Thursday, 26 February 2009

MOVIETIME - CURIO BAY




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ON THE WAY TO CURIO BAY

Sorry this is a bit out of sequence but this is the fossil forest at Curio Bay. Depending on what you read this is between 160 and 180 million years old - that's the forest I'm talking about.
Waipapa Point Lighthouse.



Slope Point, the southern most point of the South Island.




Curio Bay during the seldom occuring sou easterly big seas.





I thought this sign was a joke but as you will see it was not!!






We opened the door of the "Truck" to be greeted by this sealion at the bottom of the step. By the time we got the camera he had moved to the other side of our very dirty motorhome.







He? spent most of the second day sleeping and snarling at anybody that got too close.








Curio Bay Holiday Park (the "Truck" is centre left) overlooking Porpoise Bay. We did see dolphins but they did not present themselves for photo opportunities.









A successful days hunting, parent feeding chick who has been waiting patiently ashore all day.










A moulting chick











The viewing platform and the stairs down to the bay where you can get up close (10 metre limit) and personal with the penguins.













STEWART ISLAND (a day of waiting)

Waiting for lunch at the pub. We did also have a long wait at the Invercargill Airport on the way over as we were told to report a half hour earlier than necessary and also we killed and hour or so watching a video at the DOC centre during the morning as it was too wet to go walk about.
Waiting at the jetty to be picked up by the water taxi to take us to Ulva Island which was cancelled because of the rough weather.


Waiting at the wharf cafe for time to go by so we can go to the pub to wait to be picked up to go to the airfield. Note the big seas and this is in the harbour so you can imagine what it was like out on the strait.



Waiting at the pub to be picked up to go to the airfield.




Happy as a sandboy, in the co pilots seat on the return journey.





We flew over on the twin and back on the single. Fairly rough journeys but a jolly sight better than being on the ferry as that looked horrendous.






Monday, 23 February 2009

MANAPOURI TO INVERCARGILL

Clifden Suspension Bridge
Built 1898


40 tonnes of cable was used in the bridge


Old house from old bridge



Tuatapere Butchers




Famous for their sausages




McCrackens Rest





We saw a pod of Hector Dolphins while here.





Bus Shelter, Colac Bay







NATURAL SCIENCE

Kiwi Birdlife Park Queenstown
Tuatara, Kiwi Birdlife Park

Yellow Crested Kakariki, Kiwi Birdlife Park











Red Crested Kakariki, Kiwi Birdlife Park.





Juvenile tuatara, about 75mm long, Southland Museum, Invercargill






Henry (about 110 yrs old) Southland Musuem, Invercargill







Kaka, Stewart Island









Saturday, 21 February 2009

MANAPOURI POWER STATION & DOUBTFUL SOUND

Waiting for the boat that took us to the Manapouri Power Station then it was bus across to Doubtful Sound for a 3 hour cruise.
Not the centre of the earth but 200 metres down, the Manapouri Power Station.

What we travelled down to see, the exciters which sit above the turbines.


The tunnel as we begin our 2k journey to the surface 200 metres above.



Our first view of Doubtful Sound.




Raewyn listening attentively to the commentary.





"Blanket Bay Hotel", a fishermans lodge. These guys had had a good day including blue cod and crayfish which they were holding up for us to see.












A typical but spectacular view of the Sound as we saw it on our trip. We did see waterfalls including New Zealands highest waterfall but have not included any photos as there had not been rain for a while so were not as spectacular as normal.







We were fortunate enough to see a pod of the rare Bottlenose dolphins.








Keas at Manapouri Power Station.









MANAPOURI

Lakeview Motels & Holiday Park is quite quirky and justifies a posting of it own as the owners had a penchant for Morris Minors as well as other bits and pieces and allowed their European heritage to influence the parks architecture.
Backpacker accommodation

Chalet accommodation


PARKING (Morris Minors only)



Alfresco hairstyling.




This is where the lake level would have been if the hydro power people had had their way during the 1960's but due to a national uproar and protest thankfully it never happened.






ON THE ROAD TO MILFORD SOUND

We travelled from Queenstown to Te Anau where we stayed at the Top 10 Holiday Park and I was able to do a BBQ in the sunshine at 7pm! In Queenstown we lose the sun where we are about 2 hours earlier. The following day we drove up to Milford Sound as we had flown in there on our previous trip.

Driving through Beech forest near the start of our drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound.


Me in the middle of Eglinton Valley.



Mirror Lakes




Monkey Creek





Entrance to the Homer Tunnel as we head toward Milford. Traffic is one way and controlled by traffic lights that work on a 15 minute cycle.






Water flowing through the "Chasm" where the flow of water has carved its way through solid rock over thousands of years.







A roadside view of the remnants of the slip that closed the Milford road earlier in the year.








What we came to see, Mitre Peak.