Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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As well as trying to plan my visit to Stewart Island I decided to head in to Invercargill and check out a few of the things it's renowned for (apart from being cold). So I packed up shortly after breakfast and headed to the Art gallery just down the road from Lorneville. It's set in a huge Georgian mansion and was actually quite interesting, making a pleasant visit. After leaving the big white house I followed the arty experience with a more historic one and ventured over to the 'Southland Museum & Tuatara House', which is, situated right in the heart of the city. I probably spent a good two or three hours in there actually as it was quite impressive. There were a lot of interesting exhibits, particularly the war exhibit of the old Kiwi soldiers who took a special opportunity to return to Italy and re-visit Monte Cassino to recount their experiences and pay their respects. It was all delivered via a series of emotionally moving black and white photography and was excellently done.
The one that helped itself to most of my time was the incredible display of the 'roaring forties' which offered a hive of information on the sub-antarctic islands, their origin and the chilling detail of their immensely exposed location. Mind blowing. All I can say.
The Tuatara House was a little different too. Chris had told me about 'Henry' yesterday and it was good to at least see him in the flesh. I guess I should consider myself honoured really as he did actually 'move', which is quite unusual apparently. Before I forget to mention, Henry (the Tuatara) is over one hundred years old and though not very sociable, according to his name plaque he's a wonderful example of this ancient species.
With enough to think about I took advantage of the free parking by the museum and took a lengthy walk around the city. To be honest, once again I wasn't blown away by old 'Inver'. Considering it's a city and by the standards of the other New Zealand cities I've encountered, there' really isn't a fat lot to write home about. Sorry Inver! I left after a while before heading back to camp stopping en-route for a few supplies.
Tomorrow I'll see if I can get over to Stewart Island, pending an available space on the ferry. I have no real plan as such, I'm just gonna go and see where the journey takes me. It's a magnificent place, and as long as I take the right gear with me, I should be fit for one hell of an adventure!