Sean and me caught the first ferry from Bluff (most Southern town) to get to Stuart Island. The ferry was quite expensive, alot more than the ferry from Wellington to South Island! I think it was near $180 return.. But anyway we had a plan and we were sticking to it. We set off early and leaving the calm port sea we got to the rough outer ocean. I felt like I was on a roller coaster, up, down, up, down, everyone was making the same "Whoa!" sound as the drops made stomachs turn. Even Sean couldn't sleep on this boat haha!
We arrived at Stuart Island at around 9.30-10am. Its the most Southern place in New Zealand except small southern islands which are rarely visited, so it was an awesome place to add on my visited list. I've now been to the most Northern (Cape Reinga) and the most Southern points in New Zealand!
We hadn't booked accomodation yet so we started to walk around the small town we found ourselves in looking for a place to stay. One hostel was fully booked, another had nobody in the office and then a house at the top of a steep hill only took cash! I didn't think to withdraw money on the mainland and yes you guessed it...No cash machines!! Great! We ended up going back to the hostel where no-one was working and we waited..and waited. Must have been 2hours before anyone turned up; he'd been to the pub haha! All checked in and sorted we went out for dinner.
The day passed quite quickly considering we just chilled in the beer garden all day watching the sun move across a blue cloudless sky. We hadn't planned anything but to sort out things to do around the island for the next couple of days. The main reason Sean wanted to come here was for Shark cage diving! I was tempted but wasn't too sure about it; I'd already spent a small fortune on activities! In the end after getting information where we could it seemed that it was slow season and very few people wanted to do it in the freezing waters of the Tasman Sea. Nevermind, maybe in Australia! All day we just ate, drank and played garden chess haha...such a long game but a nice day all the same.
The next day we got up early to do a 5hr hike on the island. The walk we did was called Braggs-Horsehoe Bay and we had a wicked time. We walked past beautiful beaches and through humming rainforest, stopping whenever we wanted to take in the view. It was really nice to walk at our own pace plus it was FREE!!! Many an hour and probably hundreds of photographs later we got back to the hostel. Showered and changed we went out for dinner again and yet another game of chess haha. There wasn't much to do in the evening except watch the sun go down...but hey- no complaints with that sight! The sun sinking towards the ocean reflecting of its still surface; the sky changing colour upon every minute of the suns descent...just bliss.
The next day we wanted another early start but we slept in haha! That walk must have tired us out. Nevertheless we were ready within 15-20 minutes for another walk around the island. It was another gorgeous day and I couldn't wait to get going. This track was called Fern Gully and was beautiful but cold; completely in shade leading to a meadow where you have the chance to see red deer if you're as quiet as a mouse and as patient as a rock!...We couldn't do it haha! We set off from there taking Ryans Creek then Halfmoon Bay which took us on a huge loop back to town. The walk was great again but I did prefer Horsehoe Bay just because it seemed to be on the shady side of the island. The sun seems to highlight beauty and make everything better!
We were leaving the next day, hopping back on the bottom bus to Milford Sound. Really looking forward to that but before I left Stuart Island I had to go swimming; atleast for a dip haha! We found a nice beach and I just ran for it diving straight in..Freezing! and I was out within minutes but now I can say I have swam in Antarctic waters...Oh yeah!
Back in Invercargil!
We caught the ferry back saying goodbye to beautiful, quiet, Stuart Island and those incredible sunsets, checking in to the same hostel as last time. We just did the usual; Cinema and Mcdonalds haha! (Linking, 21 step and skip haha..sorry private joke with Sean! haha)
Well, next stop is Milford Sound!