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Day 11 : Tuesday 15th March 2005

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To the Fiords!

Well, if our drive down from Christchurch had been a little on the boring side, today was the day when we finally would get to see what the South Island has to offer as we headed deep into Fiordland (they spell it with an "i" here, not a "j") to a little town called Te Anau, which sits on one of New Zealand's largest lakes, Lake Te Anau.

We started out at about 10am, having first had a lovely breakfast in a nearby cafe and bought some CDs for the car, to relieve our continual search for radio stations in the rural areas!

The drive was very quiet and we made good progress, reaching Te Anau in about 4 hours, with only a short pit-stop. Lake Te Anau is extremely picturesque, on a beautiful lake shore setting with the mountains of the Southern Alps in the background.

We headed first to Manapouri, some 20km up the road, which also sits on a Lake of the same name but is much smaller than Te Anau. Due to not having a map, we totally missed most of the town that is situated round the corner of the mouth of the river. But we had a nice (late) lunch of sausage and chips with stunning views over the lake, sitting outside in the beautiful sunshine (the weather had been extremely generous to us so far on the holiday ).

We spent most of the rest of the day chilling out in Te Anau and taking it easy with a walk along the shore. We also had reached that point in the holiday where laundry was required and luckily the hotel had a self-laundry facility to avoid us having to pay the normally extortionate charges made for hotel laundry services.

There are not so many dinner options in a small place like Te Anau, but we did find quality in the form of a local Italian restaurant which was very good indeed.

Lake Te Anau and Manapouri