Tags New Zealand
Tag: New Zealand
Queenstown had quite a few more things going for it than Wanaka. To start off, the Queenstown holiday park was much nicer than its counterpart in Wanaka. The Queenstown park felt so much more comfortable and when you live on the road that makes a huge difference. In addition to our accommodation being nice and comfy, Shawn Reece found a few little friends to play with in the park. He spent much of the morning on Friday playing with them in the playground.
We woke up Wednesday morning with the hope that we might still get the chance to hike up to the Franz Josef Glacier. With the realization that this was the only day we had to do this, we headed over to the visitor’s center to see if it was possible. Upon arriving, the park ranger informed us that all of the paths to the glacier were flooded out and very dangerous. Apparently it takes a couple of days after the rain stops before they are safe again. We simply didn’t have the time. With this unfortunate news, we got in the car and began our drive south to the resort town of Wanaka.
I woke up a 6:45am on Monday morning to listen to the Packers (American Football) game over the internet. The timing worked out perfectly as the game ended around 10am, just the time we had to vacate the room and get on with our day. I wish I could say that the weather had cleared up, but it was much of the same as Sunday, but we had stayed long enough and decided to move on, albeit with a bit of caution.
Starting near Takaka on Friday morning, we headed first to Wainui Falls, which lie in Abel Tasman National Park, about a thirty minute hike from the carpark. The hike was very simple as it followed the river upstream towards the falls. During the first fifteen minutes we passed over several wooden bridges until we came to an exciting place. There on the path just in front of us was a genuine swing bridge. While we have all been on swing bridges before, none of them have crossed real rivers at such a height. After crossing the swing bridge and enjoying every moment of it, we headed another fifteen minutes along the river until the magnificent falls were right in front of us. The falls are located in a nice secluded spot.
My stomach sunk to my shoes on Tuesday night as I realized that I had left my Ipod in our room at the holiday park the night before. Luckily the holiday park was only twenty minutes outside of the city, so I called them with my fingers crossed. As Ezra, the man on the other side of the phone searched through the lost & found drawer, my stomach continued to churn. I use my Ipod all of the time and losing it would not be good. Suddenly he came on the phone and said, “Yah mate. We have it. Come and get it whenever you like.” Those words were magic to my ears.
On Monday, we didn’t have much on our itinerary to do other than drive south to Wellington. As usual, we got out of the campground and headed over to the local I-site to book accommodation for the night. After a bit of discussion, we opted to stay in a holiday park about 20 minutes outside of Wellington. This would give us a chance to take it easy without having to deal with all of the hustle and bustle of the city.
This morning began with a lot up in the air. The first thing we had to settle was whether or not to book transport to the Tangariro National Park to complete the 16KM crossing. After calling the local company in Taupo, we decided that $49 per person was way too much and considered driving to a town closer to the National Park to get a shuttle from there. With that in mind, we called a couple of holiday parks closer in and got some more information. We still weren’t sure of the plan but agreed that we were going to move on from the All Seasons Holiday Park.
We woke up on Friday morning in no hurry to get out of Waitomo. The only thing on the agenda for the day was a three hour drive east to Rotorua. After checking out of our cabin we spent about twenty minutes in a small coffee shop next door. Our tour from the previous day provided us each with a free drink coupon so we cashed in and relaxed for a few minutes.