From Invercargill we drove to Lumsden, a journey that can be made in 80 kilometers. We did it in about 280 kilometers, stopping along the way to enjoy the scenery as far west as we could go.
We took our first little venture into Fiordland National Park to picnic on a dock at Lake Hauroko, the deepest lake in New Zealand.
After the lake, we headed north, with the Southern Alps flanking us on the left and the sun growing low in the sky.
|The "magic hour."|
Around sunset, we stopped at the quiet and peaceful Rakatu Wetlands, where we saw no other people, only hundreds of birds. It was a beautiful place that we would have never heard about if not for a small note on our atlas.
|Can you spot the black swan?|
As we left the marshlands, we were greeted by another beautiful sight: the full and buttery moon rising over the mountains. From then on, we drove through the dark to Lumsden, to meet our friendly CouchSurfing host Omri. He works at a local dairy farm, so our late arrival and his early rising left us little time to socialize, but he was very kind and gave us fresh milk, yogurt and his homemade cheese.
Perhaps that buttery moon was an omen.