Invercargill

MONDAY, 7th November

I came back to Invercargill by plane. But I wasn’t in a hurry, so I used my internet voucher first and then took the plane at 1:30 pm (the plane flies three times a day from Stewart Island to Invercargill).

A shuttle from Oban to the airport was included in the price of the ticket. It wasn’t that far and was very enjoyable. It was only me again taking the way back to the South Island.

It was my first time when I travelled that small plane. I immediately thought of Maggie O’Connell from Northern Exposure (anyone remembers that tv show?)

When everyone got off the plane and took their luggage, the pilot asked me a weird question where I wanted to go. I replied that Invercargill! He laughed and asked again where I wanted to sit. I did a mental head slap and thought I made a fool of myself again. I blame him, though, because he was tall, young and handsome. There was only me, so I could sit wherever I liked! Almost. I couldn’t sit next to him, but right behind him.

The weather was beautiful again. The take off was a little bit bumpy, but still amazing and once we were below the clouds, the rest of the flight was like sliding on butter.

Oban

Horseshoe Bay

Mount Anglem (979 m), the highest mountain on Stewart Island

the South Island

I don’t know why, but closer to the coast, the water rapidly changed its colour

Invercargill, the main roundabout

the Museum and Queens Park

the landing

In Invercargill, I took a long walk from the airport to the hostel. I didn’t want to spend money on taxi. It took me about 45 min, but I was more tired than after walking all day in Stewart Island. It was very hot and I needed some time to take a shower and rest when I finally got to the backpackers and picked up my bag. The hostel was cool, nice and empty. I thought it would be only me in my dorm room, but there was one Japanese when I came back from a walk around the city.

First, I went to see Burt Munro’s motorbikes.

Then I looked for an open café and found Zookeepers Café. Its climate reminded me Midnight Espresso, so I felt comfortable there right from the beginning. The coffee wasn’t as good as in Wellington, but good enough to put me back straight.

The last place I visited that day was Queens Park. The Museum next to the entry to the Park was closed, but I could see tuataras through the glass wall. I don’t know if it was 114 year old Henry, because there were a couple of tuataras there.

The Park was pretty and relaxing.

Aviary

More animals, there was deer, picocks, sheep and ostrich

and wallabies!

In front of the Museum

When I came back to the backpackers, guess who I saw in the kitchen? D., my Italian friend! I was lucky. He was finishing cooking dinner and was about to throw some pasta to the boiling water, so he threw some more for me. I had unexpected Italian dinner and we could catch up on what we had been doing after we split up and he went with the Chileans to Dunedin and me to Stewart Island. 🙂

I’m posting some photos I took two days later in Invercargill too, for the sake of integrity.

Dee Street

Theatre and Town Hall

The sculpture which is actually a sundial. Can you see it?

Water Tower

You thought it was a real bird and a cat, didn’t you? I did at first.

from Te Anau to Invercargill

FRIDAY, 4th November

That was the day when my Chilean friends’ and my roads parted. I was on my own again.

We left rain and snow behind.

The closer the centre of the Island we were, the warmer it was. Gore was very sunny and hot when we arrived. B. took a short nap and was ready to drive for another couple hours to Dunedin after that. I decided to go further south, though, because I gained on time travelling by car and got to the bottom of the Island quicker than I had planned. I had time now to go to Invercargill and even Stewart Island!

They left me at the Visitor Centre at about 2 p.m. It was in the same building as the Museum. It was interesting to see skull and crossbones at the front of the building.

My bus was before 5 p.m., so after we had said goodbyes and gave hugs, I went to the Centre, left my luggage for safe keeping (free!) and then went to look for Green Room Café. It was on Irk Street next to the cinema. The coffee was good and the café was a cozy place which protected me from rain and cold which came about an hour later. It was blowing very cold arctic wind and I didn’t want to go to the bus stop.

My bus was late and it wasn’t just me who was freezing on the cold. I bought a pie to warm my hands up.

From Gore to Invercargill is just one hour. The weather wasn’t as bad as in Gore, so when I checked in at the Southern Comfort Backpackers (a VERY good one! Like home), I went to see if I can find any familiar places which I had seen in a facebook album of “Two Little Boys”, a new film by Robert Sarkies with Hamish Blake and Bret McKenzie. And I think I found something!

In the evening, I watched “The World’s Fastest Indian” about Burt Munro and his motorbike. He was from Invercargill and you can see the motor at E. Hayes & Sons Ltd, one of the hardware shops. I didn’t go to see it, because it was too late and the shop was closed.

I really admired Burt’s determination to persue his dreams.