Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Driving from Dunedin to Te Anau

Lots of sheep. Including on the road.
The locals do not call them woolies. I am informed that cutsie names for things is Australian.

 In between all the pastures are small “scenic reserves.” These are patches of bush that either was never cut or grew back enough to look native. Remnants of natural New Zealand. 

Tautuka Bay Scenic Reserve

William agrees with me that the edge of the road is being sprayed with herbicides rather than being mechanically cut. Looks bad, but it is hard to get a picture at high speed in the rain.

Logging trucks are coming along frequently going to the log decks we saw in Port Chalmers outside of Dunedin. Logs for China.
logs for China

Time to get gas. The price is in liters. A liter is about a quart so multiply by four to get the approximate cost per gallon. Even though a NZ dollar costs only about $0.85 US, the cost of gas is high. No wonder all we could get from the rental company was this Toyota Corolla which is not as big a compact as we are used to.

I have noticed that all houses, no matter how modest have very sturdy roofs of metal or thick tiles. Heavy roofs require sturdy walls and beams. It must cost a good deal more to build a house in New Zealand, but baring an earthquake, it should last for a long time. I think American construction with thin shingles that last at most 30 years is much flimsier.

On these secondary roads there are a lot of one lane bridges. I think I have them figured out now. The direction we are going is a red circle and a give way sign. The other direction has a blue square, meaning they have the right of way at all times.

The hills here are covered with tree farms. Here are some hills covered with fairly small trees. William wondered why they left the few trees on top like a Mohawk cut.

We come upon a lookout overlooking the Foveaux Strait in between the main South Island and Stewart Island which is Rakiura National Park. This entire island is an ecosanctuary for New Zealand plants and animals. The sea is very rough and the wind off of Antarctica is high.

We spend the night in Te Anau and in the morning head for a cruise on the Milford Sound.
At the Visitor Center at Lake Te Anau

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