Last year I had the pleasure of visiting Tromso in Norway which was the furthest North I had ever been (in the Arctic Circle). This year I journeyed the furthest South I have ever been when I arrived down a gravel road (trying not to skid the car too much!) to Slope Point at the base of the South Island.
Seeing the Southern Ocean crashing in against the cliffs below (and in a strong breeze to boot) gives you a real appreciation of the power of nature and the fact that there isn’t much between you and Antarctica (a long distance mind you) – although Stewart Island (New Zealand’s third biggest – and predominantly national park) is around 30km South of Bluff (which due to its ferry point does have a false claim on most-Southness).
Anyway, en route to Slope Point, I went through the Catlins which allowed a visit down more gravel roads to Nugget Point. Cue stunning beaches, little population (isolation can be a fabulous thing) and wonderful views, if you look at a map of the world from New Zealand, you will see just how little there is to the East, West and South…like the end of the world:
Once at Slope Point, here is the sign in case you forget where you are in the scheme of the world, and a tree-demonstration of how severe the weather is:
And at Bluff (famed for the Bluff Oyster), another more accessible sign, although Bluff is not much to speak of, it is the gateway to Stewart Island with a rather bizarre chain sculpture which perhaps secures the islands together:
And finally, further along the coast to the West, here is a view of the upcoming Fiordland National Park which encompasses 5% of the NZ landmass…stunning:
And here we may see a close-up of the mountains so you can see how nature sometimes makes you think about ladies…