Route from Duneden for the first 50 or so kilometers was quite beautiful and interesting. Part of it passed along the coast and part was in the inland hills.
As I said before, I thought these plants were beautiful!
An inlet along the scenic route Bus stop Marker for the route
The markers for the scenic route were rather small, and in some places partially hidden by foliage or by parked tall vehicles. Twice I missed a turn and had to turn around to see where the route went. Luckily, both times it became obvious only a few seconds after missing the sign that I was no longer on the route and was able to make a u-turn, so no time was lost to speak of.
Scenery along the coast On the inland portion
About 50 km from Duneden, the scenic route joined State Highway 1 and the scenery became dull. According to the map, the Southern Scenic Route was to leave SH1 after Balclutha, about 35km later. When I got to that spot, the clouds were definitely thickening and I decided instead to skip it, taking the road to Te Anau instead. Te Anau was the goal to begin with; I only ended up there a day early as I would not have made it all the way in one day on the longer and slower scenic route.
Once there was Bill... ... and Al ... ... and now they have a highway!!!

The forecast was for cloudy skies -- but no rain -- around the Fjordland National Park area so I made no plans for the next day. The forecast turned out to be right and I spent the day doing laundry, writing these notes, and cleaning up the van.

After the chores, I took a couple of short hikes, one to Lake Mistletoe and to

Had to photograph the sign Lake Mistletoe Plant life there
Nothing much worth photographing here My favorite with-wine snack!


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