Up a hill facing the Otago Peninsula sits Orokonui ecosanctuary: a little preserved bit of NZ rainforest. So far, I’ve only found maori carvings and writings like this at official government or tourist sites, where they seem to just be for display purposes rather than be of historical significance. Can’t say I’ve looked hard for them elsewhere though! We saw tuatara (like a tiny iguana, NZ’s ‘dinosaur’), tui (white fluffy neck), green bellbirds and blue takahe.
Further up the coast the late evening light hit the Moeraki boulders! How many million years old? 55. According to maori legend these are the water-containers from a great canoe of the ancestors that foundered here.
Next we rested for a day in the railway town of Oamaru. Sometimes on the road you need a day to plan!
Then along highway 83 we saw some remaining maori cave paintings, behind bars – after others had been removed from the site to put in museums and some had been vandalised!
Lake Pukaki is splendid in the late afternoon autumn light. (My camera may not be doing these places justice any more as the screen is dark…spilled some homemade sandfly repellent on it a few weeks back…)
In Aoraki/Mt Cook we took a short walk to a PROPER glacier! The Tasman glacier has retreated a huge amount since even the 1990s. I love being amongst the mountains again!