When we came to New Zealand, a couple from the US that we had met in Australia gave us some contacts here, one couple on each island. It just so happened that we managed to met up with the South Island couple before the traveling couple left for South America and Antarctica! I love chit-chatting with couples that do similar things as we do so that I can get ideas. I found out how to take my vehicle through China by talking with them, which makes me very excited. I will not lie, I definitely have a bad case of fernweh. I always have a strong desire to be traveling the far reaches that I haven’t been yet. Anyways, the couple was kind enough to take us on a tour of their dairy farm, which was interesting.
They have 2 methods for milking. First more traditional method involves corralling them into lines in a barn.
The second, newer method involves putting them in individual stalls in a carousel.
Apparently in NZ since they produce much more milk than is consumed, they actually let the cow rest from milk production during the winter. Indeed, they produce so much milk that most of it gets dehydrated, turned into powdered milk, and exported.
From there, we took a drive over Danseys Pass. It has been toted as an unsealed, adventurous drive, but it was pretty calm and unassuming. Some good views.
Every country calls these differently. I grew up with cattle guard. Canada calls them Texas Gates. Australia just calls them a grid.
Within an hour or two, we were over the pass and on towards Dunedin. We picked up our mail (this time a DOC vehicle pass), and various groceries, and then decided to stay the night. It was the end of January and a super blue blood moon (meaning 2nd full moon, close to earth, and fully eclipsed) was supposed to appear that night, but thanks to former cyclone Fehi, the clouds covered it and we didn’t get to see it.
The rain was pouring the next morning and while emptying our grey water and filling our fresh water tanks, I discovered that my mostly waterproof jacket wasn’t waterproof enough. So, on the way out of town, I had Jonathan stop so I could purchase a rain jacket. I am sure you will see me sporting my new purple jacket in future photos. That rain continued for several days, so I was thankful for it. The rain and cold was making things a bit miserable outside that day, thus we decided to spend it catching up on internet-related things instead. Then, the next day, despite the lighter rain, we started exploring again. First off was Tunnel Beach, which is a steep walk to a cliff, which then turns down into a tunnel to a rich guy’s own private beach. At some point, it was made publicly available so we could all enjoy it.
It was a bit short for my tall husband. You can still see the pick marks.
The end of the tunnel opens up on a small and rocky beach, which that day had 2 waterfalls.
I went to examine this small natural tunnel, but I got too close to that fur seal, who barked at me, informing me to vacate the premises.
The seal went right back to sleep after that, though.
The private beach from the arch that sticks in the ocean.
On the way back up, we spotted a small bird preening its feathers in the wetness.
From there, it was on to Nugget Point Lighthouse.
There must have been some fish or something caught in this pool as we the seals were going crazy swimming around it.
Lots of juvenile seals around here.
As well as nesting spoonbills.
Someone had fun decorating.
A colorful bird.
Last stop was Jack’s “Blowhole”. We didn’t see it act as a blow hole, but it was pretty cool to see seawater and waves in a sinkhole 200 meters from the shore.
A fluffy bird.