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Holidaying on White Island

Holidaying on White Island

Travelling with PeeJay’s.

White Island is about 40k off-shore. Takes about 1 1/2 hours to get there.

In 1932 there was a sulphur mining operation on the island. After repeated eruptions, deaths and eventually bankrupcy, operations ceased.

The island now is like a moving sand of volcanic activity.

White Island, New Zealand
As you can see the place is not exactly Hawaii.

Don’t look into the Rain
We are told stories of melting radio’s zippers, trainer islets, items of clothing, the rain is acid, the floor is a shifting crust of ash beneath which lies pools of boiling mud.

It is home to the worlds most acidic lake.

White Island, New Zealand
At PH1, this lake is pure hydrochloric acid, there were still Germans rolling their towels out beside it as we arrived.

White Island, New Zealand
Everything on this island seems to explode or break. Which is why we are given helmets and gas masks when we arrive.

Weblinks: PeeJays
Weblinks: White Island

Milford Sound Underwater Centre

Milford Sound Underwater Centre

Milford Sound Underwater Centre, New ZealandMilford Sound Underwater Centre
This is not part of the tour and costs and additional $25.

Gives you the opportunity to get down to Milford’s salt water layer and observe the wealth of wildlife.

This isn’t like Loch Ness, where you might have the odd sock floating around, there are many fish, corals and life going on 10m under.

These fish were showing off for me.

Notice the particularly ugly one at the front.

Milford Sound – Underwater Center, New ZealandMilford Sound - Underwater Center, New Zealand

Weblinks: Milford Sound Underwater Observatory

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s top attractions.

The drive down takes 2hrs and takes in some dramatic countryside.

Knobs Flat, New Zealand

Mitre Peak, New Zealand

The area was discovered by a Welshman who got blown off course into the mouth of the sound and it effectively saved his life.

Milford Fjord
At the time, the English had no word for a fjord, so the Welshman named it Milford Haven, which was subsequently re-named Milford Sound.

Granite Peaks
You cannot fail to be inspired, the rocks here are mighty.

Two tectonic plates meet here, the Pacific and the Australasian which goes some way by way of beginning to explain how such a dramatic landscape was created.

As you drift along in the boat, its like someone has come and smashed the sides of the rocks away with a hammer.

Milford Tour Options
There are a number of choices and options, but most tours are done through boats.
The company I went with was Red Boats ‘Encounter’ nature cruise.

This takes in the sights, but without the bus loads of tour parties which congregate around the harbour area.

Here are some pictures when we set sail.

Most Popular
This is the most photographed view in New Zealand.

New Zealands Most Popular Photograph

The Entrance to Milford Sound, New Zealand

One of the advantages of the smaller boat was it’s maneuverability and ability to get close in to the rocks.

This tour actually goes under a number of the waterfalls which run off the granite outcrops as you go along.

Bowen Falls, Milford Sound
Stanley Falls, Milford Sound, New Zealand
Pixie Falls, Milford Sound, New Zealand

It was hot, so we welcomed getting under the water for a bit of a cool.

Here’s some seals doing what they do best.

Seals, Milford Sound, New Zealand
Weblinks: Red Boats

Southland Museum

Southland Museum

Invercargill has penguins walking the streets in the winter.

I have heard this therefore it must be true.

To find out some more interesting facts to be had about the area, I’ve taken some time out to visit the Southland Museum.

There are some nice displays on Maori art. And other bits and pieces that indicate Maori efficiency at catching fish.

Here are some Maori clubs.

Maori clubs, Southland Museum, New ZealandMaori clubs, Southland Museum, New Zealand

The Maori used a full bodied thrusting action to gain maximum effect from these stubby clubs.

Sub-Antarctic islands

Upstairs at the museum is a exhibit by Greenpeace about the southern islands or the sub-Antarctic islands.

Windswept, cold, full of seagulls.

Each island tells a story of unlucky travellers after being thrashed upon the rocks, clambering up to face death or starvation or de-hydration under grotesque circumstances.
Whalers, sealers or seamen were forced to eat whelks, limpets anything they could get their hands on.

Differing explorers suffered different fates, which are documented.

One group made a go of it.
By the time they were picked up they had cultivated 2 hectares of potatoes and harvested 3,000 seal skins.

Southland Museum, New Zealand
Weblinks: Southland Museum

Kelvin Hotel – Invercargill

Kelvin Hotel – Invercargill

Petrol tank gauge is showing empty and I just make it into the Invercargill before the Hog starts spluttering.

Find this hotel. It’s called the Kelvin.

It’s cheap $104. When I go to the room, there are some French journalists broadcasting something from the lobby window using a laptop and a satellite phone.


When I look in the mirror I realise I have got a sunburnt face.

My hands are burnt as well.

Will have to remember sun cream for the long rides.

The hotel has broadband so I can get some work done in the morning.

Weblinks: Kelvin Hotel – Invercargill

The road to Invercargill

The road to Invercargill

Today I am going to journey southwards.

I plan to drop in on Duneden and Invercargill.


Have just driven through the town-centre.

It really isn’t worth getting off the bike.

Stop a Micky-dees in the industrial estate for essential carbs.

The Southern Scenic route

This winds it’s way gently through the lowlands surrounding the south-east of New Zealands south island.

It’s free.

It passes through The Catlin National park Nature Reserve.

It runs from Dunedin right through to Invercargill taking in many impressive sights on the way.

Here’s some pictures I took along the way.

Southern Scenic Route, New ZealandSouthern Scenic Route, New Zealand

Southern Scenic Route, New ZealandSouthern Scenic Route, New Zealand

Southern Scenic Route, New Zealand

Purakaunui Falls.
A stopover point a couple of km’s of the main route on a dirt track.

It’s impressive because the falls are in a semi-tropical setting, canopy sub-canopy, Lyrebirds etc.

Purakaunui Falls, New Zealand

Tuatuku Beach
Like Harlech beach for length and spread, this one stretches for miles and you can get a great view from the headland.

Tuatuku Beach, New Zealand

Mclean Falls
Located slightly of the road.

Mclean Falls, New Zealand

After a tramp through the bushes, you are rewarded.

Youths were cooking noodles on the rocks at the base. One is obscuring the picture here.

Mclean Falls, New Zealand
Here’s a view from the 5km unmade road you need to travel down to reach the Mclean falls.

Mclean Falls, New Zealand

Cathedral Caves
Located on private land, you have to pay to get into this one.

Cathedral Caves, New Zealand

As you enter the gate keeper hut, they sell postcards of different views of the caves which are located on the shoreline.

Cathedral Caves, New Zealand

There is even one picture with a couple getting married.

Weblinks: Southern Scenic Route – New Zealand