Gore, Gunn Camp & Glow Worms

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Hollyford Gunn's Camp

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, November 7, 2010

Today, as we drove along, I was thinking that NZ is famous for having "more sheep than people," but I've seen almost as many cows as sheep, especially on the North Island. Also, the grass up on the North Island was a shocking neon green, but down here it’s back to normal.  As I was thinking about this, we passed a field of white sheep that had one black lamb in it.  Now we know where the expression “black sheep” comes from.

Mid-morning coffee stop in Gore, the brown trout capital of the world, with a giant statue to prove it.


For lunch, we picnicked at this gorgeous lake with snowy mountain views.  Hans wandered up to a group nearby and somehow talked his way into getting a few turns at waterskiing.  Vinny amused himself by trying to put pebbles in my ear.  When I yelled at him, he told me I was, “running the game” LOL. 

At night, we camped at Hollyford Gunn’s Camp in Fjordland National Park.  The camp reminded me of towns I’ve seen in Appalachia because there were tiny clapboard cottages puffing smoke from wood-burning fireplaces next to a gurgling river with huge mountains behind.  The juxtaposition of simple architecture and a rich setting was intriguing.

The camp had a gift shop with historic lilies blooming outside, relocated from the McKenzie homestead in Martin’s Bay, according to the sign.  They were 15th century Zion daffodils and Arum lilies.  The daffodils weren’t blooming, but the lilies were gorgeous. 

Inside the shop, they sold greenstone (jade) that they found in the creeks nearby, which had been blessed by a Maori elder.  Greenstone is sacred here and there are lots of rules surrounding it.  You can’t buy it for yourself, only as a gift for others.  You’re also supposed to wash the stone in the water nearest to where it was found.

At night, we walked down a trail from the camp that led to a glow worm cave.  Rather than a cave, it was really more of an exposed dirt embankment with glowing blue worms stuck to it.  They were about the size of inchworms and looked translucent when we shone our flashlights on them, with little strings sticking off them to catch the bugs their light attracts.  Actually, the whole picture reminded me of the fake stars in the sky on the Peter Pan ride at Disney World.  
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