05.03.2014 - 06.03.2014
On the drive from Dunedin to the Catlins the weather improved enough for us to stop at Matai & Horseshoe falls which had beautiful tiny streams of water trickling down mossy rock faces. Being in the forested areas of NZ I can't help but think of LOTR and I'll admit that watching the films again in the evening has rekindled my 12 year old teenage crush on Legolas. I think my crush impaired my ability to appreciate the storyline before and I am proud to say that I've even got Dan on board since visiting Hobbiton. Thats with enjoying the films. He can't decide if he fancies Ned Stark (Boromir) or Gimli. In the evening we went to Curio Bay and arrived to see a parent penguin feeding her two quite old chicks. The crowd oohhed and gasped as the dominant chick got fed more and the little one was beaten around at bit. A volunteer assured us that the weaker one was going to be alright. In bed we watched the Hangover 2 to enjoy the Bangkok scenes. We miss seeing bags of Fanta and monkeys everywhere.
The next day we headed to Waipapa Point. Following signs I drove us down about 20km of gravel road and moaned that 'it best be worth it'. It certainly was. On the beach we saw two sleeping fur seals occasionally flicking sand on their backs. I began taking photos of pretty hot pink seaweed and a strange feotel looking plant when Dan spotted a sea lion fin coming to shore. Along with 4 other people we watched from about 10m as a massive New Zealand sea lion rolled around the breaking waves and walked ashore. This guy was huge. He layed in the sand, rubbed his face and flopped about for a bit before moving - with some speed- up a steep sand bank and into the reeds. It was quite phemonial.
Our next stop was Invercargill and we arrived in time to have a free beer and cider taster at the micro brewery taking home a bottle each to enjoy in our al fresco kitchen. The next day we both enjoyed a visit to the local museum and gallery to read about maori history and see work by New Zealand artists. At lunch, by guide book recommendation, we went to The Seriously Good Chocolate Company. I had the best hot chocolate made with hot milk, melted chocolate and sprinkles served with a salted chocolate spoon, homemade marshmallows and three free chocolate samples. Afterwards I slipped into a chocolate coma and Dan drove us to Te Anau.