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With more time on my hands these days, this gives me something to do. I hope you get some pleasure, along with me, in sharing this new stage of my life.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

New Zealand, March 2018. Dunedin to Queenstown. Days 4 to 6

Part 2

Today we leave Dunedin with our first stop being a Larnach Castle visit with morning tea. 
At the castle, team member Dale showed his skills at descending the tower stairwell in a way that not many people had seen before, lucky no bones broken.
Lunch stop was at Gore where we found that the bakery was closed at lunch time, reminded me a bit of Tasmania.
Arrived at our hotel, Distinction Luxmore Hotel and had the 'superior rooms', in Te Anau in the afternoon. Later some of us went on the optional boat trip to the Te Aau Glow Worm Caves. I think a lot of the glow worms could have been away for the weekend as it wasn't as spectacular as I was expecting, Lynn said the glow worms at Waitomo, on the North Island, were much better. I did enjoy my little walk through the forest afterwards looking for birds.
Lots of rugged scenery to see on the way to Milford Sound, the Mirror Lakes were well worth the stop. Although a little cool the weather was kind to us on the cruise up and down the sound aboard the Milford Sovereign. Lunch was had on the cruise. After the cruise it was back on the bus to head off for Queenstown, we arrive just after 5pm and are put up in the Mercure Queenstown Resort for 2 nights.
On our free day Lynn and I decide not to do any of the optional attractions available, just happy to go up in the chair lift and have a walk through the Queenstown Gardens. We walked back to the hotel, the steep hill being a bit of a challenge for me as my knees were screaming for a rest. At the base of the hill Warren, our driver, jogged past us up the hill after doing a bit of 'relaxing' in town. That evening we all boarded the TSS Earnslaw for an windy, but most enjoyable trip across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station for a scrumptious barbecue. 

There are Videos to be watched on this page 
 click / tap on photos to enlarge.

(PbL) Photo by Lynn

Dunedin to Te Anau.

Saturday 10th. 
Today we head for Te Anau, but first, we visit Larnach Castle.

       Our Sth Island carriage.     

                   Bye Lynn, see you in Queenstown.           

The Dunedin Cadbury factory will be closing down in 2 weeks
(24th March) after manufacturing here for 150 years.

Someone was glad to see us leave.

Our bus creates a shadow, in the early morning sun, on this bright building.

Street art on the Allied Pickfords building.

Coastal view along the Otago Peninsula on our way to Larnach Castle.

Larnach Castle.

Waiting for our guide in Larnach Castle.
Decorative ceiling in the Larnach Castle.

    Decorative ceiling in the Larnach Castle.

Decorative ceiling in the Larnach Castle.

They made good use of the local timbers.


I fly

The hand crafted timber staircase.

     Ascending the timber staircase.   

Another decorative ceiling.

    A view from the tower.

          A view from the tower.             

          A view from the tower.             

Time for a scrub.




Morning tea at the castle.

             Must be expecting trouble.                   

Alice in the garden.

           Larnach Castle.           

Red, white and green.
A fuchsia in the garden.

Reaching for the sky.

Looking over Otago Harbour.

Looking back towards Dunedin.

New Zealand homes.

'The Mad Butcher'
Shop if you dare.........and he uses a very sharp meat clever.

Someone else's castle.

This green waste processing plant was destroyed by fire on 31st Jan 2018.
Click here to see video and news on fire.

Waipori River

Waihola Yacht Club

Lake Waihola

Shoes on a fence along Surrey Bay Rd, Waihola.

The old Ewing Phosphate Co. Ltd factory at Clarendon.
The building is now used as a wintering barn for local dairy cattle.  The phosphate
mine was worked twice, in 1902 to 1924 and restarting again in 1943 to possibly the early 50's.

Tapestry of green.

Presbyterian Church, Milton.

The old McGill's Flour Mill, built around 1887, in Milton.

Crossing the Clutha River into Balclutha.

This factory in the town of Gore, was the home of Fleming’s Creamoata, an oatmeal porridge that was the staple breakfast for thousands of New Zealand children for much of the 20th century.
The Sergeant Dan figure, seen here on the side of the building, was used to promote the product.
The mill was built in 1919 and was closed in 2001 when the overseas owners shifted the operation to Australia.    


The Oreti River is one of the main rivers of Southland, New Zealand.

