Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bluff to Milford Sound - New Zealand

We were ready to head to a place called Bluff which is commonly regarded as the most southerly point of mainland New Zealand although this isn’t the case.  It is famous for its oysters and is the point to get a ferry to Stewart Island.  The main reason for us visiting Bluff was to sample their renowned oysters which are sold all over New Zealand.  Unfortunately we arrived on bank holiday Easter Monday and as the ships had not been out the oysters were few and far between.  We couldn’t believe it!  After trying the fish and chip shop which had sold out by 2pm, we managed to find a small bakery and claim its last two Bluff oyster pies.  Whilst we really wanted fresh ones and had never tried oysters in this format before, pies are extremely popular in New Zealand and so we weren’t perturbed by this.  We were both so happy to be able to try them in Bluff and it stopped my bottom lip from quivering.  The oysters turned out to be extremely delicious and ultimately there’s no better way to have them in New Zealand than when tucked into a pie.  If you drive to the end of road number one it takes you to the faux most southerly point with a signpost showing popular destinations in the world including London which was stated as 18,958 km away.  It was quite interesting to be that far away from home when the similar culture really doesn’t make it feel so.

The end of the road in Bluff, 18,958km to London

Can you spot anybody?

Celebrating the rich oyster heritage with a wall mural

We picked up some beers and a bottle of wine in an off license and on the advice of the lady at the till we headed to an area little known by tourists but popular with locals called ‘Monkey Bay’.  There were a few renovated buses (popular here) and a couple of campers already stationed at the bay which was beautifully located with a small islet just off the beach which was only accessible by foot at low tide.  There were some fires going which provided a certain ambience and we enjoyed the sunset whilst putting together some dinner on our gas hob and grill.  We had a nice venture up to the little island the next day before heading out on the fairly long trip to Milford Sound.   

A beautiful and original campervan

Queenie camped up at Monkey Bay

The islet at Monkey Bay

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