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Old 10th March 2014, 16:56   #106
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Arrow Re: New Zealand: End to End

16-11-2014: Been looking forward to his day, the Catlins run. Talk to anyone who has gone form India, they’d say, Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Queenstown, Christchurch, Mount Cook etc., rarely would they say Catlins! By the time, people complete the above, time is zapped, they hurry back home, only the repeaters, those who understand the beauty of the Catlins would bother to spend time on this coast or take trouble to do deep interiors.

We were also a little worried as the GPS was not reading out destination properly, we had 4-5 maps on the region, notes I had made of the attractions, routes, timings, distances etc., the routing was still sketchy, gaps in understanding exactly what to expect, leading to butterfly’s in the stomach. Anu sensed as much, I like to have a clear plan on the plate before moving in any direction, at least some timeframes and distances, she told me not to worry, we’d take this as it evolves, as a last resort there’s always the Gore, Balclutcha HW1 to fall back upon.

The portents for the day as we started early at 0700 AM were not good. We got up to see looming clouds up ahead, east to west their wings were spread, a hole in the sky brought out a drizzle, the car outside was wet and cold, we prepared a quick breakfast, made some rice, curry and toasted bread, packed it away for lunch, packed up the car and checked out of the hotel. After the warm room, the cold blast outside and the clouds were painful. As I had to concentrate on the map and Anu wanted so much to drive, I again gave the wheel away and settled down with a bunch of maps on my lap and set the GPS to Fortrose, the next main point from where we have to turn right towards the coast.

The Southern Scenic route starts form Q-Town goes through, Te Aneu, Manapouri, Riverton, Invercargill, Fortrose, Slope Point, Curio Bay, Progress Valley, Cathedral Caves, Papatowai, Owaka, Surat Bay, Nugget Point, Kaka Point. From Invercargil to Kaka Point, Google is useless, my intense research on the Catlins bought out many points which dedicated cyclists and avid tourers do, later we found, roads are NOT tarred, many sections gravel! On high tide, heavy rains, these could be problematic with a 2x4, that we discovered after reaching there! There were sections where the sea could come in at high tide, there were warning boards in many sections to be beware of wet/ swampy roads! While the maps and links underneath are good as reference points, just mark out each point from Foertrose to Kaka Point, in that order and drive to each point, you would have covered Catlins like nobody has done before on a one day tour. If you have more time, I would say, you need all of 3 days to do this stretch, you can opt to stay and do this slow and steady.

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http://www.southernscenicroute.co.nz/

http://www.catlinsnewzealand.com/

Download the brochure before you do the route, you would find most of the places marked out very well and explanations clear.

http://www.southernscenicroute.co.nz....php/downloads

We went right into the rains, the swish, swish of the wiper was a demned music of the season, the rain was a drumbeat on the roof, I had a sinking feeling, having come so far, everything so smooth and now this! I had no worries about the road or driving, Anu drives much more defensively than me, slower, more careful on curves and would stick to rules. The only consolation was cloud cover breaking on and off and the rain stopping in between.

Got into Gore highway, about 25 kms on, the GPS told us to turn right, the direction was right, so got into country roads, roads were good, surface smooth, no problem, Fortrose about 45 kms, 30-40 mts away. We could feel we were going deep interior, density of population becoming thinner, even cattle and farm land were getting replaced by outback country, wild country! The fun was just beginning! We hit Fortrose around 9 AM as we were taking it very slowly and looking out for the first place of interest, Waipapa Point.

Waipapa point pinter came soon enough, loud and clear, it also said 4 kms of gravel road, we turned in, full gravel, on turns loose gravel, you need to handle with care the sides of the roads were wet and would be a nightmare if you skid off into a wet patch, we could feel the wheels loosing traction a couple of times, Anu managed it slow on low gears. The land was so green, beautiful and lush it was worth all the efforts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waipapa_Point

We parked, there was only us there in the middle of this desolate land, the sea was roaring, it was drizzling, the wind was blowing millions of nails through all exposed parts, temp was below 5, we were rigged for the cold, yet feeling cold, the wind chills was pretty tough, inside the heated car was heaven! There were many shipwrecks here, famous one was Ship Tararua, there’s a lighthouse there and you can see on the beach seals playing.

