January 26 Friends (Day 121)

Up at sunrise for an exciting day!

The morning light really enhanced the natural beauty of the NZ landscape here!

We were off soon after to meet our friends John & Martha in Bluff where their cruise ship was making its first NZ port of call on their Sydney to Auckland cruise! We got to Bluff to see the ship being guided into port by a tugboat. While we waited for their disembarkation we walked around the small town center.

It’s another town of great murals showcasing the town’s highlights, in this case Oysters! Unfortunately oyster season isn’t until March.

We thought that when we meet them we’d take them here to sign up for an adventure of a lifetime!

Finally the bus dropped them off a few blocks from where we were waiting!

We decided to head out to the Catlins, the least visited area of NZ! The Southern Scenic Route takes visitors from Invercargill to Dunedin, sometimes through farmland, then along the coast and even into coastal rainforest, with access to the southernmost tip of the South Island, lighthouses, waterfalls and wildlife!

We entered the Tsunami Zone to get to the Waipapa Point lighthouse where we saw one lone sealion on the beach. Then to Slope Point, the southernmost point where you are closer to the south pole than to the equator!

We traveled on into the rainforest to Koropuku falls on a muddy, slippery, narrow path.

We finally reached the Whistling Frog for lunch where we all chose the fish & chips!

A more inland route took us back to Bluff for John & Martha to catch their ship. This route took us through farmland with lots of sheep, convincing them that NZ really does have 5 times more sheep than people! Yet that is the lowest ratio of sheep to people in 170 years!

We had a great time today with our friends and bade our goodbye’s as the bus arrived to take them back to their ship and new adventures!


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