We’re just finishing day four of our whirlwind campervan tour of New Zealand. We arrived in Christchurch, which is making a fine recovery.
Our first stop was at the Department of Conservation camp ground at Waihi Gorge. It is a nice quiet spot beside a stream.
On Tuesday we went to Dunedin, which is a small city. We greatly enjoyed the public art gallery, especially the exehibition by Cook Islands artist John Pule. Afterwards we drove the Otago Peninsula. The aptly named Highcliff road is one of the most challenging I have ever been in. It twists and turns to excess with cliffs never far away. It is the first road that I have ever been on that could not be used as a rally car racecourse because it would be too dangerous. We saw Royal Albatross at the Royal-Albatross Centre (not the Royal Albatross-Centre) . They are enourmous, like a small glider or hang glider, but otherwise look like some overgrown, prehistoric sea gull. We failed to see any Yellow-eyed penguins.
Wednesday we drove across the South Island to the Fjordland National Park, where we saw endangered birds being nursed at the Te Anau Wildlife Centre.
Today we took the spectacular drive into Millford Sound. The fjord there, called Piopiotahe by the Maori, is the most spectacular bit of scenery that I can recall. We took a cruise and saw dozens of waterfalls and mountains. We highly recommend Piopiotahe.
Pictures will follow.
Our campervan is from the Spaceships line. It has the rather uninspiring name of “delta08” so we have renamed her the Lois McKendrick, after the ship in Nathan Lowell’s Coffee-Share series.