Te Anau 4

Hurrah, Christmas out of the way for another year. I had a really nice one. Christmas eve mooched round Dunedin during the day.

Dunedin railway station

In the evening had really good penguin encounter. Saw loads of them, lots of cute fluffy chicks too and was able to get up close.

Yellow Eyed Penguin

Got up late ish to a beautiful sunny Christmas morning and had a leisurely Christmas brekky.

Christmas breakfast

Then went for a fantastic 3 hour walk around Okai Reserve and
Victory Beach. Beach was amazing. Blue, blue sea, sparkling white sand and grassy dunes. Sat on a bit of driftwood for a long while taking it all in while keeping half an eye out for sea lions. Didn’t see any but was slightly nervous about being ambushed from the dunes as this was their manor.


Afterwards, another cruisy drive around the inlets of Otago Peninsular then the forecast bad weather started heading in so went back to base and crimbo dinner preparations.

Christmas Dinner

Next day long but lovely drive down the Caitlins Coast to Invercargill where I was overnighting (only reason to stop there really – sorry Invercargillites).

En route stopped at the beautiful Nugget Point, walked up to the lighthouse and returned to van to find I’d left me lights on and now had a flat battery. Fortunately 3 huge guys pulled up in a 4 x 4 and gave me a tow and got me started again (hopefully won’t be making that mistake again!).

Nugget Point, Caitlins Coast, New Zealand

On to the wildlife viewing hide at Roaring Bay close by and some more yellow eyed penguin action. For one of the world’s rarest penguins there seem to be a lot of them about…

After penguin fix went on to the gorgeous Surat Bay (another sea lion hangout). Ran into Catherine and Mike and their two kids Ella and Ollie who I first met in Moeraki. Had a good old chin wag – really nice friendly family (originally from Herne Hill but in NZ for the last 7 years and loving it). Discovered my sea lion paranoia was completely justified as Mike told the tale of how he rescued poor wee Ollie from a lunging startled sea lion on the beach at Surat Bay. I was quite pleased not to have come across any…

Forward onward to Matai Falls where I ran into an elderly couple originally from Norfolk but in NZ for the last 38 years – still hadn’t lost their Norfolk accents though.

Matai Falls, New Zealand

Cruised on down to Curio Bay through beautiful forest. There’s a petrified forest in the bay. Unfortunately my timing was a bit off and the tide was in so I didn’t get to see it in all its glory. Did see a few old tree stumps embedded in the rocks though, and at last, a sea lion basking on the rocks at a safe distance.

Curio Bay, Caitlins Coast, New Zealand

Long straight road to Invercargill so was able to put my foot down whilst observing the mostly flat landscape. Popped into the supermarket to stock up on beer only to find that some Invercargill bye law prohibits supermarkets from selling alcohol. Fortunately I was just in time to catch the liquor store on the edge of town just before it closed.

Up early this morning for the stunning drive to Te Anau.

On the road to Te Anau from Invercargill

Stopped off at Manapouri and did a little walk along the shores of the lake then arrived in Te Anau just in time for the downpour.

Lake Manapouri, New Zealand

So grey and wet but all the better for waterfalls on Milford Sound cruise which I’m planning for tomorrow.

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4 thoughts on “Te Anau

  • Hazel

    Hi Aba:
    Still sounding & looking gooooood! Makes me want to see some of these places – one day … if & when the kids leave home … dream on!
    You are still doing great mileage but shame the weather isn’t behaving – been much the same here so you are not alone!
    Xmas Day was full on getting round both the families – all arrived home as sober as but we were all feeling rather jaded – boring, boring!!
    Saving ourselves for New Year’s!
    Take care.
    Love getting the piccies & dialogue.

  • Aba

    The Goddess must be smiling on me! Beautiful sunny day for trip and cruise around Milford. Hell don’t wait for the kids to leave home, bring em with you! Passed the 10000km mark earlier this week. Have a great New Year!

  • Liz

    Yippee, finally made it to your blog. Lots to catch up on but I like the sound of it so far and the pics. My memories of Te Anau are sitting in a motel watching the hoolie of hoolies coming towards us down the lake and forcing the trees sideways. We were about to walk the Milford track and wondering what on earth we’d let ourselves in for. Turned out magical and Milford Sound was well worth it when we got to the end. Have a beer and a plate of chips for me at the Milford Lodge if it’s still there (there’ve probably been several more hoolies in the last 10 years, they might have blown it down) and you get this in time.

    Had a great, hot christmas here in Tobago, plate similarly laden to yours. Happy New Year to you!

  • aba

    Liz, glad to hear Tobago is treating you well!
    Was pissing down in Te Anau when I arrived but weather has cheered up since then. Milford Lodge still there, spent the night there last night (made me own dinner though on account of me not seeing your advice til now – will have a plate of chips for you somewhere else though, bit I *did* have a ginger beer hope that’ll do 🙂 ).