27.10.2012 - 27.10.2012 20 °C
We spent yesterday evening at the local pub. I dont think many tourists go there - everyone else there was in one big group and it was raffle night. We enjoyed just watching the proceedings then ate in the bistro that was part of the pub. It was a real traditional bistro with no frills, good value, hearty meals. This morning dawned a beautiful blue sunny day. We decided to go walking and find somewhere local for brekkie. We found the local cafe and enjoyed an excellent breakfast while sitting in the sun. Time to say farewell to Twizel. We drive through Omarama known for gliding and it would have been a perfect day for it - blue skies and only a very light breeze. We have already left the barren Mckenzie basin behind and now driving through lush farmland. This was to be the case right though to Oamaru. We soon came upon Lake Benmore, NZ's largest man made lake. They have done a great job of creating a picturesque recreation area here - there are camping spots all around Lake Benmore and Lake Aviemore, fishing, boat ramps, picnic spots, etc. We have become very interested in the Benmore/Waitaki hydro system having been to Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki, Lake Ohau, and Twizel which are all part of it so now we get a chance to see the centre of it - the Benmore Dam. We spent quite a while at the visitor centre finding out how it all came about and how it works - fascinating - then on the recommendation of the man in the visitor centre we drove across the top of the dam and up the side of Lake Aviemore then across the top of the Aviemore Daam before rejoining the main road - most scenic and interesting. We next stopped at Kurow and ate lunch in the garden of the local cafe basking in the spring sunshine. Once in Oamaru, we explored the Victorian precinct for a while, purchased a bottle of local Sauv and are now relaxing at the Oamaru Motor Lodge.