Otago Penninsular Bit of trouble down under this morning, not too serious and it's hard to imagine it could have been the oysters but you never know. Anyway it was even colder than yesterday. Despite being well prepared with thermal, merino sweater and jacket with liner it was only just enough. Joan warns that "the riding rules for snow are...lock the bike and walk." Hope I won't need them!

Second impression of Dunedin was a step up from the first. The centre is rather nice with some very interesting buildings and nice cafes. Good job too, the bit I stayed in was no better in daylight.

First up was a run out on the Otago Peninsular from Dunedin, this was hugely scenic (picture) and a bit twisty but no barriers on the road/waters edge. Larnach Castles owners are looking for $20 for butchers at their 19th century folly so I gave that a swerve, I really only wanted the cafe and the bog (see above). Out to the end and Tairoa Head then back again. Very nice and recommended.


Nugget PointThe weather deteriorated from this point finally starting to rain. Got doused with road dirt from a truck and could no longer see trough the visor so stopped for a break at Balclutha. This is near the Catlins which my chum Doug has suggested are also a must see. Very helpful bike riding woman suggested the Southern Scenic Route so turn left at the Ford dealers and into it.

This ride through the Catlins on this Southern Scenic Route would rank as the highlight so far. Wide sweeping bends and wonderful scenery but be warned no indicated max speed on some bends so it's easy to get caught going too fast for of them. Nugget Point and the walk out to the lighthouse (photo) are also not to be missed even at the price of some kilometers of dirt road. Make sure you have fuel for at least 250 km as there are no end of interesting diversions (waterfalls, caves, bushwalks, etc) all requiring more kms.

I rather felt I had to go to Bluff and had thought this would be an ideal place to spend the night and get some more oysters. Wrong. Go there by all means but plan on a very brief look and an early departure.

Bluff Dinner at HMS Kings in Invercargill (seafood) was pretty much the only choice apart from Burger King and such like but luckily the fresh seafood food was really excellent. The only thing it lacked was a smile from the staff which is a great pity as they've been to great trouble to deck the place out and give you details in the menu. The staff make you wonder why they bothered with the decor.

There are lots of motels with vacancies so I guess things are pretty quiet here, the Birchwood Manor seems a good choice so far.