The following morning we checked out a few more Bert Munroe items. Firstly, we returned to the isite to see the bronze statue of the man on his bike.
The detail was incredible. Yes, those are rain drops on the statue, but it wasn’t raining and didn’t rain all day.
While we were there we also had a look at the beautiful gardens in the park. Hydrangeas seem to thrive down that way. We have seen lovely banks of them and in the richest colours.
The art gallery had a display of Bert Munroe memorabilia. On the way upstairs this rather strange contraption caught my eye. It was a winning entry in a bra competition.
Once we reached the exhibition Mick was tickled to see that there was a replica of the shell of Burt’s bike and visitors are encouraged to hop in and get a feel for how he rode. Mick reckoned it would have been terrifying. I reckon I would have got stuck trying to get in.
This is what the bike was like under the shell.
Outside again, we saw the famous water tower.
Our next stop was the E Hayes Hardware Store, not to buy hardware, although there was lots to choose from, but to see the real Burt Munroe Memorabilia. The owner of the store bought everything from Burt in 1977.
There is also a whole private museum of cars, motorcycles, toys and tools displayed throughout the store.
This is the original shell.
And this is the world’s fastest Indian that went inside the shell.
He also bought all the tools that Burt had in his shed.
After Mick had his fill of motorcycle related bits and bobs we headed on our way further along the coast to Riverton.
We visited Gemstone Beach, which apparently is always changing, sometimes sand, other times stones and sometimes semi precious gemstones. It was sandy when we were there. A couple of fellows seemed to have an enterprise looking for gems but weren’t having too much luck.
That was the last of the coast, as we headed inland and started our way back north. We had packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed it by the Clifton Suspension Bridge. It was above a fast flowing river, so must have been a challenge to build back in the 1800s.
Eventually we noticed snow on the distant peaks. Now that is what we are wanting to see.
The scenery was becoming more spectacular and the landscape more rugged, until we rounded a bend to see this wonderful vista. Lake Manapouri, which meant we were nearing our destination for the day.
It wasn’t long before we reached Lake Te Anau.
Our first task was to check in at our motel. As we arrived a lady was being turned away. We had actually booked some of the last rooms in town the previous day. I commented that I was glad we had booked and he said “That is unless you are Janice Hope”. It turned out that he was taking a phone booking at the same time that the isite lady was making our booking and there was no room for us! However, he had some friends with a self contained room in the home and they would be prepared for us to stay with them if that would suit us. What else could we do? As it turned out, it was so much nicer than staying in the motel. The room was lovely and our hosts were wonderful. It is always nice to chat with locals, as you learn so much more than you otherwise would.
Accommodation was extremely tight all around the south island. Even the staff of the isites were amazed at how busy it was.
Back to Te Anau. We spent a lovely lazy afternoon wandering around and watching the doings on the lake.
Other than the lake, the main reason Te Anau was so busy is that it is the last main town before Milford Sound, which was why we were there. It just happened to be a lovely destination in itself.