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There was a lone farmer ( looked like a local) on the surf with his son and a dog or was it a wolf? What anyone would do in temperature like this on the water was beyond our comprehension!

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The milk you get there is amazing, was out staple drink through out, specially the Wave brand!

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Last edited by ramkya1 : 10th March 2014 at 17:10.
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Old 10th March 2014, 17:56   #107
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Arrow Re: New Zealand: End to End

Slope Point, Southern Most point in NZ:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slope_Point

We need to reach the car park which is signposted and walk through a gated private land down towards the sea to come to the end of a cliff with the sea down below. As you look south the the pole is only 4800 kms of open sea, the relentless wind has ensured there’s no tree standing more than 10 feet, the gales and storms can rip them out in a jiffy. The lone surviver in the landscape is the bent tree, most hedges and bushes would bear witness to the fury of the wind and lay homage by bending to survive. To the question, “why do you have to go to Slope point?” you can only answer, “because it’s there”, “because it’s the southern most point of land in the world before the South pole. We never bothered to ask these question, we just had to go there and touch it, a psychological high if you will.

On a clear day, the bent trees would be a great photographic subject, they were fully flexed to the direction of the wind and create a great view unlike any other. It was drizzling, we took out the ponchos after a long time and resigned to the 20 minute walk to the point, another car arrived with a couple, so we had company, so to say. Seeing another human being in that desolation was a feast for the eyes, we trudged along the marked fences, the coast was rugged, the drop sheer and the wind wicked. Who would walk into a 30 kms whistling wind on a cold cold day just to see a signboard? Well, we would. Taking out the camera was a risk with the rains, we risked it, took out a couple of shots and ran back to the car, we were winded and wet by the time we got back to the car, changed our top coats, removed the shoes, changed the socks and put the blower on full, what a relief that was! On a dry day, this place would be awesome, out of the world and with a good camera, snaps would be picture post card quality.

We drive back on up the road, we could some farming activity on, wanted to use a toilet, turned into Slope Point Backpackers.

http://www.slopepoint.co.nz/

The lady came out, we said we wanted to use the loo, she was OK with that, waited for us and showed us around the property, appeared happy to see us and talk to us, told us to help ourselves to the coffee maker inside a suite! We made hot piping black coffee, felt so good on a cold rainy day and thanked her. That's country's ambassador for you, she said you're guests and we need to treat you with respect. That blew our minds! Can you beat that hospitality?

It’s great value for money, full suits at 70 and starts from 40 a day with common kitchen facilities. We had to move on, next stop, curio bay, the gravel road continues! In all we had to do about 20 kms of gravel roads, only a couple of places were a little too loose.

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Old 12th March 2014, 18:40   #108
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Arrow Re: New Zealand: End to End

From Slope Point to Curio bay, 13 kms, the gravel road crunchs underneath, Curio bay, petrified forest, the place where forests were buried alive 180 million years ago, captured by the volcanic eruptions. We searched for the logs wedged between the rocks, due to high tide, most were not approachable or buried, but the view up from the car park was amazing and the bay one of the most curved ones we have seen in NZ. Curio bay is a major attraction in Catlins, about 100,000 visitors a year!

The background where the tide would go down and you can see the petrified forest.. right now high tides...

