New Zealand February 1999  
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 Riverton to Manapouri 14 February

In order to get to Manapouri we joined the Bottombus in the morning and the funny part about that was that we had the same driver who brought us here. We boarded the bus at 8:30 a.m. but this time it was a big bus :( Well, at least it was a small group again, just ten people but it was less fun than driving in the small bus. First stop was Cosy Nook, a gemstone beach, somewhere between Riverton and Tuatapere. We went off for a walk at the beach - but the stones made it difficult to walk there. I found a small paua shell. It had a small hole but I was lucky enough just finding one. I didn't know how much Clifden has to offer until we were there. Of course there is the historic suspension bridge. Chris dropped us off at one side of the bridge and he waited for us at the other side after we crossed it. It's a very nice place there and a fine view over the river, so Chris put out his bag and we got a cup of tea/coffee here. It's really a great service to get a cup of tea at beautiful places like this ..
From the bridge it was just a short ride to a limestone cave. Everybody who had a flashlight grabbed it and Chris had some candles for the ones without flashlight. We walked into the cave. Some parts are very narrow - but at the end there was a bigger cave. We switched the lights off there and waited for some glowworms. Just a few seconds and the first glowworms came up and a couple of minutes later we saw lots of them starting to glow again. When we had seen enough we switched the lights back on and climbed through a small crack and out of the cave. Our drive to Manapouri was very scenic from here because the mountain scenery sets in shortly after Clifden. About midday we arrived in Manapouri where Chris dropped us off at The Glade. It's a campground and we got a small cabin (two beds) there. It's a great campground, very nice, surrounded by some bush and trees to hide campervans and tents. The facilities are well maintained and clean (kitchen, showers, toilets, lounge, laundry).
In the afternoon we went to Frasers Beach at Lake Manapouri and had a nice swim in this freezing cold water. It's hard to get in but it's wonderful once you've made it.

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