Southland Coast

The bottom of New Zealand is a wild and rugged coastline. Cosy Nook is one of the few sheltered harbours along the coast which is exposed to the Southerlies that come up from the Antarctic and the Roaring Forties.

There are plenty of White-baiter’s cribs and old caravans, all with a lot of character, where they shelter waiting for their nets to fill with white gold.

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Borland Road to Manapouri’s South Arm

Had always wanted to check out the Borland Road, over the Borland Saddle and down the Grebe Valley to Manapouri’s South Arm. Very narrow in places and as I have a narrow bodied bus thought I would give it a go.

Basically it is a climb from 200 meters at the Borland Lodge to the top of the Borland Saddle which is about 990 meters. Then a long narrow drop to South Arm which is at 200 meters. No matter which vehicle you are in there are places you don’t want to meet someone else.

The worst part of the road is straight after the Grebe Valley lookout. Here the road is hacked out of a vertical rock wall. There is a vertical drop off from about 700 meters to under 400 meters on the Valley floor. Surely tested me and because of the drop off, glad I did not have to back up to let someone pass.

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Hollyford Valley on the Way to Milford Sound

Quick trip into Hollyford Valley. A much nicer place than the Tourist fleecing pit that is Milford Sound. Stay at Gunn’s Camp if you want to stay somewhere different if you are over that way. I didn’t this time.

Drove down to the road end past the evocatively named Dead Horse Bog and stayed in a council metal dump down by the river. There were one or two sandflies, but nothing to worry a true adventurer. If you were from East Auckland or from Guilford, you might complain.

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Mavora Lakes

Mavora Lakes are up 36kms of gravel road off to the side of the trip from Queenstown to Te Anau. Well worth the drive.

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One of the World’s Unsolvable Problems

If prunes are dried plums, how come you can get prune juice?

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The Top of Lake Wakatipu

Just spent a week up at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu. Was initially cold-as, but the weather soon improved. Went to Kinloch on the western shore first and then down to The Caples and Greenstone Rivers. then went up past Paradise to Chinaman’s Bluff at the start of the Dart river Walk. Came back down and stayed at the Lake Sylvan campsite near the end of the Routeburn Track.

Made the acquaintance of many sandflies who seemed remarkably friendly.

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