southlands-14We have all heard the stories about taking a wrong turns, and adventures off the beaten track, and all that. And, that is what happened along the southern coastline when a wrong turn on a wander turned into a beautiful discovery, a stunning afternoon, and a freaky walk in the darkening evening sky along a track to who knows where. I have no idea what this beach was called, and I’m pretty sure it was on private land, but wherever it was – it was a piece of heaven. Just the four of us, a herd of sheep, and the birds and bees doing what they do in the great outdoors.southlands-18southlands4-4We stopped at a lookout over Riverton. I think… I’m not 100% certain on that… Anyway, the walk we were meant to go on was a 20 minute return trip, that ended up being a nearly 4 hours by the time we enjoyed our coastal solitude. We were walking through a foresty area to view-point that never happened. Up the hill, down a muddy dirt track past the sheep, over a fence, and through a paddock and we came to our little piece of heaven. Going back we kept following the path that by all appearances looked to go straight back up the hill towards the carpark direction. HAHA! No way! Over an hour we hiked, in the mud, the sunlight rapidly disappearing, up and up and up, before we finally joined onto the original path.  Now, IF I had an abundance of money, I would try to buy this spot… If I knew exactly where it was.southlands-10southlands-6southlands-9The bottom of New Zealand seems to be ignored largely by the tourists, but it is such a peaceful part of the country. Heading out of Dunedin to Brighton, Taieri Beach, Kaka Point, Slope Point and The Catlans Conservation Park. There is so many outdoors walks and hikes, beaches to relax on, waterfalls and forests, lighthouses and nature reserves before reentering civalisation at Invercargill. We had a detour for a road closure at one point, and I have to say that it was the most pleasant 40 minutes detour I have ever had. Now a 40 minute detour to come out only a couple of hundred meters past the bridge being rebuilt, down a gravel road would usually be the biggest pain in the ass. But it took us through the hills, past farms, over streams and we shared the road with more sheep than cars.southlands2-3sothlands3-1Now, I’m a bit of an oyster lover, so we HAD to go to Bluff. But alas, the super fresh Bluff oysters were the most disgusting thing I have ever had, much to Glen’s amusement. I had had Bluff oysters in Dunedin and they were great, so I don’t know what the go was with the dozen Oysters and the bad taste they left in my mouth. And it seemed to be just me. The group of Chinese travellers that thought Miss Sunshine was to most amazing camper/car in the history of cars, went back for not just seconds, but thirds of the oysters.southlands-20southlands-22southlands4-5I could have happily pulled up along anywhere along the beach around Te Waewae bay or Colac Bay and just stayed until supplies run out. The air was fresh, the people where sparse, the beaches were clean, and it is just a region for relaxation and isolation. Next stop – Milford Sound.southlands-23southlands-1southlands-25southlands2-6southlands2-7sothlands3-2southlands-17southlands-2southlands-11southlands4-2



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