Heading to the Bluff.

Thursday 23rd August.

Up earlier this morning and had our breakfast, cleaned up and hit the road. Had a few stops along the way to Haast, did some water falls, but not a lot of water flowing at the moment, we have noticed all the lake levels are low, the locals are saying the it’s been real poor with snow levels and even though they get a lot of rain, the amount of snow melts really does help the dam levels. We have clear skies, stopped at Lake Hawea and had lunch down at the lake, it really is a magic spot. Saw Rocky Range and called into Butchers Dam and Lake Dunstan has lovely reflections it’s on the way to Cromwell, in the Roxborough area. Stayed at Miller’s flat camp ground, $14 each, nice clean spot, bit run down, the owners are lovely.

Lake Dunstan

Lake Dunstan and it’s lovely reflections. Smoke from fire in the background adds to the moodiness of the scene.

Lake Hawea

This is the view as we headed over the Haast Pass and heading towards Wanaka.

Friday 24th

Woke to a frost, even the water out of the hose in the tap is hanging out by about 10 inch and is frozen. 8.14 am and ready to hit the road, did all the dumps and refills once we broke the ice up. Called into Gore, town of the country music, NZ’s Tamworth. They also boast trout. We had a good run down to Invercargill, called into see my Dads grave at Lumsden. Didn’t stop in Invercargill carried on down to the Bluff, I really liked it there, very windy and very cold, coming straight up from the Antarctic. It had very low clouds but could still see Stewart Island. Was very hard taking photo’s at the look out due to the wind, nearly blows you over. Saw interesting things, like chocks in paddocks with sheep and or cows all happy together. Had a feed of fish & Chips and it them down at the wharf. Left the bluff about 1 pm and started for the Catlins. To get to Curio Bay we made a wrong turn and ended up 28 km out of our way but got to see some nice country side along the way, when we got to the causeway and saw the sign to go over to the Tiwai smelting then I realised we had come the wrong way. No worries, turned around and got back on track and got to Curio camp grounds at about 4.30 pm. Took photo’s on our way in and what a great place. Got the camera’s and went straight down to the Penguins, we have been told that they head back up out of the water into their nesting place at about 4.30 pm onward until dark so will sit it out. Of course the sun has gone behind of the hills so the bay is in shadow and quiet dark due to the cloudy weather,  but we saw 10 Penguins, love there calls, but I was amazed at how slow they came up the beach and over the rock, I assumed they would leave the water and rush up to their hide away, but they took nearly 1 1/2 hours, by this time it was really to dark to get decent shots,  now a few spits of rain so headed back to the camper, will be down here 1st shooting light and wait, bbbrrrrrrrrrrr it will be cold.

HMS Wreck, Bluff

Came across this boat HMS was all we could read, certainly seen better days. This is not far from an old boat house at the Bluff.

Cromwell district then heading to Milford.

Sunday 12th August.

Checked the weather  again and still best to flip the itinerary and go west. Before we left we went up the farm with Liz to bring the sheep down to lower paddocks, the dogs do all the work, thank goodness, very steep country. Was a lot of fun. Said our cheerio’s for now and thanked them very much for everything, such nice people, country folk. It rained most of the way from Omarama, we are staying at the Holiday park, Kingston Motels,  excellent park, we had hot showers and did a wash, changed the cloths and ate, feel like a million dollars now. :) Called into Cromwell on our way thru. Woke at 7.45 am Monday today and we are all set to move. Rained all night, bitterly cold. Tui’s singing in the trees, such a lovely sound. We came thru Lumsden, popped up to my dads grave. Checked out the camping ground to see if Jason was there, the place is owned by a new chap who has changed things and I think it will grow.  We carried on to Lake Manapouri, weather still no good so not wasting money on the boat trip so went onto Te Anau.  Had a cuppa in camper and a bite to eat down by the lake. Heading off to Milford. Stopped at Mirror Lakes no mirror images to windy but still pretty, cloud still low so goodness knows what it’s going to be like at Milford. We stayed the night at a doc’s camp, $5 a head, Deer Flats, just lovely, we tucked into the bushes by the Deer stream to keep out of the wind. Sand flies are still bad. I cooked up a feed to last another two nights, weather trying to clear, one more night may just help for tomorrow, at Milford. We had this wee bird a bush wren hanging about it was so funny. Then 3 bunnies came out of the thickets just before dark, they were playing around and I could see one of the parents way down the road. The chemical long drops at the doc camps are really clean and no smell. Filled up the hotty tonight, its dammmmmmmmmmm cold.

Old Cromwell Town This is Old Cromwell town been preserved, they flooded the actual town and moved what they could to higher ground.

Fruit Town, Cromwell

Cromwell is well known for it’s magnificent fruit. Their dried apricots are my favorite.

Lake Dunstan

Such a tranquil spot, Lake Dunstan was made by the flooding of the Clyde and Clutha rivers for the Dam  at Cromwell.