We weren’t planning to head home via the coast but the weather reports and local knowledge (aka a farmer from Gore, a Johnston of course) advised us against tackling the inland passes. The ute of course could do it easily on its own, snow chains and all, but towing a heavy caravan was another thing altogether. So the coast road it was. Invercargill – upper Catlins – Balclutha – Dunedin. Snowy mountains loomed around, showing us how wise that decision had been. The weather changed all the time – sunny one moment, raining the next.
Where to stop for the night? We were not in a hurry, our homesitters having advised us that everyone was happy. We’ve been to Moeraki many times, photographed the boulders, even had dinner at the famous Fleur’s. But it’s always different. So we decided to spend the night at the Moeraki caravan park on the hill overlooking the port, where we’ve been before, and have a look at the boulders in the early morning light.
En route there was an awesome cloudscape.
I was a little too late to get some good sunset photos, distracted not only by the cold wind but by the hundreds of rabbits scampering around in the dusk. What would have happened if Penny the foxie had been with us?
Next morning it was cold and blowing strongly. High tide was at about 8 am so we decided we would make a leisurely exit from the caravan park and have morning coffee at the Moeraki Boulders cafe.
Here’s the view as we were leaving the park next morning.
After a first quick look from the cafe deck ….
…. and an invigorating coffee and ginger slice near the roaring fire, while admiring the views ….
…. it was down the private pathway to the beach. The pathway costs $2 per person but I think it is justified, it must be costly to maintain and it provided such a convenient route – and boot scrubbers on our return.
The beach is very dark clingy mud/sand at the high tide mark and there was only a narrow space between it and the surging tide. I was pleased with my new Lumix camera, it took wonderful photos even shooting straight into the sun.
The boulders were still there (!!!!!!) Well of course they were.
New ones are being calved off regularly. Here’s one at beach level and another a bit higher off the cliff. Dave climbed up to take his photos but I preferred to stay at beach level. You can see we were well rugged up!
Anyone who has been there knows it is impossible to stop taking photos.
Finally tearing ourselves away we set off again, heading for Geraldine. Our GPSr took us down some back roads with mountains in the distance. A pity there were so many poles and overhead wires to spoil the photos.
There is a wonderful cafe at a winery somewhere south of Geraldine, we couldn’t remember exactly where and also wondered if it would be open at this time of year. So we decided to stop at Peski’s for the night and make enquiries at the Information Centre in town.
Peski’s is a well-known private property providing parking for caravans and motorhomes. The new owners made us welcome, helped by little Tui the “ferocious” little poodle cross who belonged to the previous owners and has stayed on to help welcome people, as she’s been doing for years. It is very difficult to get a photo of her keeping still! A quick trip to town confirmed that the winery was closed so we consoled ourselves with a visit to the Barkers shop, coming away laden with jams, chutneys and a huge bottle of salted caramel sauce.
Next day, an easy trip home with lunch at “Nosh” in the Ashburton Mills village – highly recommended. I couldn’t resist the lure of the wool shop next door; Dave occasionally deserves a medal for patience and he earned one that time.