New Zealand: End to End-dsc02076.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curio_Bay

As you come back from Slope Point hit the T junction, you turn right towards Curio Bay, another 3-4 kms you get warning boards about water logging on the gravel road, on the road you can see the bay level with the road, on high tide, this area can get water logged, and I doubt if 2x4’s can safely drive through, it was dry when we passed through. There were signs of road repair, water ingress and damage, also signs that level of road has been raised to prevent water coming in, looked like the local Haldene city council work. I read also blogs of locals ranting about the poor state of affairs, campers getting stuck here, locals helping them out and need to pave the roads or at least keep the gravel roads in a good conditions. A mailman who has been delivering on this route for 30 years has started a campaign to pave the roads, the danger of campers driving on wrong side of roads, the real danger of accidents lurking around corners etc., the locals are holding on saying if they pave, it would no longer be a rustic country, the fight goes on... in the meantime we drive carefully Fortunately, it's a small stretch, just drive carefully on bends.

It was raining on and off, we spent time on the bay and inside the shelter when it started raining hard, on a sunny day, the place would be great with a picnic and swim on the sea. Spent 30 minutes and we went on our way to the next point which we wanted to visit, Cathedral Caves,

http://www.newzealand.com/in/feature...-mclean-falls/

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...al-caves-walk/

a short drive from Curio Bay. From Curio bay onwards the gravel road ends and you have great tarmac, all plain sailing/ driving. By the time we reach Cathedral caves, the sky was overcast, we have to walk about 1 hour to the caves, the tides were high so chances of seeing the caves were low and also the rain was a wet blanket, we decided to skip it, it is well signposted on the road, so if the condition is right, you only have to stop and walk to the place.

The landscape again turned to lush farm lands, hills and wildland and beautiful progress valley, we pass the famous whistling frogs café, a good place for food on the way.

http://www.whistlingfrogcafe.com/

Anu was enjoying drive throughout, we crest a hill and do a bit of forest and hill twisties, down into another valley, we were following the coast on the Chaslands Highway, Taututu bay, oyster bay, turn north, cross the Tahakopa river and join the Papatowai highway.

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Last edited by ramkya1 : 12th March 2014 at 18:56.
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Old 12th March 2014, 23:04   #109
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From Slope Point to Curio bay, 13 kms, the gravel road crunchs underneath, Curio bay, petrified forest, the place where forests were buried alive 180 million years ago, captured by the volcanic eruptions.
Stunning! Many thanks for inspiring us to extend the visit to this part of NZ. Few questions:

1. I'm getting little confused budgeting time for Catlins and Chch. I've exactly 5 days for this part. On Day-1, I'd be leaving MS at 10AM (after overnight cruise). Need help in planning the next 5 days in Catlins and Chch. I'm thinking of the following:
Day 1: Leave MS 10AM - Reach Invarcargill via SH99 by 3PM? Overnight in Invarcargill
Day 2: Leave InvarCargill - Reach Catlins area.
Day 3: Catlins
Day 4: Leave Catlins and reach Chch via Dunedin
Day 5: Chch
Day 6: Flyback
Pl. help improve the above. I'm not sure whether we should stay in Invarcargill or proceed to Catlins? Also not sure whether we should stay in Catlins for 2 days or stay in Catlins for a day and another day in Dunedin (don't like packing-up everyday, hence thought of 2days in Catlins).

2. Do we get Sona Masuri or Basmati rice in NZ supermarkets? Or should we search for Indian/Asian stores?

3. Which is the cheapest (relatively that is) city to buy souvenirs? In Europe I found that its lot cheaper to buy souvenirs in supermarkets than in outlets next to some tourist attraction. Is it similar in NZ?

4. For curiosity - how much would a ltr of milk cost? How much was the cost of that wave flavoured milk per bottle?

Thanks,

Prasad
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Old 13th March 2014, 08:09   #110
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Arrow Re: New Zealand: End to End

My comments in Bold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prasad14 View Post
Stunning! Many thanks for inspiring us to extend the visit to this part of NZ. Few questions:

1. I'm getting little confused budgeting time for Catlins and Chch. I've exactly 5 days for this part. On Day-1, I'd be leaving MS at 10AM (after overnight cruise). Need help in planning the next 5 days in Catlins and Chch. I'm thinking of the following:
Day 1: Leave MS 10AM - Reach Invarcargill via SH99 by 3PM? Overnight in Invarcargill.

