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Tales of {NZ} Travel: the journey so far

Tales of NZ TravelAs I’ve been writing about the various places in New Zealand that we’ve visited, it suddenly occurred to me that some of you may not be able to visualise where this this journey is taking you. As I picture our country and map out a route that makes perfect sense to me, you might be left scratching your head.

Well, dear reader, wonder no more! Here is a very badly edited* map of New Zealand for your viewing pleasure.

NZ MapSo far, we’ve gone bush in The Catlins, eaten delicious seafood in Invercargill & Bluff, admired stunning landscapes in Fiordland, been adventuring in Queenstown, journeyed through Central Otago, relaxed in Wanaka, explored the rugged The West Coast, and enjoyed wine and sunshine in Nelson-Marlborough.

Now that we’re at the top of the South Island, we’re going to jump islands and tiki tour around the North Island, before heading back over the strait to visit the east coast of the south.

*I usually use PicMonkey to edit images, but it seems to be having a wee barney with the laptop at the moment. Sigh. Paint it is then.

Tales of {NZ} Travel: Invercargill & Bluff

Tales of NZ TravelInvercargill always gets a bit of flack from the rest of New Zealand, mostly for its slow-pace and “country” feel. I’ve visited the city a few times, and it’s definitely not the most exciting of cities, but it isn’t awful. However, it seems to be a place you might just pass through, or use as a base for exploring other southern areas.

A very good friend of mine used to work and live in New Zealand’s southern-most city, so I have visited a few times. To be honest, I’m struggling to recall what we did whilst there, other than visit numerous restaurants and dodgy bars!

Queens Park
Queens Park is a nice area for a stroll; the gardens are really pretty and there are lots of paths to wander down on a nice day. The Southland Museum and Art Gallery is located at one end of the park, and houses New Zealand’s oldest living tuatara – you could spend hours watching and waiting for him to move!

Queens Park1Riverton
It is always worth the 30km drive to Riverton, if only to pick up some hideous gaudy paua and shell kiwiana.

Bluff
South of Invercargill, Bluff is New Zealand’s southern-most town. Famed for its oysters, Tiwai Point and once, the Paua Shell House, this sleepy little place is the gateway to Stewart Island.The harbour is always crammed with boats, and the smell of the aluminium smelter competes with the smell of the sea.

IMG_9596Our visit to The Catlins last year coincided with the Bluff Oyster Festival; oysters, blue cod and other sea-dwelling foods cooked in a multitude of ways…we were in seafood-lovers’ heaven! Being a little over seven months pregnant, there wasn’t a huge amount for me to sample (I’ve tried mutton bird before, and I wasn’t going there again!), but the fish was as fresh as possible, and it was a fun day. Tiny was enthralled by the helicopters offering 20 minute rides, but not keen on the noise.

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