South Island


We wanted to go to the South Island,but unfortunately Christchurch, the largest town, had suffered a terrible earthquake and was still barricaded off.

Instead we went further south to the wonderful town of Dunedin, known as the Edinburgh of the South.  Here Charles Higham, the Professor of archaeology and his wife Polly invited us to stay.

Dunedin lies at the end of a long inlet or fjord, known as Otago Harbour, and the Highams have a house about 10 miles out of Dunedin, about half way along the peninsula (albatrosses breed at the end of the peninsula!)  From their house they have a wonderful view along the inlet.


In Dunedin itself, the most spectacular building is the railway station, built in 1904,  from where trains ran up into the mountains to serve the gold-mining and farming communities.


A wonderful feature are the mosaics in the booking hall. This one shows one of the original steam locomotives.




The centre of the town is the Octagon,  a large octagonal arena where markets and ceremonies are held and fashionable young people display their elegance.

The Highams also invited us  to spend a couple of days in their holiday home in the Mountains, the  so-called New Zealand Alps, a four-hour drive inland from Dunedin.  We rented a car and had a wonderful drive along the River Clutha.
This is known as the Gold Rush country as it was where the famous gold rush took place in in 1862 when gold was found. We visited several of the towns,  notably Lawrence: click here for my account of what we found there


The Higham’s holiday home lies on the shores of Lake Hawea, one of the great lakes up in the Alps: it runs parallel to the better-known Lake Wanaka, though Lake Hawea is almost as large as Lake Wanaka.

The Highams’  house is situated in  the wonderfully named Flora Dora Parade (named after the popular musical of 1899).  This is the view from the entrance to their house, and down to the lake.


And here is a panoramic view of  the lake.


And this is a picture of me skimming stones

I use the cut-down version for the header, but here it is full size.

The stone is actually skimming!



We went over to the parallel lake, Lake Wanaka, where there is a fine beach and good facilities for swimming.



The town of Wanaka is said to be the fastest growing town in New Zealand. Apparently there are wonderful facilities for skiing as well as for just lazing by the lake in the sun.

We spent a delightful day there, just enjoying ourselves, wandering around, doing nothing, and having an excellent lunch.


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