February 16th 2018
The destination today was Lake Tekapo. We got away in good time and by mid morning we were by the side of the beautiful turquoise lake. We decided to follow the lake walkway for a while and we both took advantage of the photo opportunities. After our walk we had lunch overlooking the lake and soon after, we set off for our next stop at Oamaru.
We spent a quiet evening on site and will continue on our way to Oamaru.
February 17th 2018
I had read that the journey from Oamaru to the coastal town of Oamaru was particularly scenic so we decide to take our time and stop at points of interest along the way. We hadn’t been going long when we stopped at Lake Benmore and walked for a few minutes along the sandy path that runs close to the lake. We continued on, and made our next stop at the Benmore Dam. We crossed the bridge in the van and then walked part way back, stopping again a little further on, this time at the Waitakere Dam which also has a power station close by.
Our next stop was to look at some Māori wall paintings. They were actually a bit disappointing and the rock formation was actually more interesting as in places it resembled honeycomb. The birds were making good use of the holes.
As we arrived in Oamaru, the sky turned grey and the heavens opened. We drove around the town and checked in to the campsite by which time the sun was back and we had lunch outside. The weather can change very quickly here. After lunch we walked back to town through the beautiful Oamaru Park with its stunning flowers and the lovely ‘Mirror lake’.
We wandered around the Victorian part of town and came across a large rusty looking steam engine in front of a building called the ‘Steampunk HQ’. I had never heard of Steampunk so for anyone else who doesn’t, and to remind me, it is:
‘a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology’
We decided to go in and have a look as it looked quite intriguing. It was quite dark inside and there were lots of models/sculptures made of parts of rusted machines. Some had strange sci-fi type characters heads on them and others were fantasy machines. There were some old fashioned dentists chairs and an organ that played weird sounds instead of notes when you pressed the keys. Outside there were large machines including one made from an old train carriage, which you could go inside and another made to look like an enormous chopper motorbike. When John got on it, it made him look really small, it makes me laugh every time I look at it.
Then there was a room called The Portal. We went in and found ourselves standing on a metal platform suspended in the air, with mirrors all around and lots of lights hanging in the air both above and below us, so that we felt surrounded. Music started playing and the lights changed colour. It was quite fascinating. We went back in later and John videod it. (try the link to see what it was like and imagine standing in amongst it.)
We wandered down to the harbour and decided to stay here tomorrow as it is a nice place and there is plenty to see.
February 18th 2018
A quiet morning on site, making plans for the next few days, followed by an afternoon back in Oamaru town. We walked again through the lovely park and took some photos of a huge tree stump and the ducks on Mirror lake. The sun finally came out as we wandered in and out of the quirky Victorian style shops and we stopped for a drink at a cafe. As we approached the harbour area we heard live music and it turned out there was a family fun day at ‘Friendly Bay’ (the name of the harbour) so we stopped by the beach, listened to some of the live music and watched people enjoying games on the beach.