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Day 13: Te Anau

Day 13 - Sunday 03 March – Twinkle twinkle little bum…

From Queenstown, we went on to Te Anau with a stop at a bird sanctuary (for injured and sick birds) just nearby; then on to walk part of the Kepler track. Te Anau is referred to as fjordland because it is very like Norway with its forested valleys and shimmering Lakes. We were staying in Te Anau for 2 nights. The walk was lovely and quite long with suspended footpath bridges over parts of the lakes. The bridges bounced and swayed as we walked along them. Only 10 people are supposed to be on these bridges at any one time. The walk took us to a lakeside 'beach' where we ate our lunch. The sun was blazing and it was absolutely boiling hot. Because of the hole in the ozone layer you have to take care to wear sunblock in New Zealand; and we did. The sand flies paid a visit again. There was lots of driftwood on the shore and there were lots of green stones with interesting markings; I was convinced that one stone I found contained tiny bits of 'greenstone' or jade. We walked back retracing our steps to the bus. On the way back along the path we stopped to talk to a very friendly ‘Robin’ as it posed for photographs centimetres away from us on the ground. We also saw ‘Fantails’ hovering and swooping playfully around us. The Fantails were going to become my favourite New Zealand birds…


We had decided to book to see the glow-worm caves that evening. I'd never seen glow-worms before, and thought it a good opportunity to see them on mass. We took a ‘Real Journies’ boat trip across the lake to some caves in the mountains. Very bright and lively young New Zealanders welcomed us and told us a bit about glow-worms before we went into the caves. We had to stoop down in parts because the cave ceiling was very low; and we walked along metal-framed stairways to gain access to the glow-worm area. We eventually boarded a boat in the cave(!) and floated along a little stream looking up at the ceiling at lots of tiny dots of light.


A little poem from the wall in the Glowworm centre...



We drifted along, eventually turning around, almost floating in mid-air in the dreamy 'star lit' sky. Glow-worms aren't all that romantic though. (Sorry…) They're quite territorial and they'll eat other glow-worms that get too close. They make long snares of sticky fluid that hang down vertically from the cave ceiling to catch insects to eat. All the time we could hear the sound of rushing water into the cave system from a lake on top of the Mountain. We left the cave eventually and took the boat back over to Te Anau. We had an early night because we had to leave at 7:30 next morning for Milford Sound.



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