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

Kiwi Birdlife Park

Kiwi Birdlife Park

Another place which is worth a visit, is the Kiwi Bird Sactuary.

This has live Kiwi’s to watch in their natural habitat.

It has some interesting bits of natural wild-birdlife up-close, including walk-in aviaries, allowing the birds to grab hold of any attractive sundries you may have about your person.
Doesn’t happen often, but there is an amusing story about a missing lens cover on the audio-guide supplied when you walk in.

Visit @ 11am or 3pm to take advantage of the live Maouri show.

Here’s a few pictures.

Walk in Aviary, Kiwi Birdlife Park, QueenstownWalk in Aviary, Kiwi Birdlife Park, Queenstown

Some ducks hanging out.
Kiwi Birdlife Park, Queenstown, New ZealandKiwi Birdlife Park, Queenstown, New Zealand

Maouri Hut, Kiwi Birdlife Park, New ZealandKiwi Birdlife Park, New Zealand

A Maouri house before settlers arrived.

A whole Maouri family whould fit in one of these.
They used to sleep close to the floor so as to overwhelm attackers when they stooped down spearing them in the face.

Places to eat and drink in Queenstown

Places to eat and drink in Queenstown

1. Threesixty
Chinese fusion food.
Located in the base of the CP.
Easily the best.
Well prepared, fresh, original meal with good wine and good service.

2. Avanti
Simple italian fayre.
Good service.

3. Luciano’s
The most expensive.
Starter was good (salmon & scallop with rocket salad).
Main was overcomplicated (fettucini with chicken and sun-dried tomato sauce).
The waitress tried to overcharge me on wine.

Shotover Jet – Queenstown

Shotover Jet – Queenstown

Took this afternoon, a bright and sunny one, to do the shotover Jet.

The guide told us it was only the third time this summer he has been able to wear a t-shirt.

The summer has been a complete wash out.

The deal is you take a bus down from downtown Queenstown over to the upper reaches of the shotover river. From here you recieve a little training on safety and what not to do, then you’re off.

The jet boats look pretty cool.
500 horsepower Buick v-twins each with about 15 passengers each.

In you get then for about 1/2 an hour you career down the shotover through some dramatic canyons in the lush green mountain terain.

The river is light blue, so clear you can see the fish swimming at the bottom of it.
All of this is lost on you as most of your concentration is on keeping from going overboard.

Don’t eat heavily before boarding this ride. The steady series of shocks and turns will see your food making a second appearance.

The driver gives you a little commentary as you rush along.
There’s a couple of things to be pointed out and learned, most specifically that the Shotover is the reason that Queenstown was populated in the first place due to $50,000,000 dollars worth of gold attributed to being found along its length.

Here’s a couple of pictures of the Jet Boats.

Shotover Jet, Queenstown

Shotover Jet, Jetboat, Queenstown

Meet the oldest rider, George.

Kawarau Bridge – Bungy jump

Kawarau Bridge – Bungy jump

The first commercial Bungy site.

Copying from drug crazed egalitarian tribes down in South America somewhere, AJ and his friend from Holland had an idea that this might be a good thing to do.
Working together with scientists from the local university, they developed a formula to make the first Bungy rope.

This was to string people from a local bridge.

Initially as the blurb will tell you no-one was interested in this ridiculous and frightening sport. And in the first year they only managed to find 28 people mad enough to do it.

Hackett developed the ‘Bungy Code of Practice’ to qualify and quantify this mad new pursuit.

Slowly, more and more normal punters came in, Hackett become the Bill Gates of Bungy and Bungy became the multimillion pound sport it is today.

Kawarau Bridge, Bungy, New ZealandKawarau Bridge, Bungy, New Zealand

I did all this Bungy bollocks in Australia a few years back.
If you haven’t done it, you need to do it. If you have, don’t feel you need to do it again (unless your friends are watching, which mine aren’t 😉 ).

Weblinks: AJ Hackett