From further south, we drive up to Oamaru, a pretty little town. (Few towns in NZ are not.)
It’s the home of an upcoming Steampunk Festival.
Frankly, ‘steampunk‘ is a phenomenon that I just don’t get. But Oamaru has other attractions.
There are penguins.
And water birds.
We head for Mt. Cook. We stop to stretch our legs at a rest stop that contains some Maori rock art.
We are back in the mountainous interior.
We eventually come to Lake Pukaki. Difficult to tell in this photo, but it’s an unearthly blue.
The lake is fed by the glacial melt of the Tasman River.
Approaching Mt. Cook, NZ’s highest peak.
These signs are regular sights around the country.
We stop at a salmon farm and leave with lots of smoked goodies for the road.
We think Kiwi deserves a gift. Somewhere along the way, we find an inexpensive paua-shell necklace.
Kiwi is almost exactly like Matilda in Australia in layout and reliability. It feels like being home.
‘Life rocks, when your living room rolls!’
.We spend a few days at beautiful Lake Tekapo.
The morning of our departure, a mist hangs over the lake.
Zagging back out to the east coast, we drive across a scenic road on the ridge of the Banks Peninsula. Poor Kiwi’s brakes heat up like an oven on these steep, twisty roads.
On this particular day, the landscape is as stark and brooding and enigmatic as a Nick Cave composition.
Next day is sunnier.
The town of Akaroa itself was founded by a handful of French families in the 1830s.
We stay in a campground above town with a panoramic view.
We then zig once more across the island over to Nelson, via Hanmer Springs and the Lewis Pass. And zag back to Blenheim in the Marlborough region to stock up on wine and visit the local Marlborough Museum. Of course it has an interesting permanent exhibit about the local wine industry. We enjoy a section about the cork-versus-screw-cap controversy. The results in New Zealand:
Then it’s a quick drive to Picton for the ferry back to the North Island.
Sight or Insight of the Day
Passing through the town of Little River, we see this unique accommodation constructed entirely of silos.
Having spent over ten years building silos in Europe at one time, I have to stop and investigate. I must admit, I often thought a modified silo would make an interesting dwelling.
Apparently I’m not the only one.