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Published: March 13th 2021
Since we cannot go to Stewart Island today, our time has been freed up to do other things so we set off to explore around the area and leave the town and gardens for tomorrow.
Tomorrow there is a running race from the Sandy Point Domain into town so we figure it best to go there today while peace reigns. Our B&B is just off the Sandy Point Road so it was an easy drive straight down the peninsula. We were amazed. The environment and recreation Domain has every sport imaginable set up in the area - hiking, biking, speedway, equestrian, golf, rugby, scouts, shooting, archery and so much more, all in one area set amongst pines and natives and between the Oreti Ocean Beach and the Oreti Inlet. We set off on a walking circuit along the inlet for an hour. Occasionally we got a view out but it was mostly amongst the trees in the sun and no wind. After the walk we drove to Ocean Beach which is massive. This is where the Bert Munroe bike did the speed test and where bike racing is still held along the beach every year. It is kilometres long, flat
Finally some oysters
Oh how I love oysters - just not their price! These were wonderful
and with golden sand.
Invercargill is a city not lacking in facilities of any kind. It has a great environment, wide streets, excellent shopping, nice parks and lovely surrounding farms. So far the weather has been great. It's sunny and calm but you can bet your boots this isn't the norm.
We then drove 22 kms to Bluff where I had an appointment with some oysters. I love them but usually cannot bring myself to pay $3 for each one. This time I figured it was an appropriate place to break the drought. The drive out is less than inspiring with flat, weed ridden paddocks and run down properties. It appears to be the main industrial area as well. Bluff has few properties that look well kept despite the fishing industry and Tiwai Smelter across the inlet. It's not an inspiring place. Through the town and to the end of the road at Stirling Point is much nicer, opening out into the southern ocean. There is a walk around Bluff Hill which we walked for an hour on the southern side looking across to small islands and large Stewart Island. There was a constant stream of fishing boats
Tui Hideaway - our accomodation
An AirBnB house in a beautiful setting
coming into port and people fishing for paua or line casting. It's also the location for the Bluff signpost showing that you had reached the end of the Te Araroa Trail from North Cape to the Bluff. One guy just finished and threw his shoes up and opened a bottle of bubbly to celebrate.
After our walk we went to the Oyster Cove Restaurant for Disey's oysters. I had 3 natural, and 3 grilled oysters which were absolutely yummy! With chips and salad of course. You have to have oysters in Bluff. Linds doesn't like them. What a shame.
Finally we drove up Bluff Hill which is a must to view from. We could see forever - over Bluff, over the Tiwai Smelter, out to the Catlins, to Riverton, out to the islands and Stewart Is, way along to Fiordland and the mountains and back into the large inlets for the towns of Invercargill and Bluff.
Having been a little critical of Bluff in it's looks, it does have some fascinating history. There's fisheries, ship wrecks, old industrial buildings, historical houses and hotels, coastal defences and an old radar station. Bluff was also the first town to
be settled in NZ and a busy port for immigrants because of it's direct route from Australia.
Back at the house we took a tour of the garden which is lovely. Our hosts have gone off to Arrowtown and left us with the 3 acre property all to ourselves. We have time to do our washing, watch the Americas Cup, and relax.
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