SOUTHERN SCENIC ROUTE

Trip Start Dec 03, 2008
1
28
73
Trip End Oct 14, 2009


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Saturday, March 7, 2009

There is a highway called the Southern Scenic Route that goes all across the southern part of the south island. Along the way there are hundreds of things to see and do, so after seeing Milford Sound we decided to head further south. Our first stop was Invercargil. A bigger town than we're used to but with a lot of character. We camped outside of town at an old World War II base camp, which was pretty interesting. Right next to it there was a huge race track where we found the locals like to get up on a Sunday mornings at the crack of dawn and drive it. They weren't the type of cars we're used to seeing race - they were little loud Honda stock cars or something similar. In town we also climbed to the top of the old water tower. It was built in 1866. I just made that number up, but it was sometime near that. We got a great view of the city. It reminded me of That 70's Show when they all hang out on top of the Port Washington's water tower.  Although, this one was really a lot higher. 
 
We stopped at a lot of different sites along the way  that the area is known for (ie. waterfalls, rocks, cliffs, etc) We took this all across the southern part of the island.  It was so beautiful that I've decided it is my favorite area in all of New Zealand so far.  The area is called the Catlin's.  Along the way we have found the coolest towns.  At one point we stopped to see this fossilized forest or petrified wood.  It had trees that were 170,000,000 years old (no, I did not add extra zeros).  It's mind blowing when you see something like that and just think about how long that has been there.  Mike, I still have that big piece of petrified wood you gave me a few years ago and I still don't know what to do with it.  

We also came across one town (Owaka) where we got some of the best burgers we've ever had.  Mine had bacon, mushrooms, egg, pineapple(!), onion along with all the other stuff that usually is on a burger.  It was magnificent!  Right outside of the burger town, we found what I think is the best campsite yet.  It was really small and at first we were gong to get a cabin but it didn't seem so cold at the moment so we set up the tent.  Wish we had gotten the cabin - it rained a lot and I thought the tent was going to carry us away into the sky a few times - just like Dorothy.  We took a walk out on the beach, expecting the usual amazing beaches NZ has to offer but found this beach to be one of the best yet. It was huge - there was not a soul besides us.   It was too cold to swim but we could have spent an entire week there on that beach. Along the way we came across 4 HUGE sea lions on the beach.  We could have walked up to them and petted them - although, I don't think that's how things would have ended up if we got any closer than we did.  It was so great to see them without 100 other people staring and taking pictures and everything.   It was just them and us.  We watched them for a long time - until it got a little too cold for us.  We wish it had been nice because this was my favorite beach so far.  It was just simply beautiful and nothing but sand - no rocks, no insects, just soft sand.  

The next day we kept driving on the Southern Scenic Highway towards Dunedin.  On the way we stopped at this place called Nugget Point.    It's a lighthouse on a cliff.  It is there to warn boats of the huge rocks laying out in front of it.  These rocks were shooting out of the water at a 90 degree angle.  The information board said these rocks had been uplifted and turned on their sides - because they are limestone you could see the different layers in them - check out the pictures.  They were so incredible to see.  There is a big colony of penguins (although we missed them again), sea loins, sea elephants, and fun seals.  We got to see some of them but not too many. 

While in Dunedin, the weather was insane - it even hailed at one point. Having only our tent, we decided to get a cabin for a couple of nights. We visited the Dunedin University, went to the very historic train station, walked around town a few different times (they have tons of bars and restaurants), visited a couple of churches, went on the Cadbury Chocolate factory tour and visited the steepest street in the world! 

The Cadbury tour was so fun. Although we didn't get to swim in chocolate rivers or try crazy new inventions, we had a fun time seeing how it is all made. They did give us lots of candy along the way, but it wasn't there best. They gave us a chocolate covered pink marshmallow fish (what?), a few sad Butterfinger want-a-be's and plenty of banana favored chewy things covered in chocolate. Cadbury, where's the caramel, where's the nuts (although I cant eat those anyway), where's the Cadbury eggs? It is Easter time! I guess we didn't need the chocolate anyway plus we did eat what they gave us.  But it was great, It was great.  I felt just like Willy Wonka.  We had to wear these silly hair nets and Brian even got to wear an extra one that looked like a jock strap on his face to cover his beard.  So, we got heaps of chocolate although they didn't give us any Cadbury Eggs - which was hard to believe considering Easter is around the corner. 


We also went to the steepest street in the world, Baldwin Street. Really, they even give you a certificate saying you've been there. And it was...really steep. A lot of homes were for sale along Baldwin, we don't know if it's the economy or the street. Most cars can't even make the trip up the street unless you have 4 wheel drive - we left Miles at the bottom. 


Dunedin is a beautiful town, but the best part of it is the Otego Peninsula that jets out from the city. I have to say, I think it is my favorite place that we've been to yet. The most beautiful countryside and it had just rained so we saw about 6 different rainbows.  
Slideshow Report as Spam

Post your own travel photos for friends and family More Pictures

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: