Travelouge Across South

Travelouge Across South

In this holiday issue, we encapsulate the beauty, the history, and the issues across South Island. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we have left areas around Kaikoura for obvious reasons, but readers may find the 71 pictures - from page 4 to page 15 - an useful aid to get the gist of Te Waipounamu. Yes, this is the Maori name of New Zealand's South Island, which means "the waters of greenstone".      

From Canterbury to Abel Tasman via Catlins, Southland, Fiordland, and West Coast

Lake Forsyth near Birdling's Flat in Canterbury. You don't have to go to Milford Sounds to see the mirror lakes. It's right here at our doorsteps. Just choose the right weather.

Limestone was discovered and Oamaru was born. While the Victorian Heritage Celebrations held in November are the obvious annual highlight of the town, the old wooden wharf - a natural resting area of blue penguins, which are world's smallest penguin species - is also not to be missed.

2015 gave an unexpected but welcome boost to Oamaru's Steampunk HQ, New Zealand's premier Steampunk experience. To those who have seen Charlie Theron fought for survival in George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road, the HQ will be an experience no less. And yes, don't forget to visit The Portal. What's that you ask? Ask the man at the counter. This year's Steampunk festival weekend is June 1-5.

Caroline Bay Park in Timaru. The sculptures in the Park will tell you that the City values arts. A visit to the Aigantighe Art Gallery, which houses works of the country's greatest painters, will prove it as well.

The recent boost in tourism has led to calls for reviving the rail service between Christchurch and Dunedin, passing through Timaru; Mayor Damon Odey and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters leading the charge. Notably, the Southerner was such service that ran from 1970 to 2002, between Christchurch and Invercargill, via Dunedin. It closed due to declining passenger patronage and economic non-viability.

Welcome to the country's most photographed building - Dunedin Railway Station. And while you are there, don't forget to look at the tiles.

Otago Peninsula with its Sea Lions and endangered yellow-eyed penguins, world's only mainland albatross colony, are obvious attractions along with the City's Scottish heritage. But in recent years, the City known for its student population has become more multicultural. A testimony to this is the recent announcement by the Dunedin City Council of providing funds for Samoan Independence Day celebrations.

Moeraki Boulders just 33km from Oamaru formed in millions of years by a layering process similar to the one which forms oyster pearls.

Not many known this, but Moeraki which is still a seafood gold mine, was one of the earliest European Whaling station settlements in New Zealand. It was settled around 1836.

History buffs can visit nearby Clarks Flour Mill, which will be celebrating its 150 years on February 19, this year.

As you leave Dunedin, the Southern Scenic Route starts and we enter The Catlins. This will stretch to Queenstown via Invercargill. Main centre is Owaka, and an exciting summer past time is the Southland Woodchopping Circuit.

But before we move further, a place of interest is Maheno Service Centre, just few kilometres from the Clarks Mill. The display of the Confederate flag, which in modern times has come to be associated with "white supremacy", is noticeable.

Enroute to Nugget Point Reserve, there's a public viewing hide to view yellow-eyed penguins. A must in The Catlins!

While tourism is an obvious earner for the region, the Southland Regional Development Strategy launched on November 30, 2016, has laid the framework to attract 10,000 more people to a "contemporary, competitive and connected Southland region by 2025".

The Government has confirmed investment of $2.4 million into Southland in support of the Strategy.

Nugget Point, which is home to one of the country's oldest lighthousesbuilt in 1869-70.

He wahi taoka - a special place
Kai Tahu mana at Tokata legally recognised in 1998 Treaty of Waitangi settlement

The three-steps of Purakaunui Falls, which is the most photographed waterfall in the country.

Ask for the tide timings if planning to visit the Cathedral Caves. 

From Florence Hill Lookout, views of Tautuku Bay and Tautuku Peninsula to the south; and Tahakopa Bay and Long Point to the north. Recently, the area has become popular for big wave surfing.

