Thursday 27th March

I woke around 5am, read my kindle for a while and went back to sleep until Mahalia came in to get her stuff a few hours later.
We had a fairly cruisy morning.
Called up the Marine Cruise to Titi Islands we were booked on and decided to postpone till tomorrow in the hopes that it will be better weather.
Instead we went walking.
Strolled along to the 4 Square Supermarket and bought a few items.
Popped into the Red Shed and bought our Village and Bays Tour tickets which we decided to do instead of the boat trip.
Then wandered along to the Post Office.
Left the kids playing on the swings while I posted mail.
This sign really amuses me.
It is telling us who are already here that this is the town of Oban.
To my mind it should be facing out to sea to tell all those who are still yet to arrive where they are coming to!!
Met up with our new friends who had been out cycling.
We had some time to fill so went for a walk up to the Presbyterian Church which sits on the hill overlooking the wharf area.
It is a very obvious landmark.
View from the church.
Our backpackers is the large cream building in the middle of the photo.
A most convenient situation.
P1070968 P1070970
We walked around a lovely track in front of some holiday homes and found Bathing Beach.
The water here is very clear.
There is a boat wreck across the inlet.
We followed Mahalia down to the beach.
It is ever so pretty there, very sheltered &  inviting.
Back up the steps as we had to be back by 11:45am and I was watching the time.
Mahalia thought her new hand warmers went well with this sign 🙂P1070998

We waited at the information site for a wee while and then loaded our bus with a few other tourists.
Kylie was our very informative and knowledgeable guide.
She drove us all the way over to Lee Bay, the end of the road and the beginning of the Rakiura Track.
Then back across the village and around a few roads, up to Observation Lookout, telling us the history and local information.
The crayfish processing factory at Halfmoon Bay.
The bush telegraph!
These circles were embedded into the walkway.
Loved this quote!
‘I must go over to New Zealand one day’ – Stewart Islander.
“The face of the earth is changing so rapidly that soon there will be little of primitive nature left.
In the Old World, it is practically gone forever.
Here, then, is Stewart Island’s prime advantage, and on one hard to estimate.
It is an actual piece of primeval world.’
Leonard Cockayne 1909.
“Stewart Island anchors more than Maui’s canoe.
It anchors in it’s rocks, rivers and rugged shores, and in its garnishment of plants and animals, the hope of generations unborn that places like this will always exist.
Neville Peat 1992.
Te Puka – the anchorstone.
The Dancing Star Foundation has erected a 2.1km long predator fence here ‘to help inhibit the movement into the sanctuary of non-native mammals which have a serious, negative impact upon indigenous life forms.’
At low tide you can see the planks of timber left behind in the water from all of this years ago when the rimy was being milled here.
The timber, because it is submerged is not decaying.
The 1.5hr bus tour was most interesting.
When we returned to base we walked back to the backpackers and enjoyed some fresh sourdough bread with cheese and salmon for a late lunch.
Then around 4pm we went walking to go visit the last shop which we had not yet been to.
The Fernery.
It is a lovely shop with some really cool things.
Everything they stock must pertain to the birdlife and nature of SI or be art created here.
The kids entertaining themselves while I shopped 😉
The kids then chose their dinner at the supermarket.
Azzan opted for a frozen roast chicken meal.
Neither I nor Mahalia were terribly hungry so I bought a tomato to add to the fresh bread and salmon and Mahalia chose a 1L container of soy ice cream!
We went back to Bunkers and sat and chatted for a while with some of the other guests.
When you stay in a place for more than one night you get to meet up with people more than once and build a rapport with some interesting folk.
Two of the guys, Grant a Kiwi teacher who has been working abroad for a few years,  who we had met at the Bluff Lodge, and a young fella Jay from Wellington who is working on the island for two weeks, were going down to the hotel for a drink so I went with them for a walk and a change of scenery.
The kids were happy to blob out without me for a while.
I enjoyed a Rekorderlig Berry cider while the guys cleaned up a few bottles of Speight’s.
It was really good to enjoy some relaxing adult conversation.
I eventually led them to it and cruised back to see if the kids were ok.
Passed through the dining room to chat with two other new friends from Cambridge NZ.

The kids went off to bed after I arrived back.
Spent the rest of the evening talking with a couple form Cambridge UK who I had been chatting to in passing over the past day or so.
Also a German woman who has been on a very long trek around the island who is rooming with Mahalia, a French girl and several others.
Several have been curious about the homeschooling and how it all works so we have had some good conversations about that.
Grant & Jay arrived back.
They had asked about Tim so I shared photos of him etc with them.
It is good to be able to talk about Tim and share my darling man with others.
Helps to bring him nearer and feels like he is sharing our time here.
Quite an enjoyable time socialising.
Networking more friendships around the globe 😉

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