Thursday: We got away a little earlier this morning. Not much, but enough to beat the “crowds”.
We’d decided on the Lake Sylvan circuit (via Tramway) – purported to take about 1.5 hours. With no major holdups (fishing stops) and just a few stops to admire the views it took us about 2 hours.
Access to the circuit is via a swing bridge. I used to be terrified of these but back in 2007 I crossed the Carrick-a-Rede bridge, simultaneously attacking my fears of heights and swing bridges. This one is a breeze in comparison. They still scare me but I know I’ll survive.
The first thing that struck us about the beech forest was the lack of birds and the accompanying silence. We put this down to the presence of stoats. Not that we saw any but they are around and we could see the markers for the trap lines as we walked.
We love birds and it seemed strange to be walking through this lovely forest without seeing or even hearing any.
During the whole walk we only saw one little bird who was either very friendly and inquisitive or was checking out ways to repel the intruders. Either way, he wasn’t afraid of us and flitted around us for ages.
We don’t know much about New Zealand birds apart from the kiwi, but we think this brave fellow is a male tomtit.
Despite the lake of wildlife it was a nice walk – nothing too challenging. Some interesting fungi …
… and, of course, lovely scenery.
Our “early” start seems to have paid off. By the time we got back to the swing bridge and the car park the rest of the world had woken up and was heading into the forest. So glad we had it to ourselves.
We headed to Glenorchy for lunch at the pub followed by a drive to Diamond Lake then back to Kinloch Lodge for a quiet-ish night in before heading to Dunedin tomorrow.
We have really enjoyed this area and vowed to return. We didn’t know it at the time, but in 2014 our son would move to Glenorchy to work for a while as a tour guide leading horseback tours of Lord of the Rings filming locations. That gave us a great excuse (as if we needed one) to come back to the South Island and this area.
Easter Friday started with the hostel providing a basket of hot cross buns which we enjoyed. After that it was mainly spent driving to Dunedin with only a few stops for some essential supplies and a taste of scenery before settling into our apartment at the Dunedin Youth Hostel. Quite expensive for a hostel but it has separate bedroom, bathroom, toilet and kitchen so is totally self contained. There’s also a pleasant shared balcony.
I must admit that driving into the city it was so very quiet that I wondered out loud what the heck we were going to do here for 3 days and 4 nights. Stay tuned to see how we fared.