Friday, July 10, 2015

Dunedin To Moeraki + Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki, a tiny fishing village

We turned north happily Friday, sun shining with all its might. Too many ice days in the caravan and too long away from the water. Our plans to meet family in Auckland mean we're scheduling ourselves now to accommodate work and caravan storage before driving back to Queenstown for the flight. Here's our route today (trouble viewing click here).

Being smarter about winter's potential to delay us in the cold south of the South Island, we asked everyone about weather and roads. The doc we met in Balclutha mentioned that the highway north of Dunedin was closed regularly due to ice, and that made today's decision straightforward: leave this lovely town before another hard freeze. We were sorry not to see more of it.

Breakfast first: salmon salad with avocado, silverbeet, tomato, and fermented cabbage (keeps the belly happy).

There was snow in the higher elevations north of Dunedin. Roads clear, but lots of long hilly ups and downs you wouldn't want to drive with ice.

Parts of today's drive reminded me of upstate NY.

It was a thrill to see the Pacific Ocean again, bashing the shore on our way to the Moeraki peninsula.
Moeraki was a centre of Māori population through the 19th century – partly because of the presence of a whaling station.

This sunny quiet camp overlooks the water. Look at the color of that sky. We awoke this morning in an overcrowded campground in Dunedin, the first one we looked at yesterday in the pouring rain. It's the winter holidays in NZ, with two weeks off school, and many families are traveling. 

I'm not wearing my coat! (Can you tell we're happy to be out and about again?)

Past time to stretch out these bodies on a seven-mile hike to see the Moeraki Boulders (much more here). The town's Centennial Path offered provocative peeks of the beach.

And soon led us to the beach itself

Low tide, broad beach.

The boulders themselves feel otherworldly in their spherical perfection.

More sun on our return. Tonight's inky sky is diffuse with stars, the Milk Way a wash of pointillist points. 

We'll say goodnight with a quick vid of Moeraki harbor, audio essential...

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