3 PM, check in at Invar, drive to Bluff, Lands end, 25 KM, having gone that far, would suggest you finish that too.

Day 2: Leave InvarCargill - Reach Catlins area.
Round of Invar city, can be done early morning 7-8 AM, museum, pop into the park, see the oldest hotel, water tower, leave Inver by 9-10 AM.

Day 3: Catlins
Do it slow till Nugget point or Kaka Point, you have stay options there, you should be able to chek in there by 6-7 PM, inform them of late check in, after that it's a straight drive to Dunedin, 100 Kms, 90 mts max.

Day 4: Leave Catlins and reach Chch via Dunedin
Leave early, 7-8 AM, reach Dunedin by 10, check your luggage there, go see the sights, there's enough and more for a day. The sea cruise, penguin visit, Albatross center etc., my story will cover that.

Day 5: Chch- Relax, get up late, check out by 10-11, 5 hrs, 360 kms, drive to Christchurch, other than Mouroki Boulders, not much on the way, great roads, you can even catch some sights of Dunedin in the morning if you check out early. If you leave by 2 PM, you can reach CHCH by 8 PM. I found Chch depressing, the post earthquake sights and construction going on.

Day 6: Flyback
Drop your car at the airport, flyout.

Pl. help improve the above. I'm not sure whether we should stay in Invarcargill or proceed to Catlins? Also not sure whether we should stay in Catlins for 2 days or stay in Catlins for a day and another day in Dunedin (don't like packing-up everyday, hence thought of 2days in Catlins).

2. Do we get Sona Masuri or Basmati rice in NZ supermarkets? Or should we search for Indian/Asian stores?

We found Basmati rice only in Auckland, I think it's available in Q-town, Chch too, not sure. Bhavin told me they have Indian store in Q town and Chch.

3. Which is the cheapest (relatively that is) city to buy souvenirs? In Europe I found that its lot cheaper to buy souvenirs in supermarkets than in outlets next to some tourist attraction. Is it similar in NZ?

Rotorua, Q-town has lots of choices, Auckland rates were competitive, Inver and Dunedin are other choices. We did not find great difference in costs. The shop at Rotorua Farm Show had great bargains for authentic wool materials, prices were very competitive. Souvenirs were also good and competitively priced.

4. For curiosity - how much would a ltr of milk cost? How much was the cost of that wave flavored milk per bottle?

Just saw the bottle we carried back home, it's 600 ml bottle, don't remember the price. We loved the strawberry and chocolate flavors, were wholesome and filling.

Thanks,

Prasad

Last edited by ramkya1 : 13th March 2014 at 08:15.
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Old 13th March 2014, 09:15   #111
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My comments in Bold.
Thank you so much. I'll follow this, so my trip plan is now almost complete.
In Chch the only attraction is the Antartic center (esp. for my younger son). Did you do Kaikoura? Not sure whether its worth the monies.

Prasad
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Old 13th March 2014, 13:16   #112
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Originally Posted by prasad14 View Post
Thank you so much. I'll follow this, so my trip plan is now almost complete.
In Chch the only attraction is the Antartic center (esp. for my younger son). Did you do Kaikoura? Not sure whether its worth the monies.

Prasad
Antartic centre would be OK for children, takes about 2-3 hours. Kaikoura is for whale watch, expensive, not sure if whales would come. The wildlife all can be seen in Dunedin.

Ramky
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Old 13th March 2014, 20:33   #113
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You cross Chaslands, on to the the twisties, you turn to left, northward, cross the Florance lookout point, a pit stop there is mandated, reach the Popatowai town ships and the left would find a board which says “Curios”, stop there, the geo fix below:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/@-46.5...69.4688333,15z