A town in the region, which is known for its six-arch concrete bridge is Balclutha. Built in 1868 originally, it was an engineering feat of its times.   

The first reminder of the country's gold rush of the 1800's that you see as you move towards the West Coast!

The Old Sod Cottage in Balclutha, which was a mud cottage built in the 1860s as a stopping place for miners heading to the Tuapeka goldfields.

Count how many?

In place since 1893, Niagara Falls Cafe is now known in The Catlins as the home of one country's famous Paralympian and cyclist Laura Thompson.

She won one gold, one silver and one bronze at 2012 London and one silver and one bronze at Rio last year.

Petrified wood! Yes, you heard it correctly. Google it.

As seen in Curio Bay in The Catlins, and in the Waikawa Museum nearby.


Someone really loves Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation in Invercargill! Sherlock Homes Building Contractors.   

St Mary's Basilica is also seen.

Lake Te Anau's Deed of Recognition - A taonga (treasure) of Ngai Tahu

Known in the tradition as 'Nga Puna Wai Karikari o Rakaihautu'.

The Te Hikoi Museum in Riverton, which is the only place in the Southern Scenic Route that tells the Maori story. The museum also tells the story of Chinese gold miners with a display of the Round Hill gold mining village, Canton.  

Riverton is the second oldest European settlement in New Zealand after Russell in Bay of Islands in the North Island.

Real Journeys Te Anau Glowworm Caves tour.

While there, find out about the 60km mountain run called Kepler Challenge and the 27km Luxmore Grunt mountain grind held every year in December.

A world's first! Comprise between the energy needs of Bluff Aluminium Smelter and water levels in the lakes.

The "Guardians of the Lakes Manapouri, Monowai and Te Anau" ensuring that the lakes' natural levels.

The 1.2-kilometre Homer Tunnel between Milford Sound and Hollyford Valley. Work started in 1935 and was completed in 1953.

Milford Sound visitor numbers are expected to reach 600,000 this year by March. Try Doundtful Sound if crowds bother you.

The World Heritage Area of Mirror Lakes in Milford Sound.

They are part of the largest system of inland waterways in New Zealand, stretching (almost unbroken) from Martins Bay in the north to Te Waewae Bay on the south coast.

Ever heard that journey is as important as the destination? Apt when you go towards Milford Sound.

In Queenstown, if accommodation is an issue, head towards Glenorchy - "the gateway to paradise".

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail signs. From Mount Cook to Oamaru.

The organisers describe the trail as "New Zealand in all its colour and beauty - from our highest mountains, past great lakes and rivers, and down to the ocean. Suitable for all ages, the 9 section bike trail is an easy to intermediate grade, linking the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean. Allow 4-6 days for the entire ride, or simply try a day excursion. Whichever option you choose, the A2O Cycle Trail is sure to be a memorable experience".

On the banks of the "River of Gold" - the Shotover River, which was the site of one of the biggest gold rushes. Gold was first discovered in Otago in 1861.

Kim Rusden who is spanning the length of the country carrying a cross, as seen in Clutha.

Renowned as the world brown trout capital, Gore hosts anglers from all over the globe between October and April, whencome to the Mataura River and its tributaries, to fish.

The City Centre's parking metres.

In Milford too, 1080 remains controversial.

An unofficial war memorial.

When the concrete parabolic arch bridge was completed, an old miner, Jack Clark, suggested that it be named after Edith Cavell, a British nurse who had been executed in Brussels in 1915. The suggestion was not accepted, but Clark painted the name on the new structure anyway.

The name stuck.

Freedom Camping, a strict no this time around. The Department of Internal Affairs Report making clear the national policy regarding the issue is awaited eagerly in the regions. 

Dedicated to William Gilbert Rees, the first settler of Queenstown.

In Queenstown Gardens.

Also in the Gardens is the Frisbee Golf (picture 33). Try it while you are there.

Somebody in the Queenstown Lakes District Council has a sense of humour.

