Sunday, January 3, 2010
Left Geraldine this morning and headed down the highway to Queenstown. Unfortunately the weather was drizzly and cloudy we still managed to get a good look at MacKenzie country and were impressed with what we saw. Only problem was that the radio stations kept dropping out (much to Matthew's frustration!) and we were well and truly sick of listening to Lord of the Rings! "We have to get another CD" - perhaps we might be able to pick up one at a servo along the way.
We had contemplated making the turn off to the Mt Cook National Park however with the low cloud and misty conditions there would have been no chance of being able to see the mountains. So we decided against it and headed on into Lake Tekapo. Even in the drizzly conditions the fluorescent blue of the lake as we came over the rise into the township was stunning. The outside temperature had dropped considerably from when we left Geraldine but we braved the conditions to be able to get photos of the Church on the lakeside as well as the monument commemorating the contribution made by collie dogs in the sheep industry in the district. Checked out a couple of servos for a new CD - but no luck. Oh well, we will have to listen to Matthew's repertoire of 70's power ballads!
Passed by a number of salmon farms and were on the lookout for a place that Andre in Geraldine had told us about which had the most wonderful cooked salmon for sale. We thought it would make a good (early) lunch stop - however we either missed it or perhaps it was a turn off that we didn't see. Called into Twizel and the rain was coming down heavily by now. No CD's!
Wet and cold we continued down the highway passing by a number of smaller townships until heading through the stunningly beautiful Lindis Pass. I can only imagine what this place must look like in the winter with the snow on the hills. All along the side of the road were wildflowers - lupins I think? The countryside was starting to change and becoming much more alpine looking. It wasn't long before we were travelling alongside the magnificent Lake Dunstan. The colours were again fluorescent - must be something to do with the sediments in the bottom of the lake. From Cromwell we headed down the highway with the magnificent Kawarau Gorge on our left hand side. Pretty scarey!
Arrived in Queenstown (after a short detour to Arrowstown enroute) about 1.30 p.m. and found our way to the Novotel. Thank goodness for Sat Nav!