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Seasquirt

The adventures of Fe & Chris

The south of the south

Over the last week or so we have made our way along the south coast of the South Island - through the Catlins, a nice bit of coastline with the occasional yellow-eyed penguin, lots of fur seals and plenty of small walks to keep us entertained for a couple of wet days.

After that we headed across to Stewart Island - famed for its potential kiwi spotting. It’s a small little place, and allegedly the locals are ‘friendly’, but we had obviously done something to upset them. The ferryman that took us to the smaller island of Ulva was very chirpy though, and Ulva itself was very interesting - they have removed all those nasty European mammals from this island so the native bird population is thriving - we saw all the required birds, with the exception of the kiwi that is.

Back on Stewart Island, a walk along to a lighthouse provided us with an impressive display from some bottlenose dolphins - haven’t seen so many and so active before so I was very excited - as were the family who were also watching - we were also treated to a group of little blue penguins feeding, and a couple of white-capped albatross.

We tried for a midnight walk along some of the places that the tourist info woman suggested sometimes had kiwi, but all to no avail.

The hour journey back to the mainland via the notorious Foveaux Strait was slightly more choppy on the way back and I felt slightly queasy - a catamaran is not the ideal for these conditions!

The last couple of days have been spent in Fiordland where we took the seemingly obligatory trip on a boat in the Milford Sound - a very impressive fiord with some lovely scenery - lots of big mountains and waterfalls coming straight into the sea - the boat kindly steered us into a couple of these, bizarrely whilst playing dodgy ‘atmospheric’ music.

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We are currently in Queenstown deciding whether to give in to one of the many adrenaline sports offered here - we may beat a hasty retreat though and go for some more beaches along the west coast instead…

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