Camping at Mavora Lakes

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Who wouldn’t like to see this scenery first thing in the morning?

I enjoy camping so much! Spending time in nature is what makes me a happy traveler! That’s one more reason why New Zealand is a perfect country for me. Here everything is about spending time outdoors.

Department of Conservation has campsites all over the country with a cost of only $8 per person/night. Usually these sites are in the middle of nowhere, far away from everything and that’s the best thing about them. These campsites have major facilities you may need – toilet, sometimes tap water, picnic tables, BBQs and most of the time there’s no mobile network coverage (how great is that!).

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The camp we went to last weekend is called Mavora Lakes. This area was used as a film set in some of the Lord of the Rings movies. It is located two hours from Invercargill and in the end about 40km of gravel road lead you there. The scenery along the way is wooow!

There is only one thing with this campsite you might not be happy about: there are sand flies everywhere. Just don’t forget insect repellent and everything will be OK.

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Pristine nature, sheep, lambs, cows and calves running over green meadows, mountains in the background and fresh air complete the picture.

Some of the activities people can do here are fishing, walking, tramping, mountain biking and horse riding.

I can’t wait to go back again to enjoy peace and quiet disturbed only with different melodies coming from the birds singing on the trees above my tent.

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Before sunset…

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How beautiful is this scenery? I’m amazed!!! We couldn’t find better place to finally open this year’s camping season.

I captured this photo yesterday, just a few minutes before sunset. Look at this golden grass, looks like it glows.

I’m so happy we found another perfect destination close to Invercargill for relaxed, peaceful getaway… Mavora Lakes is definitely the place to go back to.

Southern Scenic Route: Road trip you can’t miss

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Road tripping in New Zealand is a must. It is definitely the best way to discover this amazing country.

Today I’ll take you on journey between Queenstown and Dunedin. The road is called Southern Scenic Route and it is about 600km long ride you can’t miss.

We are driving around this route pretty often as the road goes through Invercargill and it always lead us to Queenstown or Dunedin for our weekend getaways.

The road is passing through Queenstown, Fiordland (Te Anau), Western Southland, Invercargill, beautiful Catlins, Clutha and Dunedin (Moeraki, Larnach Castle).

We are so lucky to live here as these wonderful places are within short drive from our home.

Let me take you on a ride around ‘one of the world’s great undiscovered drives’, how one magazine labeled it a few years ago.

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Queenstown

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Te Anau, Fiordland

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Clifden

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Riverton

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Queens Park, Invercargill (my favourite place in town)

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Curio Bay

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Purakaunui Falls, Catlins

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Kaka Point

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Dunedin

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Baldwin St, Dunedin, the world’s steepest residential street 

There are so many great things to do along the way – short walks, boating, camping, tramping, fishing, mountain-biking – just pick your favourite activity and explore this beautiful part of the South Island.

Must see picturesque New Zealand lakes

Did you know there is more than 4000 lakes in this amazing country?

These are the most stunning lakes in New Zealand and there are some truly fascinating facts about them…

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Lake Te Anau, South Island

Lake Te Anau is second largest lake by surface area in New Zealand and it’s more than 4oom deep. Most of this lake is situated within Fiordland National Park and it is a must see place while traveling around Southland especially if you are planning to visit Milford Sound or you are going to walk New Zealand Great Walks.

Lake Taupo, North Island

Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand. It sits in the caldera of Taupo Volcano created by a supervolcanic eruption. Every year more than 2 million people come here to admire to this gem of the North Island.

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Lake Wanaka, South Island

Home of the probably most famous tree in the world is Lake Wanaka situated at the lower South Island in Otago region. This lake lies in valley formed by glacial erosion during the last ice age. It is a great place for adventure tourism all year around.

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Lake Pukaki, South Island

Glacial sediments fed this lake by the Tasman and Hooker Glaciers, there’s the reason for beautiful blue colour of the water. With the massive Mt Cook in the background it is not strange that Lake Pukaki found its place in the Hobbit Trilogy.

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Lake Tekapo, South Island

It doesn’t matter if you visit this lake during the day or night, it’s amazing! It gets turquoise colour from glacial dust suspended in the water.  Lake Tekapo is part of the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing. I can’t describe you how tranquil this place is…

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Lake Wakatipu, South Island

Famous adventure capital Queenstown lies on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s longest lake. Because of its unusual shape Lake Wakatipu has a so called ‘tide’ which causes the water to rise and fall about 10 cm every 25 minutes. Perfect scenery for the postcard, isn’t it?

Meeting of the seas

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This is definitely one more special place in New Zealand. Cape Reinga is the spot where two seas clash. It is the meeting point of Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. Really amazing. You can see how unsettled the water is, it looks like a race. If you are watching from atop the view is absolutely perfect…

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Weekend getaway: Lake Te Anau

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Situated on the west coast, within Fiordland National Park, Lake Te Anau is a part of the travel itinerary of every wanderer here in New Zealand. This small town, with a population of only 2000, is a starting point for three New Zealand Great Walks (Milford Track, Kepler Track and Routeburn Track) and it is the last town on the route to one of the most famous sights – Milford Sound.

Town centre is nice but there’s nothing much to do and that’s why this is the place where travellers come to spend more time in nature, walking and exploring. For us, perfect weekend getaway.

As I already told you, weather conditions on the South Island this summer weren’t great for camping but we decided to give it a go and it was awesome! Finally we had the chance to sleep under the stars…

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Lake Te Anau is the largest lake on the South Island and second largest by surface area in New Zealand (Lake Taupo is the largest).

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One more place to check out while you are in town is Ivon Wilson Park, land planted with native trees with a beautiful small lake in the centre. Perfect picnic spot!

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Lake Henry in Ivon Wilson Park

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Quick stop at the Lake Mistletoe

This is one of the reasons why I love to live in New Zealand. You don’t have to go far away to find gorgeous spots. They are always just around the corner…