Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tautuku Hut, the Catlins

In early December my siblings and I drove down the Catlins (about 1.5 hours south of Dunedin) to take little brother Lukas on his first overnight tramp. We chose a very easy tramp - only two hours each way - to Tautuku hut; a basic, free DOC hut mostly used by hunters who leave notes in the guest book like "PITBULL GOT A DEER ON WAY IN" and the like. We felt badass, by association.

Click on the photo below and read the warning signs - one of these things is not like the other.

Lukas, being the rugged, outdoor kinda online-gamer he is, brought his own sleeping bag. Only problem: it was a Pipsqueak Std (note his feet in the second picture).

At dusk, the surrounding trees were full of native birds, especially Tui (my darlings).

Hardcore Hana and Lazy Lukas above, and the vista over the seemingly infinite forest below.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

St Bathans: secret garden slash apocalypse

Ever since my stay at the Vulcan Hotel, St Bathans, with two of my most charming friends (and, of course, I have the best friends in the world) my mind has been on a loop of "oh my gosh, I love St Bathans", "Isn't the Vulcan great?" and "Hey, remember St Bathans?"

Eleanor, Benjamin and I agreed that anyone present would find us extremely tedious with our constant stream of praise for the place, and that our trip away would not make a good travel story - as there was nothing to complain about. Even the tap water was delicious!

In any case, two of my favourite aesthetics are 'secret garden' and 'apocalypse moonscape.' Previously, I had never thought to combine the two - they seem paradoxical, and certainly not obviously complementary. Well, thanks for righting that wrong St Bathans.

Aaand here they are on the moon:

Other aesthetics I enjoy include: gold miners cottages, overgrown gardens, historic pubs, converted stables and a well-mixed gin and tonic. All of which were provided in droves by the good people of St Bathans (all four of them - seriously).