Headed out this morning, planning to drive straight across the island to Dunedin. However it looked to be a shorter drive than we thought so we decided to head south and drive the long way around the coast. On my map, there was a clearly marked “Scenic Highway” which ran along the coast, east from Invercargill.
First sign of trouble was there was no way we could find that highway in Invercargill. Plus the GPS didn’t recognize any of the towns along that highway. But we forged ahead anyway.
Second sign of trouble was when the road turned into gravel. Third sign of trouble was a low gas tank reading.
As it turned out, I was looking at an old map and that particular scenic highway appears to have turned into the Catlin Heritage Highway, which has been very neglected over the past years. So we hobbled along those Heritage back roads, mostly gravel, until the GPS took us back to civilization, and thankfully did so before our gas ran out.
The upside was we saw some stunning scenery along the way – the ocean on the right, and absolutely gorgeous rolling green hills on the left, always dotted with lots of sheep. The sheep do nothing but eat so they don’t move at all and really look like permanent white dots against the green fields.
Finally, after only a “couple” of arguments, we made it back to the actual current scenic highway and continued on to Dunedin where our “ocean side” hotel was truly ocean side. We had a great dinner looking out over the waves and then a good long walk along the beach at sunset. So yes, a beautiful destination it turned out to be!
Tomorrow we’re off to Christchurch for our last stop in New Zealand. The time has gone way too quickly.