The lost gypsy gallery of Papatowai can easily be missed by those who do not know about it as you drive past, a less advertised, less known quirky little place and actually a MUST SEE place to spend an hour on. Even people living in and around Catlins have missed this and so have many NZ travelers. But for my thorough research on the area, I would have driven by without seeing this astonishing little alcove of surprises. The owner of the caravan, Blair Somerville is a genius at work, all things in the exhibition created by this wizard, a series of interactive artworks, a pinnacle of do it yourself! You have a coffee shop there, a curio shop and much more that would linger in your memory for years to come. This is utterly unique, I smile even as I think of this place 4 months after the trip, will take you back to your school day memories when you pottered with basics of engineering and tools. There’s a 5$ entrance to get into the special gallery, but worth every penny, a gem of a place waiting to be discovered.

http://www.odt.co.nz/entertainment/t...-found-catlins

We spent a memorable hour there and pushed on, crossed the Macleanman river bridge, lovely scenes there with yellow blossoms all over, stopped for 10 minutes to drink the scent in, time to move on to the next great place, Surat Bay! A bay with a Gujaraty name, an Indian bay, if you will
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Old 14th March 2014, 16:05   #114
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Default Re: New Zealand: End to End

Hi Ram,

Have been following the thread for a couple of days. The narration with the details was very good. Will be helpful to anyone planning an NZ trip. Thankyou for taking pains to compile such a detailed thread.

Regards
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Old 14th March 2014, 21:21   #115
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Hi Ram,

Have been following the thread for a couple of days. The narration with the details was very good. Will be helpful to anyone planning an NZ trip. Thankyou for taking pains to compile such a detailed thread.

Regards
KL01BE
@ JL01BE: Thanks. I'm giving as much details as I can so prospective tourists do not have to re-invent the wheel and use this T-Log as a reference. I am sure no Indian or Tour Agency would have narrated this route with such detail.

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The Ship “Surat” got wrecked here in 1874 and gave the bay its name, a quiet place with a Lodge at the end, lots of tramping options, the beach on one side. The tide exposes the beach and some more, many travelers spend a couple of days here just to chill out away from the world.

http://www.visit-newzealand.co.nz/catlins/suratbay.html

The Surat Bay lodge is a good option to spend a day, in the middle of Catlins, if you want an economic option, quiet day in a nice backpacking location, the Suray Bay Lodge would be the choice.

http://www.suratbay.co.nz/

About 30 kms from Papatowai, Surat bay took us 30 minutes, an interior place, only the discerning tourist would go there, the name Surat was a magnet for us, a must stop location which turned out to be a good decision. The looping road took us through lush farm lands, Catlins river, cross the bridge and you come to this incredibly beautiful spot on New Heaven Road which leads to Surat Bay, we just had to stop. On the right was the Catlins river leading out into the Surat bay and sea, a concrete pier which juts out 20 feet long into the water, different colours of water, muddy river water flowing into the cobalt sea water, water was like Pangong Tso with 100’s of shades of blue! A geo fix of the spot:

-46.471013, 169.706957

0230 PM: One could spend a long time on a picnic day, but we had to push on to Surat bay, a short distance away. The road ends opposite Surat Bay Lodge, a narrow end the bay and the sea visible clearly on a high tide day. A lone walker out form the Lodge said hallo and we struck up a conversation, he said on low tide the entire bay would be visible for kilometres, good for a long trek of 1 hour. Catlins has great choices of walks, you can walk for weeks!

http://www.catlins.org.nz/index.php?/site/twb_trails

Right now, what we could see was only a small patch of sand, the tide must run strong and high there. This was a great spot for lunch, took out our packed food and sat on the make shift bench, sound of birds, water, wind and munching food. One of the best cold lunches we had in a while. Added satisfaction, a bay with a Gujrati name, sounded so much like home.

I was jumping with joy there

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Very happy at Surat Bay

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0315 PM: We started off, 5 kms to the main road, Owaka highway, turn right about some distance away as you climb a hill, you get the board “tunnel hill”, on your right you get the board Historic Railway Tunnel Walk and a big car park, there were a few cars parked there, we turned in a wanted to do this walk, about 20 minutes. We walk down the hill to a tunnel entrance, no visible track now, only an entrance and the rest of the place overgrown, NOT worth spending time! These are the ramians of the old Catlins railway which ran from Balclutha to somewhere. You’d need a torch to see inside if you wanted to see the ruins. The walk down was better than the tunnel, lots of flowers blooming all around, different shades of green everywhere, lush green.

