Our South Island Adventure Day Twelve

Waikawa to Owaka

Several months ago when planning this trip I had mentioned to DH that I would like to buy him a camera for his birthday which would fall while we were away. He resisted and consequently today I had nothing planned for his birthday. (The last day of our holiday he commented that he wished he’d gotten a better camera!) Our cameras are adequate but not outstanding. Just think how we could have bored family and friends so much more when we got home if we’d been able to take better photos while away!

We began the day by returning to Porpoise Bay (near Curio Bay) but alas no dolphins. There’s a pod of Hector’s dolphins that regularly use the bay and apparently were sighted just two days ago but we’re still probably too early in the year to see such wildlife.

We then went on to Niagara Falls which were named tongue-in-cheek by a surveyor who had seen the famous Niagara Falls.

On then to McLean Falls where we stopped at The Whistling Frog for gourmet sandwiches and burgers. The food in this part of the world (apart from takeaway at Bluff) has been amazing.

Next stop was Purakanui Falls, apparently some of the most photographed in the world. By now we were starting to see familiar faces in other tourists as we went around all the attractions.

We were too early for Cathedral Cave (dependent on tides) so decided to head on into Owaka where we organised accommodation. We were still too early for the gate opening at 4.30 pm so detoured and did a walk around Lake Wilkie before going on to the caves. (I had earlier dismissed this attraction as not worth a visit but when you have time to fill in, perceptions change.) 

Finally the time arrived that we could visit the cave! We walked down the track and along the beach to the caves which are 190m long. Got our feet a little wet but it was worth it! I’m not normally a cave person but these were a must-see. I was even happy for DH to wander off while I stayed high and dry and marvelled at the rock formations.

Returned to our car (yep, all uphill walking and where DH saw evidence of wild deer) and then back to our accommodation via Matai Falls and Horseshoe Falls.

It is lovely and peaceful in Owaka and a welcome relief to find affordable accommodation that is clean and comfortable. (I’m still traumatised by our Stewart Island experience.) Oh, and we have internet and cellphone reception again!

Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift my soul unto Thee. Psalm 143:8 (KJV)



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