Bungy to Twizel, Day 20

The roads here are uncomplicated. There aren’t many choices. Retrace to Queenstown, turn right and over another pass, down to Twizel. That’s 240km ish.

Not before stopping at the spectacle of a fine 1880 suspension bridge, renovated by a percentage of the funds raised by the people who pay to jump off it. An easy 200NZD parted with.

Resistance is not futile. Twizel is. It’s twinned with Fort William as a transit town. Built originally to house dam workers for some massive, as in massive, hydro electric schemes, it is now booming. Well property prices anyway. No wifi in our overspill available, though it is a rather superior shed.

Milford Haven’s aspiration, Day 19

80km down a dead end road out of Te Anua, via the river Cleddau, gets you to Milford Sound. A popular spot for many Asian tourists who enjoy the 1.5hour cruise eating their lunch below deck. This leaves lots more room on the outside deck for the rest of us to appreciate the fiord. Today it belied the weather forecast of rain. Just hanging clouds offsetting hanging valleys.

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A remote place, Fiordland. No misspelling. Larger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined and still mainly pristine.

Who was Roy? Day 17

Mount Roy arises from the shores of Lake Wanaka. A 16km path zig zags to the 1580m summit. We had weather on our side. Cool and misty on the way up, clearing to bright sunshine on the descent. As the mist lifted you appreciate why Wanaka is such a honeypot. Azure lakes complete with green mountain ridges.

The strange sight of rose hips lined the route for a good part of the way up. That together with the sheep and rabbits are a reminder of how the settlers have influenced the land. Add to that the grape vines along the shore.

A green and pleasant land. At least on glorious sunny days like today.

Reflections, Day 16

Lake Matheson, Haast Beach and Pass, Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea were the backdrop to today’s walking and travelling.

Early morning mist over Lake Matheson jostled with the photographers to frame the best view of sunrise. I suspect this place is special most still days – even the spider’s webs glistened as never before.

The slow road could have been designed that way to show off the varying terrains. Haast Beach has some [rare] original swamp woods: the critically endangered Hectors Dolphins showed enough fin to gain attention.  Or was that the effect of the magic mushrooms? The Haast Pass (as recent as 1965) joins the developed South with the remoter West.  To be savoured at the pace of the repairs underway.  Then the ‘richer’ agricultural lands of the South – with noticeably less tree cover.

Wanaka and Hawea are fast developing as Queenstown overspill.  Property everywhere is expensive: more importantly so is the wine.