A Travellerspoint blog

Dunedin to Invercargill via Lake Mahinerangi

South Island

We drove from the peninsular to central Dunedin and spent the day in the city. I thought the city had a nice feel to it, more European than Christchurch, and I would be happy to work there.

From Dunedin we travelled to Lake Mahinerangi. The drive was lovely, back out in the countryside and we hardly saw anyone. It’s amazing how you can leave a city in NZ and within minutes you are out in the sticks.
We camped for the night at the lake and I caught a brown trout... 3-1 to me in fish catches now 😁

The next day we did some jobs on the van and drove back out to the coast and south. Our next stop was Kaka Point. A cute little beach/surf village and I picked up some local honey.

From here we were going to travel to nugget point which had been recommended but we decided not to as it’s a no end road so you have to come back down the same way and we didn’t know what else it would sho us that we hadn’t already seen.
We kept driving along the coast into the Catlins and stayed the night at Catlins Lake which is a salt water lake.
We weren’t that impressed with the Catlins compared with the rest of NZ.

From here we drove along the coast and stopped off at Curio Bay and Slope Point which is the most southern part of mainland NZ.

We then carried on to Invercargill to stock up on supplies, pick up our fridge and do some washing. We didn’t spend much time here at all and decided to keep going and stayed 1 hour out of Invercargill at Clifton swing bridge.

Posted by Louisejhcowan 23:48 Archived in New Zealand Tagged fishing trout dunedin point kaka honey catlins invercargill Comments (0)

Moeraki to Otago Peninsula

South Island

We travelled back to Moeraki to go to Fleurs restaurant for lunch. The food was amazing, we had green lipped mussels and a fish taster to share which included moray eel, monk fish, sole, grouper and orange roughy.

We then drove inland to the Waikouaiti River where we were going to stay for the night. We were parked in a lovely place next to the river but we didn’t have any reception and I had planned to speak to my friends for the first time since we left so we drove to Karitane and stayed there instead.
We went for a walk on the beach in the morning.

We then drove to the Otago Peninsular via the coast road. It was a windy road but so picturesque! Every corner and hill we went up/round had a great view.
Once on the peninsular we drove up to the top to Pilots Beach to see the albatross colony and seals. We saw two albatross circling round Taiaroa Head, they are huge! And we saw seals on the beach.

We then drove to the south of the peninsular to Sandfly Bay to see sea lions and the yellow eyed penguins which are both extremely rare, we managed to see both though!! The beach was stunning and we were able to walk right past the sleeping sea lions.

We parked up on the road in a lay-by with a great view and stayed here for the night.

Posted by Louisejhcowan 17:50 Archived in New Zealand Tagged beach penguins campervan seals peninsular otago albatross vanlife karitane vypsies Comments (0)

Black Point to Shag Point via Oamaru

South Island

We left Squids house later after dinner and drove to a place called Black Point irrigation pond about 15mins from Kurow.
Squid recommended this place for some more fishing.
It was very dark when we arrived so we just picked somewhere near the water to park up and camp.

In the morning we fished in the pond and Chris caught a fish too!
We had our first experience of gutting and filleting the fish (squid did this for me the day before) and it went better than I thought it would.

From Black Point we headed to Oamaru which is the next big town/city and on the coast. We stocked up on supplies in Oamaru and headed down the coast to find somewhere to camp for the night.
We didn’t spend much time in Oamaru as it didn’t seem like there was much to see unless you are into steampunk.

We stopped at a place on the beach, right on the Waianakarua River mouth and decided to stay here for the night.
We cooked Chris’ catch of the day and it was delicious!
We did more fishing in the river mouth in the morning but didn’t find anything.

We continued following the coast line south and stopped to see the Moeraki Boulders. This is a place of interest but really is just come round rocks on a beach.
We went for a walk in Moeraki Village, it was a sunny day and we saw our first seals in NZ!
There is a famous restaurant here called Fleurs and we are coming back for lunch tomorrow as they couldn’t fit us in today.

We meandered further down the coast, but didn’t want to go too far having to come back to Moeraki tomorrow, so stopped at Shag Point freedom camping area. We found a great spot which backed onto the beach.
We walked the beach and cooked my catch which again was very tasty!
It was so hot during the day it was hard to sleep at night, but this meant we were able to star gaze, the stars were so clear!

We woke up looking out to sea, but the weather had changed from beautiful sunshine to rain!

Posted by Louisejhcowan 15:40 Archived in New Zealand Tagged fishing beach black moeraki point campervan shag Comments (0)

Kurow and fishing on the Waitaki River

South Island

On New Year’s Day we went to the annual Kurow market in the morning. It was described to us by a local as a place for locals to sell their crap so we didn’t have high expectations!
There were various food stalls and gift stalls so we managed to kill an hour here happily.

In the afternoon we met Squid (the local who offered to take us fishing) at his house. Squid used to be a professional fly fishing guide but also likes to fish with spinners on the river for salmon and trout, which is what we did today.
He took us in his boat up the Waitaki river all the way to the dam, stopping in places he thought we might catch fish. It was a great day, so nice to be on the river but unfortunately we didn’t catch anything.

We freedom camped near Kurow island that night in the car park next to the river .

On 2nd we walked up the Kurow trail. It’s only a short walk, about 1.5km but you climb around 450m so you do end up with good views.

In the afternoon we went to 2 wineries. The Ostler winery has its cellar door (wine bar/bodegas) in Kurow itself and the River T winery is just a few miles out of Kurow and their cellar door looks out onto their vineyard.
We chatted with the owners of Ostler for a while and we left with a bottle of their 5 time champion winning Pinot noir to have on Chris’ birthday!

At River T we treated ourselves to a lovely platter of food and a bottle of reisling and Pinot Gris (white wine) whilst sat on their terrace in the sun. They also let us camp there over night so we didn’t need to worry about how much we drank. It was a beautiful view to wake up to!

Today, 3rd Jan, we met Squid again for another go in his boat on the river and hopefully to catch a bloody fish!
We went the opposite way down the river and I managed to catch 2 rainbow trout!
Squid has invited us for tea at his house, he’s cooking local venison.

Posted by Louisejhcowan 18:00 Archived in New Zealand Tagged fishing river kurow waitaki Comments (0)

Kurow to Lake Benmore back to Kurow

South Island

On 30th we got up and drove about 1hr30 west to Kurow for the races. It was a great day and we had some winners! A proper country race course like cartmel but smaller and more local.


We then decided to drive back the way we came to Lake Benmore so we didn’t miss it. We spent the night here near the Bennore dam doing some fishing.


In the morning we messed around in the river again trying to catch a fish, still no luck!


We then meandered down the road back to Kurow stopping at the different resoviors and dams. It’s interesting to see what’s been built and how they are creating electricity using all the water they naturally have here.

We arrived in Kurow again in the afternoon and headed to the pub for the evening and for New Years Eve. We met some locals and one guy said he would take us out fishing today (New Years Day).

Posted by Louisejhcowan 15:19 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

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