NZ | Queenstown - Mavora Lakes - Gore - Dunedin | 28th Jan ’15 - 04th Feb ’15 | 3865km
The prevailing wind in Southland blows from East to West, except for during the above dates, when it makes an uncharacteristic u-turn. Back on the bikes for the first time in 10 days, we left Queenstown on the coal fired TSS Earnslaw. We were deposited on the far side of Lake Wakatipu and headed inland towards the Mavora Lakes on a quiet gravel road. We felt the full force of the headwind as we bore East through farmland, multiple fishing spots and along stretches of the 'The Presidential Highway', linking the entirely coincidentally named towns of Gore and Clinton. The terrain becomes gradually less dramatic but the people no less friendly. We were noticeably off the main tourist route, fewer campervans stray this far and, until Dunedin, we hadn't seen another cycle tourist since Queenstown.
There is a noticeable Scottish influence in Southland - burns, bens and the word wee appear frequently. Dunedin is known as the Edinburgh of NZ - named Dùn Èideann, the Gaelic name for Edinburgh, by early settlers from Midlothian. Aside from the changeable weather and surrounding hills, that's where the similarities end, except for the miniature Scots Monument in the centre of town. This marks the most southerly point of our ride - if we had a spare $10,000 each, we could do a cruise to the Antarctic from here.