Those who travel to New Zealand want to see cascades, I guess. Here and now is our day for cascades!
At last these are only two of thousands [we can not go everywhere, unfortunately] but both are on our route by pure chance, so we place Jed on the parking-sites [there he can have a small-talk with other campervans about different tourists and their driving style ;) ] and walk one or two kilometers to the waterfalls.
Driving from Kaka Point we take again Southern Scenic Route and drive towards the "Catlins", acc. to Wikipedia a "rugged, sparesly populated area" that "features a scenic coastal landscape and dense temperate rainforest". True. Unfortunately we have thick clouds in the sky and the scenery is not as beautiful as hoped for, at least the landscape does not show its advantage on the photos, not even Catlins Lake performs very well. [Well, this could be due to me, photographing out of the driving car and making lots of wiggly pictures :( ]
First stop is Pau...pa... puuh ... Purakaunui Falls. A gravel walk leads to the falls, you cannot yet see them but you hear them already :) After one hour of "oohs" and "aaws" we have seen enough for now, next stop is McLean Falls. By the way, both cascades are not situated directly at the highway, we have to drive some 100m along gravel roads to reach the carparks. Now this is no problem but I do not know how the roads look like after lots of longlasting rain...
At the carpark we have another "this-is-so-cool"-institution: Everywhere in New Zealand you find toilets! In fact they are not half as raunchy, disgusting, scruffy as the toilets on picnic-areas at German motorways, but clean facilities with enough toilet paper, where you don't have to be concerned about your health. [Ok, of course this might result from the visitors' conduct...]
The walk to the falls is a little longer and leads through what a north-german generally calls "rain forest". We are completely fascinated by moss and ferns growing on the stones and trees. AND by a bird, singing in very strange tones. Except a little rustling in the leafs and a shadow we can not really see it. So at least we want to record the sound. No chance, as soon as the camera is running the bird shuts up :/ Pah.
In contrast to the bird we hear the water at all time. And a group of youngsters, apparently in a hurry running past us. As we stand in front of McLean falls it is very loud and we are very very amazed: The class (?) is taking a bath in the cascade!!!! The girls of course under terrible skirl, the boys' sounds stick in their throats. Or they are just 'really cool blokes' ;)
Wandering back to the carpark we once again admire several plants, try to record the bird and then drive on towards Invercargill. Actually we want to visit Cathedral Caves, which would take only a few km side trip. They are said to be very spectaculous caves down at the beach. But what am I to say ... it's high tide, we won't see anything but water. So we drive on. As we are not in the mood for cities but have enough diesel in the tank and some time until nightfall we leave Invercargill at the left and search the next freesiter. This one is about one hour away. At Riverton we have to turn right, then left, at Colac Bay again right and then straight ahead and then there shall be the site directly at the beach. But what do we see? A sign "camping not allowed"!!??!? Oh. And now? 50m ahead deliverance: Another sign, camping forbidden on the left, camping allowed on the right. There is only one other campervan and we take the most beautiful site [with site-decoration!] and enjoy: Coffee, look-out, silence, wind, weather, holidays, and yes, a certain feeling of freedom.
tag 5/ 17.03.15 - through the catlins
16.03.15/ Dunedin - Kaka Point
18.03.15/ Paua Intermezzo