DM and MM's New Zealand Trip Diary

Day 5 - Queenstown to Te Anau

Saturday, 8 March, 1997

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22:10. Te Anau YHA

Another busy day... wooowee...

We got up about 07:30 again and did the cereal and toast brekky thing before checking out.

We hit the Kiwi and Bird Park for a look at some native NZ birds and to try to beat that English couple's 80 species. We saw owls and keas and wekas and more black stilts and ducks and pigeons and kiwis. No kakapos unfortunately.

Then we shopped/cafed in Queenstown a bit - Michelle buying a little sheep for Kylie's new baby and then us stopping for coffee/juice and a great cheese and spinach scone at a cafe that had free postcards - ads basically, like the ones for 3rd Rock from the Sun. Wrote a few of those for the folks back home. Took a photo by the moa statue then took off for Te Anau.

The road went by Lake Wakatipu for a while - very twisty, then straightened out into farmland. We had lunch on the way and arrived just after 14:00.

What are you looking at?
Farmland along the road

We booked the Te Anau Glow Worm Cave tour for 17:00, checked into the YHA, bought some milk and juice at the supermarket, then veged until the tour watching NZ thrash SL in Dunedin.

The cave tour began with a 35 minute boat ride up Lake Te Anau. At the Cavern House holding area we got a safety and info lecture like we were on a school excursion. Then it was a wait while the first group went into the cave. We walked around the shore a bit then sat inside until eventually the guide showed us in. The cave was wet and slimy and dripping and loud with gushing water cascading and flowing rapidly everywhere. After two walks and a punt trip through a section with no dry path, we boarded another punt for the glow worn grotto section. In pitch blackness, the guide directed the punt with an overhead chain. The glow worms formed a blanket of green starlike spots on the ceiling - most beautiful and definitely worth the effort.

the road behind
Crossing Lake Te Anau to the Glow Worm Cave

Heading back across Lake Te Anau, the sun was setting and it made from some nice views of the hills/mountains to the west.

We came back to the YHA pretty exhausted. Had toast for dinner and played some backgammon before crashing totally.

Also had a complete crack-up when the room next door starting generating sounds like a bed squeaking rhythmically...

Tomorrow - Milford Sound! Hopefully the weather will hold the beautiful conditions of today.

Accommodation: YHA Te Anau: $36.
Food and drink: $18.30.
Kiwi Bird Park: $18.50.
Glow worm cave: $68.

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