Friday, January 22, 2016
It was a cool morning but the day became warm before long. We left the Moeraki campsite and headed towards Cromwell, but we decided to see if we could get some pictures of the Tawaki penguins near a lighthouse just south of Moeraki. Unfortunately we were delayed in trying to find the location and we got there after 8 am which is when they are usually seen. We did, however, get numerous pictures of sea lions and we saw a dolphin jumping in the bay but we didn’t get a good picture of it. By the time we saw it and tried to take the pictures, it was gone.
As we left the area, we met Sven and Matilda, a couple from Germany who were on an 8 month world tour. She had quit her job and he had taken a sabbatical from his work. They have travelled a lot, including adventures to the area north of Prince Rupert to see grizzly bears and we spent almost 30 minutes discussing their adventures and some of the things they recommended for us to experience in New Zealand.
We continued on our way and started to look for a place to get some diesel fuel because the tank was already on empty. We made it to Palmerston, where we filled up with diesel and stopped for a bite to eat before heading inland towards Cromwell on Highway 85.
As we ventured inland through the foothills, the terrain changed to rolling hills. I was told that there were a lot of sheep in New Zealand but I didn’t realize how many there were. There were many locations where the hillsides were covered in sheep, mostly shorn. I can just imagine that it would bring a tear to a homesick Scotsman’s eye!
Just before we reached Cromwell, we saw this sign with the directions to various towns in New Zealand.
The town of Cromwell is known for its fruit farming and they also have a very nice vineyard and winery in town.
Near the town centre, they have the ” ugly fruit stand ” ( as stated in one of the brochures ) to welcome you.
We found a very nice campsite at a Top 10 Holiday Park and paid to stay for 2 nights. All of the campsites have been very clean and this one was one of the nicest. The campsites in New Zealand have all of the amenities needed for camping; water, electricity, showers, washrooms, coin laundry facilities, kitchens ( with sinks, microwaves, etc ) and lounge areas with TV. To get a site with electricity costs about $34/day. All of the plugs in New Zealand are 220 V and they have a special plug style so we had simple adapters for our electronics. All of the chargers for our electronics ( computers, iPads, cell phones, etc ) can be operated with 110 V AC or 220 V AC, so all we needed was the adapter to all us to plug into the circuits.
When ran a few errands in Cromwell, signed up for a few sight-seeing tours and then had supper in a nice restaurant, before heading to back to the campsite.
There were a lot of people in this campsite and we found out that there was an open-air concert in a nearby town on Saturday afternoon with Huey Lewis and The News, REO Speedwagon & Melissa Etheridge, so there was a lot of activity in the campsite.
The plan for Saturday was to go hiking on a nearby trail.