Saturday, December 24, 2011


On Friday morning we drove south from Te Anau to take the scenic coastal route to Gore via Manapouri, Tuatapere and Invercargill. We had a picnic lunch at McCracken’s Rest, the most south-westerly point of the New Zealand state highway network, with a lovely view over the ocean towards Antarctica. The wind was fresh but (somewhat surprisingly) not too cold. Every now and then an albatross or three would drift by (Southern Buller’s mollymawk, a small albatross), plus the usual seagulls. We even saw a few dolphins playing in the surf way below.

We took a detour south from Invercargill to go to Bluff. We checked out Stirling Point and the sign at the start of Highway 1. We also went up Bluff Hill - up a very steep road that our rental car struggled with a little. The view from the top was fabulous.

When we eventually got to Gore (at 6pm!) we found our accommodation, the Oakleigh Motel, and decided we were too weary to go out for dinner, so we snacked in the room instead. It was a large and comfortable suite and the hosts were very friendly. Highly recommended.

The next morning Laetitia discovered a quilt shop right across the road from the motel! Unfortunately it was closed for Christmas. She was very disappointed.

Gore’s claims to fame include country music (sister city to Tamworth in Australia) and trout fishing. We checked out the various monuments in the centre of town before heading east to Dunedin.

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