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Last edited by ramkya1 : 14th March 2014 at 21:26.
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Old 18th March 2014, 10:52   #116
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@ JL01BE: Thanks. I'm giving as much details as I can so prospective tourists do not have to re-invent the wheel and use this T-Log as a reference.
=====
Hi,

As I go thru my checklist I got a few more questions:

1. What is the system to get some "over-the-counter" medicines? Are they available in the supermarkets or do they have pharamcies like we have here?

2. What about doctors should someone fall sick? Do they have clinics or should we head to some hospital?

3. You have not mentioned anywhere about sandflies which seem to be a menace in southisland. Can you throw some light on this and precautions to be taken, DEET or some such thing to be bought?

BTW, I'm all set having booked all the motels, car etc., Many many thanks for all the help. You've been so generous with your time.

Prasad
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Old 18th March 2014, 19:34   #117
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Arrow Re: New Zealand: End to End

1. Most towns have chemists which have over the counter medicines, but you HAVE to show prescription for anything other the OTC. Carry all necessary medicines WITH prescriptions, sometimes at immigration they check medicines and prescriptions at Auckland as many Indians / Asians trade on it. We saw pharmacies in Auckland, Wellington, Rotorua, Queenstown, Inver, Dunedin and Chch, also checked the GPS for pharmacies and hospitals, not many outside major cities.

2. I've done lots of research here, I had my Kidney Stone busted, Trans Uritheral Operation of a stone on 27th October and took off on 2rd so the information was critical for me.

Take insurance cover with helilift options, I think we took an option form Bajaj which cost us about 2 K per person, including helilift. Medical facilities are far and few in between in South Island and many places in North, but health agencies have reciprocal arrangements with farmers with choppers and help out, the cost is on the insurance agency. If you do fall sick in remote areas, check with GPS or head for the nearest farmer / farmer's building you see, they have SOS chopper lift if weather permits. Few years back, in Binton island, Indonesia, I had renal colic, I was in severe pain, fortunately, I got all right at the resort clinic with anti-spasmodic injections. Otherwise they were ready to helilift me to Singapore as per instructions form the insurance agencies.

3. Have done lots of reading here too, fortunately we came across few sand flies, some of them around Haast area the waterfalls. We had full cover, rain coats so were protected. We head they're plenty after Te Aneu to Inver to Dunedin, but did not see them at all, though we were scared after reading many blogs and posts! The best medicine is Dettol mixed with olive oil, buy these from Auckland. The rest of the ready made ones like DEET are aerosol based, reported equal to Dettol+Olive oil combinations from users and not alcohol based, is better to moisturize the skin against the cold too.

I am sure you'd love this trip for along long time to come.

--Ramky

Quote:
Originally Posted by prasad14 View Post
Hi,

As I go thru my checklist I got a few more questions:

1. What is the system to get some "over-the-counter" medicines? Are they available in the supermarkets or do they have pharamcies like we have here?

2. What about doctors should someone fall sick? Do they have clinics or should we head to some hospital?

3. You have not mentioned anywhere about sandflies which seem to be a menace in southland. Can you throw some light on this and precautions to be taken, DEET or some such thing to be bought?

BTW, I'm all set having booked all the motels, car etc., Many many thanks for all the help. You've been so generous with your time.

