Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Te Anau

Dunedin to Te Anau
From the sublime to the ridiculous we go.

On Tuesday morning we hopped on the only stretch of motorway I've seen so far in New Zealand and followed it for it's entire 5 kilometres until it's 2nd lane vanished and it became a lowly highway once again.

Hwy 94
We followed highway 1 South for about a hundred miles until we reached Gore, leaving the Otago region behind and cutting into Southland, hopping onto highway 94 to trek inland towards Te Anau.

This route is a great example of how the need to get from A to B is nowhere near as powerful as the might of the landscape. The road falls where nature allows. The view en route is ridiculously beautiful, almost to the point of being unfair on the driver who has to waste his time with trivialities like watching the road ahead. Of course the remedy to this comes in the form of many roadside stops to take it all in and stretch the legs, and lungs...
Sanne beneath the Murchison mountains

After about 4 hours drive we coasted into the gem of a town that is Te Anau, on the South Eastern shore of the colossal Lake Te Anau. The lake has over 500km of shoreline, and spills it's way amongst both the Kepler and Murchison mountain ranges.

With the sun and blue sky out in force, it is borderline insane how quiet and not overrun this town is. Such is the lack of tourist bustle, you can instantly hear the Tui birds calling in the trees near the shore.

The same sun set reluctantly over the snowy peaks leaving Te Anau, the town and lake, in peace for the night.

By dawn the rain was falling. Hard and relentless, but ominously exactly what I wanted, because that is exactly how I imagined travelling the road we were to take today - the Milford road to Milford Sound.

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