Two cups of tea later we set off and I must say this was a very enjoyable couple of hours. A 30-minute crossing by Catamaran before setting foot on the small jetty to the Te Ana-ua Cave. This taken from Wiki,
The Te Ana-au caves are a culturally and ecologically important system of limestone caves on the western shore of Lake Te Anau, in the southwest of New Zealand. It was discovered in 1948 by Lawson Burrows, who found the upper entry after three years of searching, following clues in old Māori legends.
|A selfie taken on my small waterproof camera|
|Glowworms send down lines with sticky beads to trap the flying insects.|
|One of the two cave waterfalls seen.|
We got to see a
So this was a Weka. It looks remarkably like a Kiwi but without the long snout.
By mid-morning, we were back and on our way to Milford Sound. Yep, we decided to do it by car and stop at all the places our coach driver failed to stop at. I also hoped that the elusive Kea may put in an appearance. The Police were still in the same layby and still stopping everyone who was headed up the Milford road. This time a very nice officer stopped for a chat. In his hand was something that looked like a walky-talky thingymabob, and suddenly it bleeped. "Okay," he said "You are free to go. Enjoy your day" and with that, we left. Ian then informs me that the thingymabob in his hand was actually a detector to see if there was alcohol on his breath. Wow, that's a bit sneaky. Good job we went to bed early last night having had but one drink!
Some of the views missed two days ago on the coach
First stop was Monkey Creek. two coaches full of Chinese tourists arrived at roughly the same time. I was just putting the kettle on for a cup of tea when squeals were heard. I rushed out of RP and...OMG there...finally...a Kea.
Talk about ecstatic. If it hadn't been for those Chinese I would once again have missed the sighting.
We then decided on going through Homer Tunnel and would you credit it another Kea on top of the coach in front. This time I managed a 'takeoff' shot.
This video was taken by Ian
And then to make the day complete, on our return through the tunnel another 3 were seen on cars waiting to go through. Couldn't stop unfortunately because of the cars behind us but it seems that what we were told was correct. Monkey Creek and Homer Tunnel, two of the places Kea always visit.
Had a quick stop at the Mirror Lakes on the way back. So glad we stopped a few days ago because this time there was a breeze blowing and ducks were disturbing the water.
Our plan was to freedom camp tonight at a place called Nightcap! Roughly halfway between Te Anau and Invercargill. Ian typed in the coordinates into the sat nav and OMG where on earth were we going? Down a gravel road that's where and having driven 11k of it suddenly a sign stating 'No exit ahead! She, who should be obeyed because she is supposed to no it all, kept telling us to go straight ahead.
|Blimey this rabbit ran faster than us and we were doing 30kph!|
|The views were stunning.|
The abuse we shouted at 'she who must be obeyed' (sat nav) well as if that would do us any good (made us feel better though) so what to do now. We were not prepared to go back so the trusty map came in useful and directed us a further 9k down another gravel road to a place called Ohai, a small town with the railway running down the side, seemed more like a ghost town. Plenty of boarded-up buildings although new homes seemed to have sprung up on the outskirts.
And did I mention the gales? Blimey stopping to read the map at that no exit sign, I had visions of the RP being blown over! Looking at the regions weather the gusts were 76+km/h
We finally made it to Nightcap, found the park and pulled up by the disused toilets. Thought we were well away from those trees but those gusts...branches were falling and I feared for the RP. So we moved to open space but of course, this meant more buffeting by the wind but at least if a tree fell it wouldn't fall on us!
|Too near to those trees for our liking.|
|Bit more open|