Prasad

Last edited by ramkya1 : 18th March 2014 at 19:41.
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Old 20th March 2014, 15:56   #118
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Default Re: New Zealand: End to End

Excellent thread, Ramkya1. I have been to New Zealand and relived those memories thourgh your photologue. Your eye for details, even in narration, is quite clear. It's obvious why the thread took as much time to get populated as it did.

p.s. While the shaadi season for this year is over, the next batch of honeymooners can carry a print of this thread
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Old 21st March 2014, 14:19   #119
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@ Vitalstatistiks;
Thanks a lot. I checked with Bhavin (a close friend, works for a tour agency in Auckland, helped me plenty), he said rarely honeymooners come this far from India, the 20 hour + flight would zap them. Only the determined ones reach this far, the Airfare is hefty, nearer locations would be so economic in comparison.
======

0345 PM: The road winds up and down through grazing grounds, we have two more points of interests before we finish the Catlins for this year, Nugget point and Kaka Point. The signages are clear, no way you would miss any point, roads are smoother, you can see more people and cars as you move northward towards Balclutha. We take turns through secondary roads and come to the junction which says left Kaka Point and right Nugget point and turn right into Esplanade Road. The road hugs the beach on your left, gravel for 8 kms till the Nugget point car park. The drive again is beautiful, the sea on one side, broken roads in many places, needs caution on turns, right have some guest houses and signs of tourist action. This stretch is another possible stay option as you have plenty here and around Kaka point.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nugget_Point

The rod climbs in between hillocks too the car park above, the wind was fast and cold, there were a couple of cars and some people around. We were glad as the place was quiet, desolate and remote, without human signs one tends to be uncomfortable. The walk form the car part to the lighthouse platform was a single track cut into the rugged mountain side, about 1 km, we took slow 15 minutes. We were glad for the jackets and layers we had on, wind was so strong in some sections we kept to the mountain side, the other side was a steep drop to the sea, about 500 mtrs, sea crashing and spraying up into the air with winded fury. The sight was incredible, cobalt sea, surf, birds, pushy wind and us open to the elements! We could see the light house at the end of the cliff, the road a single track now with firm hand rails.

Nugget point is on the list of most tourists doing this section, the wild life options great and as wild as they come. The small jagged rocks jutting out of the sea, fringed by surf, like nuggets give the place it’s name and made the scene so surreal. Though we took the tripod out for some shots, we had to lean it against railing, the wind was too strong. Near the light house, it was impossible to use the tripod, it would have been ‘gone with the wind’, some guests were so strong we had to hold on for dear life. Some shots were taken by others travellers, it was a help each other situation as far as clicks were concerned, many big tripod tourists were disappointed, no way they could sit the camera on the tripod with the ripping wind.

0445 PM: On the left you have cliffs down, ahead rocks on which you can see colonies of fur seals, sea lions and birds, binoculars would be very useful to see them up close. On to the right is the Roaring bay from where Penguin watch is possible, you can walk to it from here.

One more useful linky with FAQ’s on the Catlins:

http://www.catlins.org.nz/index.php?/site/visitor_info

We spent about 20 minutes on the lookout, this was the last point for us on the Catlins, before we dash off to Dunedin, Kaka point would be a drive thorugh for us. Given time, we would have loved to spend 2 nights here, may be next time. We walk back to the car park in silence, take some snaps and start the return leg. The wind would be a real danger for campers on this road, I could feel its power on our car, any big vehicle would be in real danger of toppling on this road.

0520 PM: We drove down the bay, caught up with the main road and reach Kaka Point some 11 kms onward. This is a seasonal town with holiday homes, only about 150 permanent settlers. The beaches and lonely location attracts tourists, you can find the kaka bird here and hence the name. We just stopped there for a few snaps, opposite the Point café.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaka_Point

It was 0530 PM: Time to head to Balclutcha, 18 kms away, the nearest big town form where we catch the HW1, turn right towards Dunedin, about 2 hours if we drive slowly.

0600 PM: We drive very slowly, relishing the last few miles of Catlines run and fuel up at Balclutha, I am referring my notes here, we paid 70$, that got us 32.71 ltrs of petrol @ 2.139 per ltr. Gas is pretty expensive by our standards.

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Last edited by ramkya1 : 21st March 2014 at 14:23.
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Old 26th March 2014, 17:37   #120
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Arrow Re: New Zealand: End to End

A clip from the Te Anau to Milford run:



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