Our last day in the Catlins is just as wet as the rest. We keep being told that this what the weather is like here. It is not entirely unpleasant because most of the time is just a mist that hides the views in the distance and a raincoat is sufficient to stay warm and dry. As we proceed around the coast on the Southern Scenic route we stop at all the places marked. Most are a short walk and provided we miss the short heavy showers it is still fun! There are a surprising number of people out and about despite the weather.
Slope point is the southern most part of the South Island. There is a marine beacon on the end of the rocks and fantastic crashing waves which, on a fine day would consume a lot of time shooting them to catch the right one. It is also famous for the wind swept trees that fight the elements here. Sue shot them, but they are on a farmers property and a long lens is required unless you jump the fence. Also the mist over such a distance creates exactly the sort of hairspray effect that Sue loves (not me).
But further round at the Waipapa lighthouse there is a smaller set which is more accessible. This location has a visitor centre curiously marked as a Historic place. Not sure if this is the building or the spot?. It has a few short tracks through the grass where four Sea Lions were scattered around. One was less than metre from the track and would roar at anyone that got close and appeared more than slightly interesting.
We head of to Invercargill which is still on the trail, the largest population we have seen for a while, just to catch up with a friend of Sues. On the way we come across a cluster of cars in the way. And once upon them discover that a Japanese couple in a small car have spun off the road. A passing ute was towing them out of the grass. Luckily they hit the wires and not a post and the car seemed fine. A bit of a traffic jam in the country.
Our stop in Invercargill is short and we push on to Riverton. This is a pretty town and if the weather was better I could imagine we would never have made it to our accommodation that night. We stop to look around a gallery that Sue had read about and chat with the lady owner. (Its for sale if anyone wants to move south). She tells us that despite the weather it is a good time to come down here. In the summer the camper vans travel in convoys and you can’t find parks at the sights. I was very pleased to hear that we had avoided that period as you might imagine. I had thought we had seen too many already.
After Riverton we head to Lumsden to stay the night and make contact with Cameron Dawson. We navigate along some back roads that are fast moving and pretty and make good time. It’s a B&B this time and as usual very nice people running it, Paula and Roger who greet us with wine and pizza bread.
After dinner we are talking and Roger drops ideas for 4WD trips. Every few minutes is thinks of a new one and Sue gets all excited and starts making notes. It looks like we may have to return to this area to try all these drives. But today (it is morning now) Cameron says he has a view he wants to show us so we will try that and see how much time is left.