A Travellerspoint blog

Wanaka to Haast and beyond

A pancake breakfast by the river, slight repair work on the camper, a spot of shopping by Conor and Layka and we are on the road from Wanaka to Haast on the west coast.
The Lonely Planet book tells us the the road from central Otago to the west coast called the Haast Pass Highway named after German Geologist Julius Von Haast one of or maybe the first guy to have made this crossing only opened in 1965. The book says 'the further you go the narrower it gets, princely sums are spent trying to keep the highway clear, even so it sets plenty of traps for the unwary motorists'
We took our time, stopped at Fantail waterfall and Thunder Creek Fall before we reached Haast, not overly impressed with Haast we moved on to Parlinga Lake, a very wise move.
Really nice Freedom camp site we had lots of neighbours but do you know what - sometimes one has got to share.
The morning sun burning off the mist over the lake was the most spectacular sight.

Posted by helencosgrave 21:31 Comments (0)

Milford sound

I have missed out on two days now as we were in the mountains with no wifi.
Recollection:Te Anau: Stopped for a break on the road at Te Anau, did the customary shopping, had a snack at the edge of the lake and then set out on the road up north toward Milford Sound.
Nick was at the wheel so as I was codriver I got to sit in front, a seriously scenic route up along by Lake Te Anau.
Parked up for the evening at Deer Flat freedom camp site which was about an hours drive from Te Anau just on the rivers edge.
Weather was a tad uncooperative so we tucked ourselves up in our camper for the evening.

We set off quite early the next morning for Milford Sound, had to make the customary stops to take in the view of numerous waterfalls due to the heavy overnight rain.
Got the ferry out at the sound and for two hours we sailed in this magical spot, out along until we reached the open sea. ( next stop Chile/ Argentina)).
This we were told by our guide is actually not a sound at all it is in fact a fjord.
But sound or fjord it is a sight to behold and experience.
Calm still water, mountains rising up, some covered in snow, others mist, numerous waterfalls. The stillness and serenity make this a special place. Hope heaven is like this.
We saw some fur seals and sailed right up to the biggest waterfalls. The sheer rockface in places was extraordinary over 1500 metres high.
Photography was pointless, as our guide said 'buy a postcard'

Met Enda and Catherine a couple from Navan who have a son working as an ED doctor in Greymouth. For quite a while Enda and I were the only two hardy souls on deck. ( It was rather chilly)
The trip was Nicks Christmas present from Conor so was a special trip indeed.
As we got back in our camper the Heavens opened and rain like I have rarely seen before pelted down.
We weathered it by having a slap up snack and set out eventually back to Deer Flat again.
The road stops at Milford Sound so one has no option but to retrace ones steps all the way back to Te Anau.
We took a walk through the forest, had a grand feast of burgers, chips and beer (wine for the ladies).
Layla learned and fell in love with Nic and Simon's creation 12's.
Layla said every child should learn it in school as it teaches addition, subtraction and multiplication. Get on to it Nic.
Snap, find the lady and the customary scrabble followed. Conor won again.
Layla also made up a game called Spin the Peach. Will let her describe that to you all.
A splendid day and evening.

Posted by helencosgrave 19:06 Comments (3)

Queenstown and beyond

After a grand breakfast of scrambled egg and bacon in Dolly ( our newly christened camper by Layla) we took a hike up Queenstown Hill.
Fantastic views was our reward, looking down on Lake Wakatipu and the mountains rising up all around, once again photos do not do this justice.
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We stopped at Kingston initially to buy food but no shops in this village so we made do with what was in the fridge and russled up a reheated chicken and chorizo which we ate at the beach at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu. A glorious spot, it was splendid.
I am quickly running out of adjectives to describe this country.
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Posted by helencosgrave 17:56 Comments (0)

Queenstown here we come

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We are on the road from Wanaka to Queenstown, passed through to ski area of Cardrona and on over the mountain pass to Arrowtown. This is a lovely old gold mining town and retains many of the towns original features.
Nick and Conor went to Lakes district museum, they gave it a good recommendation and even found a few Wexford names in there, there was Thomas Tobin from Clonroche and a Mrs M Cosgrave donated an artefact to the museum.
Mr T Cosgrave got his name in there too.
In the meantime I browsed around the town, spent some money to help boost the town's economy, had a pint in The Staple Restaurant while I waited for the boys.
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We stayed on for lunch are are now enroute to Queenstown.
I would highly recommend Arrowtown as a place to stop over.
We set out for Queenstown and parked up in a fully serviced camper site to recharge the batteries.
Queenstown is very nice, surrounded by hills, very busy with tourists but great atmosphere.
Lovely narrow, low rise streets had a drink by the waterfront at Emersons IMG_1081.jpg
We browsed around and met Layla off the bus.
She was thrilled with her mimi bus journey from Dunedin and has made a new friend in Dolly Parton.
Had a lovely meal at The Spice Room Indian restaurant a drink at Pog Mahones and called it a day.

Posted by helencosgrave 12:08 Comments (0)


We set out this morning for Wanaka, on route we called to see another Lord of the Rings site, a battlefield only Conor knew anything about this.
Then we moved on to Omarama and did some shopping, next stop Lindi a nice lookout point we stopped to take some photos.
We drove on to Wanaka, had lunch in the camper and set off up Iron Hill for a bit of a hike.Nick and I thought it was a hike Conor thought it was a slight stroll.
Wonderful views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding countryside.
We dropped into the village of Wanaka afterwards and we had a few pints at a local pub which was really nice, we had been very much on our own the previous four days so even though we didn't engage in conversation with anyone it was quite nice to be in 'town'
We drove on to our site for the evening which was really nice, just a river and starlight skies. Perfect.
Chicken and Chorizo for dinner, a stroll round the area, a game of scrabble and that was it.

Posted by helencosgrave 02:32 Comments (0)

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