From Queenstown to Wanaka through the Crown Range Road.

The Crown Range Road reaching an altitude of 1121 metres is the highest main road in New Zealand.

Monument commemerating the first liberation of the red deer in Otago in 1871. According to the Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand, the "Rakaia herd was liberated in the Rakaia River valley in 1897, and spread from there into Westland. Whereas the Otago herd was liberated near Palmerston in 1871, and spread into the ranges".

Mount Cook and Lake Punakaiki on a sunny day.

Lake Tasman, which was not there in the 1970s and is now seven kilometres long and deeper than Lake Pukaki. This is a result of the Tasman Glacier's retreat.

Lake Wanaka as seen from the Rippon Vineyard.

"Arrowtown Chinese Settlement is a mute reminder and tribute to the contribution made by the Chinese goldminers and business people to the region’s goldmining, cultural and business history. Census figures for 1874 reveal that there were 3,564 Chinese in Otago. Often victims of discrimination they lived on the fringes of European settlements and in isolated gullies close to their mining claims. Chinese that died were either buried in graves in a Chinese section or just outside the cemetery."

- Courtesy Department of Conservation

Otira Viaduct in Arthur's Pass National Park

As seen somewhere in South Island. Good on Westpac for this.

Lake Tekapo from Mt John Observatory

Lake Coleridge from the hydroelectric power station.

New Zealand's very own Kea. An endemic and truly alpine parrot.

View from Knights Point lookout to Arnott Point.

Historic Brunner Mine, which was the country's earliest industrial sites where coal was mined and coke, firebricks and other products were manufactured from the 1860s until the 1940s. About 11km from Greymouth.

Welcome to the Glacier Country.

Either trek, hike or just take a flight to Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers.

Somewhere in the West Coast. Care to guess?

Shantytown near Greymouth in the West Coast

According to Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand, "A Māori settlement at Māwhera pā was long established on the south bank of the Māwheranui river. When the first European explorers, Thomas Brunner and Charles Heaphy, arrived in 1846, they stayed at the pā, and were given food. Two years later Brunner travelled up the river, which he renamed after Governor George Grey. James Mackay negotiated with local Māori chiefs for purchase of the West Coast region by the government, and the agreement was signed at Māwhera pā on 21 May 1860."

Parked in Moana, near Lake Brunner

The Encyclopedia further says, "With the discovery of gold in the Taramakau valley to the south in 1864–65 and subsequent gold rushes the settlements grew in Greymouth. Coal was exported from the port of Greymouth from the 1870s, followed by timber. These provided the foundation for the local economy as the boom days of gold passed. By 1881 the population of Greymouth was greater than Hokitika’s, and since then it has been the largest centre on the West Coast."

In Punakaiki - best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.

History of Chinese miners in Reefton's i-site.

The shop that made the ring.

Jens Hansen of Nelson.

In Westport's City Centre.

Nelson's Cathedral

Stone marking the arrival of Europeans in Nelson

Historic South Street in Nelson. New Zealand's oldest fully preserved street. Cottages dating from 1863 orginally built as homes for local tradesmen.

The National WOW Museum & Nelson Classic Cars Museum

Wendelton Guinea Pig Village at Eyebright store in Nelson.

Commemorating the landing of Captain Arthur Wakefield in Nelson in 1841.

Kaka Pah Point, Nelson.

White and golden sandy beaches in Kaiteriteri

Abel Tasman National Park, country's smallest national park.

Chanel Arts Centre, home to Motueka Arts Group.

Commemorating the Tasman Accord, which was signed to protect the native forests.

Multiculturalism: Chch City Council to adopt the Multicultural Strategy on Feb 9

Multiculturalism: Chch City Council to adopt the Multicultural Strategy on Feb 9

Recognition: NZAF African Programme honours Love Cover Protect (LCP) ambassadors and the Zimbabwean high achievers

Recognition: NZAF African Programme honours Love Cover Protect (LCP) ambassadors and the Zimbabwean high achievers