Southern City

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Day 41   Invercargill   

Today I head to New Zealand’s most southern city, Invercargill. It’s around a 2.5-hour drive south of Te Anau where I stayed last night. I pack up camp and head into town, ending up at the lake edge and taking a stroll down the walk way. This lake is the largest by volume in Australasia and the second biggest for surface area in New Zealand behind Lake Taupo. It’s also a common starting point for many activity’s like yesterday’s Doubtful sound and the more famous Milford sounds as well as many hikes including two of New Zealand’s great walks, the Kepler track and the Milford track.

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After taking a few snap shots and indulge in some breakfast. I make my way down to Matapouri where I pick up a hitch hiker, one of the many Germany backpackers traveling around at the moment, I’m sure half of Germany is here traveling around. The rain has really set in and we carry on our way. The plan was to take the scenic route that heads down and around the coast, but we got chatting and I totally missed the turn off and it wasn’t till half an hour later, I thought we are supposed to be on the coast by now, a quick look at the map and we were way off, still on our way to Invercargill just taking the inland route, too late to turn around now we carry on.

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We finally reach the city of Invercargill, rain was still pouring down, so I dropped my hitchhiker off in town and I carry out to Transport World, A huge collection of cars, trucks and motorcycles. The collection was started by Bill Richardson, a successful businessman and an avid truck collector, he had collected over 170 trucks before he passed away. With his daughter now looking after his collection and adding other vehicles to it, Transport World was created and opened to the public at the end of 2015.The collection now has a bit of everything, over 300 vehicles and many motoring icons and memorabilia on display.

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As I enter the first thing that gets my eye is this perfectly restored bright red Dodge Texaco Tanker, the lady said there’s only one other left in the world. Carrying on past here is an amazing line up of Henry Fords lettered cars from 1903 to 1908, from the model A through to the successful model T. Having a car from every letter model apart from the rare model B. In 1927 Ford released a new line of car starting at the letter A again, these are displayed on the other side of the first building, along with a few other early Ford V8’s.

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Carrying on around this 15000-square meter museum, is a few of Bills trucks, a couple of race cars and some nicely restored Indian motorcycles. Into the next shed and its Bills collection of trucks, Nissan, Mack, International they are all there plus many I had never heard of before. Some restored with some that looked like they had finished the day’s work, had a wash then driven in. Next up was a scene from the new New Zealand movie Pork Pie with the little yellow mini and beside was a small collection of the famous VW Kombi.

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The next shed has even more Trucks, some very nice restore early 1900’s ones all the way up to the 1990’s, then on to tractors and bulldozers. The site also has an onsite workshop so you can see a couple of mechanics pull apart and restore some of the amazing cars and trucks. Café on site and there is also a Motorcycle Mecca just down the road if you into them. After spending 2 hours wandering around it was time for them to closes the doors for the day.  I head to my campsite for the night, Amble on Inn is a nice campsite just on the southern side of the city. Tomorrow I head to NZ’s third largest island to have a bit of an explore.

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