Beauty of the South Island

Today I drove from Christchurch down the center of the South Island to Ettrick.. driving past Mt. Hutt and other fantastic mountains.. these are all within an hour of Christchurch’s city center. It is just crazy that these things are so close… the beach is right here, and the mountains a small cruise. A lot like California, but much more laid back… I think that the city has a population of something like 400+k people.

What did I drive??

Andre loaned me his 1989 Mitsubishi V3000 Super Saloon!!!

What a machine.. it is close to The Warpig (1988 Dodge Caravan), The Skyhawk, and the Toyota… a superb machine. I even had to fix the running light with a little duck tape.

Camped a bunch, and then headed to The Catlins. The Southern most part of the South Island… many sights to see… Nugget Point Lighthouse, Jack’s Blowhole, Sheep poo, A rainforest hike through mid-ankle muck, a fantastic beachwalk near Papatowai.. the river was seething into the ocean and causing huge splash. A wonderful three hour hike…

It rains. Serious rain here. The wind was howling.. and I decided that a night in the hostel, following up some Lonely Planet hints and travelled to a wonderful spot in Curio Bay.

This hostel is situated on the beach. You could walk 20 feet off the back porch and swim. As the rain and wind howled, I spoke with Arianna and Anne (Germany), Ina (Germany), and Amit (Tel Aviv) and drank beer with a roaring fire. A wonderful night.

In the morning, Ina and I travelled to a Prehistoric Forest on the beach. 180 million years old, the petrified trees lie in the surf.. just like the logs that had fallen so long ago… we then travelled to the Southermost point of the South Island.. about halfway between the equator and the South Pole… then, on to Invercargill.. for lunch.

Ina was a great person to travel with, if only briefly. Extremely friendly and knowledgable. Like most of the travellers.. that is such a great point.

The world seems to be travelling.. and is sharing so much. That is a big draw.. and keeps you coming back!!

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