Here we are at Lake Wanaka, a sister town of the more popular Queenstown. We are fortunate to get a lovely country-style accommodation through my Uncle Teck’s recommendation. It is a nice change and definitely an upgrade from all the motels and holiday parks that we have stayed at so far.
Before Wanaka, we travelled to Invercagill, Steward island and Te Anau
. In a way, we travelled to the Southern most tip of the South Island when we arrived at Bluff to catch the ferry to Stewart Island (which is about the size of Singapore).
We went on a cruise from Stewart Island to the Paterson Inlet and another cruise in Doubtful Sound
. Stewart Island has long been a dream destination for me. Imagine that the whole island is protected as a nature reserve.
On a trek on Ulva Island, which we visited while on the Paterson Inlet cruise, there was a Robin bird that responded to the guide’s call and followed us on the trail.
Along the way, we witnessed the wonderful beauty of nature and remain in awe of the resourcefulness and adventurous spirit of the early settlers from the Maori to the Europeans.
I am very fortunate to see with my own eyes the wonderful geographical landscapes that I used to teach in class. Looking at them, I cannot help but feel a sense of solitude and peacefulness. The sound of silence is real even with the two noisy kids.
One part of the Doubtful Sound Cruise took us to the Manapouri Underground Hydro Power Station. It is really an engineering feat that uses the power of nature with minimum impact on ecology.
Surprisingly, many of the locals complimented on my two lovely daughters and a few of them even liked Kaylee’s hairstyle and took a picture with her. I guess they were being very polite, but I was still glad that they think that way.
Now, my girls are experts with the playground and their eyes are trained for seeking them out. Luckily, one can easily find such facilities in NZ and they are usually free. Playgrounds are also a great place for us to connect with the locals and get some tips on interesting attractions in the area.