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After breakfast we had a walk around Pleasant Point, which didn’t take long, but did include a visit to Legends Café and a taste of their “World Famous Custard Square” Yum!
Earth and Sky Observatory, the Astro Café and the most amazing views out over Mt Cook and the Southern Alps.
Starting with Lake Tekapo, there are 8 hydro plants in this part of NZ, all linked together by man-made canals.
On its trip from the glaciers to the sea each drop of water is used to make power 8 times. We followed the hydro canal to the next lake on the power chain, Lake Pukaki, and stopped at the information center car park for the night.
From here there is a perfect view straight up the lake to Mt Cook, but when we arrived - just before dusk - it was covered in low cloud. It was still hidden in the morning but before we pulled out the summit appeared above the cloud layers.
We had to find a doctor today. Dave has been trying to pretend that he hasn’t got a tooth abscess for a couple of days; he now looks like he’s hiding a lollypop and wincing a lot. Our first stop was the Medical Centre at Twizel, but they didn’t have an appointment till 4.30, and advised us to find somewhere in Oamaru as we were going that way. We stuffed Hamster-boy full of pain-killers and set off down the beautiful Waitaki valley.
Just round the corner from Oamaru harbour is a Blue Penguin colony; they come home from the sea at dusk so we found a suitable night stop, then drove up to a lookout point for tea and back down again at 9pm when the viewing centre opened. It was very well organised; there’s a grandstand looking out over the beach, we were told all about their habits and habitat, then just as it was getting dark, waves of little Pingus started swimming ashore and waddling up the beach to their houses in the rocks. It was fascinating to watch; especially as they were there because they chose to be. Nobody trained them, they’re wild animals doing what they want, despite, not because of us.
South along Highway 1. Stopped at Moeraki and looked at the boulders.
At Dunedin we had a washout and then drove out the long and winding road to the end of the Otago Peninsula. Right at the tip is the Royal Albatross Centre and we wandered round the headland pointing our cameras skywards as big graceful birds circled above us.
There was no camping allowed on the peninsula, (we didn’t expect there would be, it would be full of camper-vans otherwise) so we drove back to Dunedin along the aptly named Highcliff Road.
Friday, 14 January 2011
Lake Tekapo to Dunedin
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