26. Dunedin – Wellington – Nelson

Wednesday, March 8: Sunny in Dunedin but cold; clouds increasing as we flew north, then decreasing towards Nelson; stronger winds in the evening

Elizabeth’s (airbnb, $50)

Was up & about just after 8:00, as was Mike (first in his pyjamas) and had breakfast of three toasts with vegemite, OJ & coffee, which was followed by preparing two rounds of ham sandwiches for later in the day. Returned to packing stuff after visiting the bottle bank and found that Mike’s scales were quite variable in their performance. This meant that the distribution of the 38 kg was going to be more or less random. Threw some “really heavy” stuff (i.e. dense things like food) into the backpack and hoped for the best. Nothing much left to do by 10:00 except start listening to podcasts while waiting for the taxi. It appeared slightly ahead of time & I took my leave of Mike and took a front seat in the taxi to be able to see what was going on. Read more…

25. Dunedin: Botanic Gardens & SARS

Tuesday, March 7: Sunny to begin with, but cold, later changeable with a couple of showers, strong winds in the afternoon


Waking time was a little closer to 8:00 this morning and since at least the sun was shining, even though it was a little chilly I decided that the Botanic Gardens, which are just opposite, might make a reasonable occupation for a couple of hours, as well as provide some opportunity for photography.

Headed for the aviary for the first stop but the cages were quite depressing, especially seeing kaka and kea all cooped up, as well as some of the more spectacular Australian and South American birds. After that the fare was more run of the mill, except that in the glasshouse I had to wait for a bit for the camera to warm up to the physical temperature as the lens was steaming up. Read more…

24. Dunedin: St Clair

Monday, March 6: A little rain overnight and mostly overcast during the day with a touch of drizzle

Swimming: 1600 m


After yesterday’s early waking and long journey I decided to sleep for as long as I could which was until just after 9:00. Very simple breakfast of OJ, coffee and two slices of toast with vegemite were sufficient to get me on my way.

First project of the day was to find the cobbler in George St. Mike had said that he was opposite the church, which is quite some way down and was really only a typical shoe repair/key cutting place. I was not particularly hopeful, since I needed the repair by tomorrow evening but to my surprise he suggested rivetting a D-ring over the torn eyelet for $15 and would have it ready by about 4:00. Paid my dues and then was on my way back via the supermarket to Mike’s. Read more…

23. Te Anau – Dunedin

Sunday, March 5: Partly cloudy to begin with, with some unusual lenticular cloud over the Otago Plains, increasing in the course of the afternoon

Mike’s ($39, airbnb)

No need for the alarm clock this morning (which had been set for 6:30) because a biker decided he had to rev up in the car park. Breakfast was OJ, coffee, two pieces of toast with vegemite; made two rounds of ham sandwiches for lunch, and packed them with an apple & the milk into the top of the backpack. Everything else was neatly distributed in the suitcase which I got to close despite it weighing nearly 30 kg, and after combing the room for anything else I might have left behind, took out the rubbish, then rolled my suitcase out to the front of the reception just before 7:30 to await my taxi. He was pretty much on time so I was at the bus stop with time to spare. Read more…

22. Te Anau

Saturday, March 4: Sunny with a few clouds about over the mountains and a strong wind in the afternoon

Steamer’s Backpackers

The harder tasks were waiting this morning, as everything easier was disappearing. The library is open Saturdays from 10:00 to 3:00 so that enabled two sessions of relatively fast internet after the breakfast of OJ, two toasted cheese sandwiches and coffee had been dealt with. Met Shoko as she was waiting for her bus which would eventually take her back to Auckland. I let the spot tracker run a full course of 20 minutes, but apart from the ‘OK’ button turning off after that time, nothing much happened.

First task on the net was to get transport to the bus station, which eventually worked. Copied the bus times & destinations in Dunedin into a text file and I hope that at least that action would make me remember them. St Clair Hot Saltwater Pool looks inviting for some time next week. Read more…

12. Te Anau

Wednesday, February 22: Heavy rain overnight, becoming fine, sunny & hot in the course of the day

Walking: 11.0 km

Steamers Beach

Breakfast this morning was a “traditional”: Eggs, ham & toast at the Olive Tree Café for $15 plus a double flat white for $4 (52 Town Centre). This was served with satchels of jam and honey, which brought me to the idea of perhaps substituting honey for sugar in the tramping coffee.

But first I tried to get to the Trips & Tramps office, which is a fair way out of town, and in reality not an office but just a depot, so I returned the way I took out, back along the Milford Road. Te Anau Collision Repairs has the charming slogan, “Show us your crack”, and all the toury places along the path were booked out. Read more…

Tamaki Makaurau

The Old Christchurch, February 16, 2009. This time only briefly through the airport, though
The Old Christchurch, February 16, 2009. This time only briefly through the airport, though

Over the years, on buses, at motorcamps, in backpackers, I’ve stumbled across people spending their two weeks’ worth of holidays trying to see all of New Zealand, such is the call of the place desired by many. And yet here I am again, standing in front of the expanse of two months, squeezing the days into plans and realising how much there is still to do after five trips down under. But not to worry. There will be plenty of new stuff on this trip. Read more…