As you may know John and I left Dunedin on the 27th of December to travel New Zealand in our camper van until our outgoing flights from Auckland on the 7th of February. During this time I (Katie) kept a journal, mostly just to remember exactly where we were and when and also our thoughts of some of our experiences.
Here is a revised version of my entries...Read from the bottom entry up
Dec 29th - Moke Lake
We spent the morning in Te Anau in the park by the lake tossing the nerf ball around before packing up the van and leaving for Kingston. We ate lunch there by a lake, there wasn't much else to see so we drove the rest of the way to Queenstown where we had planned to be for New Years. On the way we passed a couple traveling NZ on a tandem bicycle! So awesome.
Once in Queenstown we took the gondola up to the luge. We waited 40 minutes in line since we had paid for the luge already. But it turned out to be worth the wait and did it again. (shorter wait the second time around)
We had supper at a spot called Searle Lane & Social and it was SO GOOD. We recommend the ribeye steak and mashed potatoes if you're in the area!
The best part of our day though was Moke Lake. We bought a book of places to camp in NZ and this was one of the recommended camp sites in the Queenstown area. It was spectacular! It was a bit of a drive down a gravel road but so worth it. We stayed in a valley surrounded by hills and mountains while camping by a beautiful lake. This was probably the most breathtaking spot we camped in in all of NZ. Go there.
Dec 28th - Milford Sound
The drive from the camp site was a beautiful two hours long. The tunnel which opened up to a drive through mountains covered in waterfalls was particularly awesome. We pulled over and got out but didn't know where to point our cameras since everywhere we looked was so beautiful!
We took the Southern Discovery Cruise through Milford Sound which lasted about 3 hours. We helped ourselves to their buffet and hot drinks straight away. We didn't want to get stuck inside when outside was so cool. We bought ponchos when it stated to rain which turned out to be a really good idea since we spent most of the cruise out on the deck where we saw dolphins (my first dolphin sighting ever!), lots of seals, waterfalls and just really great views of the sounds. Even with the ponchos we got really drenched but it was worth it for the view.
We topped off the day with some tennis in the heat when we got back to Te Anau.
Dec 27th - Bluff
It is sad to be leaving Dunedin. We've really grown to love this place and the people here. The last few weeks have been especially great with the constant sunshine, having great times with friends, and just being surrounded by Kiwi kindnesses everywhere we went. We have also heard that when we get to Australia it may be a very different story...
Goodbye Dunedin! I will miss you!
Our first stop, after saying our goodbyes to Struan, Visiting Yoobee one last time and leaving Dunedin, was in Bluff which is the southern most point of New Zealand. It wasn't overly exciting to be honest but it was still cool to know that the next thing south (other then Stuart Island) was Antarctica!
We then took a nice route along the coast to Te Anau where we had a camp site reserved. The closer we got to Te Anau the more spectacular the views became with rolling valleys and hills.
It was our first time trying out our kitchen set up and we were very pleased!