Moeraki Boulders

Southland

Southland

We started in Invercargill, the most southern city of New Zealand & the heart of Southland.  With a population of only 53000 souls, Invercargill is recognised for its hospitality to visitors and as the gateway to some of New Zealand’s most beautiful scenery.  Wide streets with minimal traffic, spacious parks & gardens, Victorian & Edwardian architecture along huge beaches are some of the particularities of this city.  The scenery outside the city is very similar to Scotland with rolling green pastures, wild coastlines, looming mountains and the climate is very different as well than in the other parts of New Zealand.  It was no different when we passed there… grey, rainy, windy, cold with a sunbeam once and a while coming through the dense clouds.  In a strange way, it fitted perfectly with the scenery giving it all a mysterious touch.

Nugget Point

Nugget Point

One hour east of Invercargill along the Southern Scenic Route, we entered Catlins National Park.  Dense rain forests, bush walks with native birdlife, stunning coastal scenery with sweeping beaches, a petrified forest, an historic lighthouse, … are some of the things to be found in The Catlins.  This rugged stretch of coastline reaches from Fortrose in the south to Kaka Point in the north.  The old lighthouse is situated at Nugget Point, a rough piece of coastline with huge rocks, home to penguins & seals.  Unfortunately we only spot a few seals but no sign of penguins.  But what we did see was a gigantic amount of sheeps… You have to know that New Zealand counts a lot mote sheep than human beings.

Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Boulders

Dunedin was the next stop on the list.  Pilar & Vivi, 2 girls who traveled with me for a few weeks met up with a friend who lived there and we went all our own way.  I continued the roadtrip with Stavros and we headed to Mount Cook.  Just outside of Dunedin we stopped in Moeraki Boulders.  This is a beach with strange, perfectly round stones on the beach.

Lake Pukaki & Mt Cook

Lake Pukaki & Mt Cook

The road inland from Oamaru to Mount Cook is not a popular or touristic route but the scenery here was one of the prettiest!  Huge mountains, clear blue water, forests, … breathtaking beautiful !  It slightly changes into a desertish scenery before arriving in the small town of Twizel.  We spent the night there in nice chalets for the price of a hostel.  The next day we left early in the morning for Mount Cook.  The road brings you along Pukaki lake with crystel blue waters & the snowy tops of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki aka Mount Cook (3754m) in the background.  Amazing views!

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