While 2020 has been a challenging year, the silver lining of closed borders means we have an opportunity to discover the hidden gems lurking in our own backyard. The Southern Scenic Route is a summer road trip adventure ready and waiting for you – and better still, it’s the perfect way to head south for a stay with us here at The Lodges at Transport World.
We’re giving our guests plenty of insider tips to make your jaunt along the Southern Scenic Route one to remember, and today we’re exploring the mighty Clutha region.
Provincial Antiques (Milton)
One of the beauties of not travelling by plane? No pesky luggage weight restrictions. Ensure you save some space as you travel along the Southern Scenic Route – you’ll need it, after a visit to Provincial Antiques in Milton.
Situated on an unassuming corner on the main street heading out of town, step inside Provincial Antiques and you’ll uncover an emporium of vintage delights. From gleaming furniture showcasing the finest in craftmanship from the past, lovingly restored, to an assortment of pieces that can only be described as knick-knacks, bits and pieces, or treasures … Provincial Antiques is the kind of one-of-a-kind store you shouldn’t miss on your journey south.
With golden sand and the Pacific Ocean spanning as far as the eye can see, the secluded Chrystalls Beach is a glimpse at a coastline that remains largely undiscovered by the many visitors passing through this area.
Chances are you’ll spot some local wildlife (sealions are relatively frequent visitors – respect their distance, and they’ll leave you unbothered too) lounging on the shore, while the large rock formation you’ll see is known as Cook’s Head Rock. It provides a great vantage point for those feeling up to the climb. Rips are fairly common here at Chrystalls Beach, so the beauty of the sea is best admired on terra firma.
To get to Chrystalls Beach, follow the road south from Dunedin. Turn towards the coast when you reach Milton, follow the signs to the beach along the gravel road, and follow the short walking track through the thriving tussock to the beach proper.
Catlins Kayak and Adventure (Kaka Point)
For an unbeatable glimpse at the remote Catlins Coast, these small group tours are bound to remain a journey highlight during your time exploring the Southern Scenic Route. With a range of fully-guided kayak tours to choose from, you’ll drink in sights like diverse and dramatic natural scenery – like the famous Nugget Point rock formations – as well as the wildlife that calls this slice of paradise home.
Our favourite option? The sights and sounds (of nature – not humankind) of the First Light Trail are unparalleled. As the sun rises across the horizon and you paddle your kayak against the gently lapping water, you’ll feel like the only person for miles. The team can also custom-build trail itineraries to suit you. Click here to learn more and book your experience.
Sample locally-made craft beers at The Point (Kaka Point)
For a truly authentic, local dining experience, The Point is the place to go.
The pub is a quintessentially Kiwi one and serves typical pub fare that’s big on flavour – plus, you’ll also find a selection of locally-made craft beers, created at nearby microbrewery The Catlins Brewery, on tap. For equally delicious, but polar opposite flavour profiles, give the stout and pale ale a try.
Waihi Kahuika – Owaka Museum
Preserving and exhibiting the heritage of The Catlins, the museum in the township of Owaka is the flagship project of The Catlins Historical Society.
Opened in 2007, the museum is a joint project between the society as well as the Clutha District Council, with the aim to create a community facility complete with museum, shop, library, and information centre. While away some time on this leg of the Southern Scenic Route by exploring the heritage of this area. For updates, visit the Wahi Kahuika – Owaka Museum on Facebook here.