Spent 3 nights in Wanaka. Now that we’ve been in Queenstown its hard to tell which is more scenic. Wanaka is a lot more peaceful. The drive to Arrowtown also very scenic and winding. We had a look around the quaint old gold mining town and had a walk along the shady Arrow river. Lots of wool products for sale but very high price tags and busy with international tourists! Queenstown also coming up to their busy tourist walking season. We’ve been cooking our own meals except for lunch today where we bought lunch in a fresh food cafe! I walked up the steep streets to near the top of the town and met a Japanese Queenstown resident and had a pleasant chat with her. Suzy had a look round the markets and did not buy a single item (just sayin! ). Heading off to Lake Te Anau tomorrow possibly going to Doubtful Sound OR Milford Sound OR both! !!
Left to our own devices we wandered around Wanaka streets and around the lake. Hot windy day down here. Met a local who said this is very unusual wind for here as the lake had white caps! Houses are on mountain slopes and have lovely gardens and we were surprised by the colourful gardens. We walked for three hours then went back to our apartment and made brunch! After some food we were energetic again drove to Albert town and Hawea but it was still very windy so we didn’t get out for another walk. We plan on getting out again after our stir fry dinner!
Christchurch to Greymouth was one of the most scenic drives I’ve ever been on. We stayed at the Gables self contained apartment. We cooked Chilli Con Carne. Greymouth is a lot bigger than I remembered from our trip 20 years ago. In the morning we drove 40km north to Pancake rocks and were surprised by the number of tourists there. There are heaps of rocks shaped like a stack of thin pancakes. Then we headed south to Hokitika to have look at the gorge. The water in the gorge was a bright aqua color and the lush greenery was spectacular. We stayed in Franz Joseph Glacier town in a self contained unit the next night .The weather turned nasty getting cold with slanted rain but fortunately cleared by the morning. We next headed to the Franz Joseph Glacier in the morning and there was a 1 hour return trip to where we could see the glacier from . A glacier is a frozen river that moves slowly and melts slowly . We next headed to the Fox glacier which was also spectacular. We drove 260 km from Franz Josef glacier to Wanaka and it took a while cause the road is winding and there are a lot of single lane bridges over wide rivers. It was also a spectacular drive with the Alps visible in front of us and to either side a lot of the time and huge mountains covered in rainforest. There were farms of deer; beef ;cattle; sheep and dairy farms in the flat areas. We didn’t see much sea ; mainly rainforest. We were so fascinated by the incredibly beautiful scenery. Wanaka is stunning too. We are staying 3 nights here in a 2 bedroom apartment. We can see snow covered mountains from our lounge. We are going to have a big explore in the next couple days. Rick is taking the 7 hour bus back to Christchurch tomorrow!
Arrived in Christchurch late Sunday with Lily and Suzie in tow. Headed out for a quick MTB ride with James ,while the girls sourced dinner, and as usual James’s green tracks are black for me !
Next day we decided to hit the road towards the West coast. First stop Darfield for coffee and breakfast. Then a little C2C reconnoisence with a stop at the Waimak gorge bridge.
Next stop Castle Hill for a walk round interesting rocks.
We continued on toward Arthur’s Pass after a brief stop at Klondyke Corner.
At Arthur’s pass coffee was again in order followed by a walk up the Avalanche Creek Track. This a bad choice if you’re looking for leisurely stroll as it is clearly a serious mountain track, and denim jeans are not the correct attire. After ascending around 250 m we headed back down.
Leaving Arthur’s Pass the weather soon turned nasty but as we approached the West Coast it seemed the front had passed through and the sun was out again. We turned north at Kumara Junction and found accommodation in Greymouth.
After a run next to the ‘beach’and out onto the breakwater at river mouth the name of the town seems appropriate. Was swooped by seagulls on the breakwater!!