Where they grow sheep, and............................................

......................where they grow marshmallows.

Red Tussock Conservation Area, near Te Anau.

Red Tussock Conservation Area, near Te Anau.   
Red Tussock Grass - Chionocloa rubra

Not snow, just gravel.

Red deer farm.

A Black-backed Gull making a meal of an eel, at Te Anau.

Our boat for the trip to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves. 
Oh no, the fish has taken the fella's head off!


                         Blue, green, blue.                             

There was a large fire at the other end of Lake Te Anau.

Te Anau with the mountains behind.

You can tell we were all excited.

Passing through the Dome Islands.

The Dome Islands.

The Dome Islands were at the entrance to the South Fiord.

           Welcome to the caves.       

Moss covered tree roots.

Eat me if you dare. Could be a Amanita muscaria (Scarlet Flycap)

The plant, centre left with long downward leaves, is a Toothed Lancewood or Horoeka (Pseudopanax ferox).
The tough juvenile leaves were a defence against being eaten by the, now extinct, Moa.

One of the streams that run from the caves.

I should clean my camera lens more often.

Faster transport back at  Te Anau.

Taxi Resting

Sunday 11th   
A lot of travelling today, 407 Kms (253 miles), Te Anau - Milford Sound - Te Anau - Queenstown.

Te Anau to Milford Sound, back to Te Anau and then onto Queenstown.

We were on the road early most mornings.
Taken from the bus.

Leg-stretching time at Eglinton Valley.

Leg-stretching time at Eglinton Valley.

           Eglinton Valley.             

Eglinton Valley.

The Mirror Lakes.
This was before the comfort stop at Knobs Flat.

'Mirror Lakes'

The Earl Mountains reflected.

Beech in black and white.

Earl Mountains.

All smiles.

Rugged scenery along New Zealand State Highway 94.

Hollyford River - Whakatipu Ka Tuka

Views from the Monkey Creek carpark.

Views from the Monkey Creek carpark.

                  A mischievous Kea, possibly honed by human intervention, picks at the rubber door-seal of a parked van.           

Filling up water-bottles at Monkey Creek.

Views from the Monkey Creek carpark.
              Views from the Monkey Creek carpark.             

                Leaving  Monkey Creek on New Zealand State Highway 94.                   
The Homer Saddle, how do they expect us to get over that.

A tunnel. 
Government workers, initially just starting with five men using picks and
wheelbarrows, began the Homer Tunnel in 1935. Problems delayed the the
1.2 km (0.75 miles) long road tunnel's completion and opening until 1953.
The lookout below the tunnel on the western side.

Views from the lookout.

Views from the lookout.

Our cruise boat awaits us at Milford Sound. 
(not all of it is my photo)

Cruising Milford Sound

Stirling Falls.

Stirling Falls.

Looks like a 'treeslide'.


We turn around before reaching the Tasman Sea.

Tree bones.

Cliffside vegetation.

New Zealand Fur Seals rest in Milford Sound.

New Zealand Fur Seal.

Local landscape.

The weather was kind to us.

                Everyone preparing to get wet by the Stirling Falls.             


Having a shower at Stirling Falls.

Clouds do their best to hide the peak of Mitre Peak.
The mountain rises near vertically to 1,690 m  (5,560 feet).


Bowen Falls

            Bowen Falls             

Looking across Freshwater Basin to Mitre Peak.

Still hiding as we leave.

Looking down, from the western entrance  to the Homer Tunnel, onto the lookout we stopped at going to Milford Sound.

About to pass under the Homer Saddle.

The way back down.

Looking down onto the Eglinton River.

Looking across Patience Bay. from the bus, towards Te Anau and lake Te Anau.

Derelict farm shed.

I'm not use to seeing crops growing on the side of hills like this.

Most of New Zealand was seen through a bus window.

Old shearing shed.

Old shearing shed.

Welcome to 'Thrills Town'.

Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables from our dinner table at our Mercure Queenstown Resort.

A good view shared with good company.   
(I had been having treatment for skin cancer on my nose)  (photo by waitress)

I think Lynn's been enjoying this trip.

The dull ending of another great day.

Monday  12th     
Today is spent in Queenstown with a steam ship ride to Walter Peak Station for a 'gourmet barbecue dinner'.

