|View across from the coffee house as we started along the Southern Scenic Route.|
I'll tell you what: More time than I had to explore the Catlins and someone else to drive so you don't miss a thing. Well, one out of two isn't bad. I was with some members of the Society of American Travel Writers and we had a driver/guide, a perfect combination.
|Count the shades of green if you can.|
Then it was on to Nugget Point and its picturesque lighthouse.
|Walk if you want.|
|Owaka Museum is small but packs a lot of info.|
|From the young branches of the Rimu, Red Pine, Captain Cook made spruce beer, a remedy for scurvy.|
|Take one VW van, add imagination and you get The Lost Gypsy Gallery.|
|Blair works on his wall.|
If you can pass by The Lost Gypsy Gallery en route to Papatowai, you haven't an ounce of curiosity. I recommend a stop to see how many wild directions the brain and creativity of Kiwi Blair Somerville have reached.
|Centerpiece of the wall.|
|Everything does something. Wind this one up and the skeleton pedals the bike, the gull flaps its wings and the propeller spins.|
Wind-up automotons, a sculpture garden full of wry, deep and other thoughts - there's no telling what you'll encounter. Inside the almost totally transformed VW bus there isn't a surface left untouched. The New Zealand tour guides usually don't list it but I'd definitely put it on an itinerary. Spend a minute or an afternoon; it'll give you fodder for thought.
|Desserts are big enough for two at Niagara cafe.|
|The one-at-a-time gate.|
The Niagara Falls Cafe is a good place to stop for lunch or dinner. You'll soon taste why it's so busy. Portions are large and desserts are good for splitting. It used to be a schoolhouse and the gate in the white picket fence was designed so that only one student could go through it at a time. Crafty, those teachers. There's a beautiful beach across the road.
|Fossilized forest at low tide.|
|Scenic but slippery down below.|
Tip: It's slippery on that fossil surface and there are some long stairs down to sea level. I chose not to risk it but others less sure-footed did. Luckily, no one fell.
|The tiny penguin is to the right of the guy in the black shirt.|
|Surfers are just tiny dots beyond the surf line from the Florence Point overlook.|
|The "mighty" Niagara Falls, Kiwi style, on the Waikawa River.|