Little Gems 1 – Southland and Fiordland

April 2017. Sometimes you come across a sight that just needs to be photographed. And it’s not just in the places that you expect. One or two shots are rarely enough to justify a blog post, so here’s a collection of random sights in random places that just happened to catch our eye.

The Eglinton valley, Fiordland National Park.


Curio Bay in the Catlins. At low tide you can walk out onto a rock platform with petrified trees (logs an stumps). Some of them look amazingly fresh – It’s hard to believe they are 180 years old – let alone 180 million!



Tree rings are visible on this stump.


We first visited Te Anau in 1993, and have been back at least six times. But it wasn’t until last week we “discovered” Lake Henry in the Ivor Wilson reserve at the south end of town. A lovely spot!

With a slow vehicle, we try to take the backroads as much as we can. There are lots of named “towns” on the map, some tinier than others. Even smaller than the proverbial “one pub town” is the “one community hall” town. But what happens when four places are too small to have their own community halls?

In a small town, each shop has to perform multiple duties. Twizel’s version of “Mitre 10 MEGA” is Jakes, all packed into the size of your average coffee shop. Their product variety is amazing. And we managed to find a whistling kettle and small gauge bug wire here – both items were unavailable at the last Mitre 10 MEGA and Bunnings Warehouses we visited!

An entrance gate in Manapouri- but beware if you’re more than 2½ feet tall!

A recruitment sign in Invercargill – With grey nomad.

Housing crisis? What housing crisis? $35,000 will buy you a two-bedroom house on a quarter acre section in Ohai. That’s right, there are no zeros missing!

Plastic pineapples! You might not have seen them here first, but they live on at the Lakefront in Manapouri.