Going up in the Queenstown Skyline. 
At $35 each, it made it a pretty expensive view.

Bungy jump at the top.


It wasn't a bad view.

                      Hotel was somewhere here (I think).                   

           I'm editing this photo on the 4th of May and I've just noticed a 3rd pair of legs in with the singers.               

I think they have pushed him over the edge.

On top of the skychair

Paragliding over Queenstown.

Paragliding over our heads over Queenstown.

One of Queenstown's Jet Boats.

Mountain Bikers use this chairlift to go to the higher downhill trails.

        Someone is going to have their photo taken.   

They all look so serious.  New Zealand Scaup  (and 2 Mallards).

Hydro Attack's shark boat


Queenstown Gardens

This was the only Silver Fern I had seen so far.

Queenstown Gardens

Queenstown Gardens  (insert is from Lynn's 1967 trip, at a different garden)

Spanish Chestnut or Sweet Chestnut  (Castanea sativa) produces an edible seed, the chestnut, which has been used in cooking since ancient times. A tree can live to more than 2,000 years of age in natural conditions. Roman soldiers were given chestnut porridge before going into battle.

'Bruce Grant, Son of Queenstown '
 'You achieved your life vision to stand on the summit of K2 (Pakistan)
Succumbed to the wrath of nature on descent 13th August 1995.'   
Bruce was An Olympic skier, mountaineer, extreme adventurer and an extraordinary individual. Aged 31 years.

Queenstown Garden's Douglas Fir Pine Forest.

Queenstown Garden's Douglas Fir Pine Forest.

The view across to where (sunny spot right hand side of center) we will be having dinner to night.

These pine cones looked like decorations on a Christmas Tree.

What do they say about mixing water and electricity together? And on steel poles!

Fun on the water.

A view from the gardens across to our hotel.

Nice piece of nautical timber.

Looking down the harbour.

I didn't realise they grew so BIG.

The beach at Saint Omer Park.

Nobody enjoying the view from Saint Omer Park.

                       Sequoia or Coast Redwood                   

Enjoying the view and a rest at the One Mile Car Park. 
(no, the duck didn't bite)

Fungi growing beside the path up the steep hill to the hotel.

We all board the TSS Earnslaw to travel to Walter Peak Station for a barbecue dinner.

Pointing the bow into the wind.

On Board

Old deck crane.

Haven't seen a steam engine like this since, as a youngster,
travelling on the old Manly Ferries across Sydney Harbour.

Engine Room

It's hard work, but someone has to do it.

.............you put your head in.

You can tell that we are burning coal.

The cloud sits on top of Cecil Peak as we pass.

("Hang on mum or the wind will blow you over")

Well protected.

Wind and sunbeams.

Looking in, and.............

....................looking out.

It was all nice and cosy inside.

That could be Mt Crichton.

Nice sky.

Looking Back

                      The staff (on left) all line up to welcome us to Walter Peak Station.             

All ashore who's going ashore.

Where's the food?

Looking back to Queenstown.

               Bring it on.                 

         What a lovely couple.       
(forgot who took this)

Hope it comes back for us.

Part of the grounds of Walter Peak Station.

The view from Walter Peak Station.

The flowers of Walter Peak Station.

The flowers of Walter Peak Station.

The flowers of Walter Peak Station.

The flowers of Walter Peak Station.

The flowers of Walter Peak Station.

Tonight's entertainment.
No we didn't eat it, just gave it a haircut.

Sheep Shearing

The dog had seen it all before.

We were lucky as it did come back for us.

All aboard for the trip back.

With the aid of our song books we (well not all) were able to sing along with the piano.

Sing a long

Everyone was in good voice, but unfortunately not the ones singing 😁 

Some of the birds seen.

C/wise from top left:   Tomtit,    Black-faced Cormorant,    Kea,    New Zealand Fantail,    New Zealand Scaup

C/wise from top left:   Black-billed Gull,   Mallard,   New Zealand Wood Pigeon,   Great Crested Grebe,  Black-backed Gull.

Cameras:  Canon PowerShot SX60 HS.  Sony DSC-W690 and Samsung S5 (phone)


  1. Fantastic photos, they bring it all back! And they will help me identify my efforts :/ thank you so much.

    1. My pleasure Katherine (Kay). Will try and get the rest done before I forget.