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Published: April 28th 2010
Glaciers - Rees Valley north of Glenorchy
Oops got that last bit wrong! After picking up groceries in Queenstown Dave and I trundled up to 12 Mile Delta DOC camp which is on the way to Glenorchy on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.
2/4/10 Good Friday - Drove to Glenorchy then to Chinaman’s Bluff. A young French tramper had missed his ride after emerging from the Rees/Dart River track. A storm had dropped trees and caused slips on the track so he was a day late. We gave him a ride to Glenorchy. On the way we also picked up a young Californian guy who had also completed this track with 3 others. He had left his car at the beginning of the track, some 35km away. We took him halfway back, took the Frenchie to Glenorchy, then decided to drive up the Rees Valley. After a few kms we picked him up again. He had hidden his pack in the scrub. The drive to his car was about 15km, and when we arrived he found his car battery was flat. After jump-starting it, the very grateful tramper was on his way and I said to Dave ‘someone’s looking after him today!”. The head of the valley
ahead of us appeared to have at least 2 or 3 glaciers coming down into it, and snow-clad mountains, waterfalls and the river meandering down to us. We attempted to head further into the valley but were halted by the discoloured water due to rain in the headwaters. Returning towards Glenorchy we were stopped by two 4x4 vehicles heading in. They invited us to join them as they were going to explore one of the waterfalls. Lizzie and Danny, Tom and his friends from Queenstown made us really welcome. The waterfall was high, with a good volume of water. We ended up pretty wet and muddy after clambering up through the jungle-like bush in the spray.
This was a great way to finish our afternoon, with a shared beer/wine after getting back to the vehicles. Lizzie and Danny own a great restaurant called “V-Know” in Fernhill, Queenstown. We fully intend to call in to enjoy their company and food when next there! From Glenorchy, we drove and stayed at the Lake Sylvan DOC camp on the side of the Routeburn River.
3/4/10 - In the morning we drove to the start of the Routeburn Track, south to Kinloch, then
back to Glenorchy to treat ourselves to a flat white and a read of the newspaper - sounds mundane, but a treat to us! From here a drive to Cromwell meant we could call in and see friends Gail and Gary. After a quick catchup, we drove north through the Lindis Pass and found a great backpackers at Dunstan Downs Station about 16km south of Omarama. Geoff, Anne and Kelly from Christchurch were also staying overnight and gave us loads of ideas of places to visit.
4/4/10 - Drove to Lake Ohau and up the west side of the lake on a 4x4 track as far as we could go. Once again there had been flooding in the head of the valley and the river had risen , flooding slightly across the track. Stayed again at Dunstan Downs Station. This station is 32km to the back boundary.
5/4/10 - Dave replaced the front spring bushes on the truck before we left. Tim the station owner, said they may need a house- sitter in July - so hope that works out for them and us, and we will contact him in the spring regarding farmwork etc.
Whilst driving to
Omarama, we noticed another Troopy camper in the rear vision mirror. It pulled up beside us and we had a chinwag with Bob from Banks Peninsula, comparing our toys! He is a member of the Canterbury Recreational 4WD Club and we hope we catch up with him again. Camping for the night on the edge of Lake Aviemore was lovely, but the southerly came up at dusk which meant we had to reposition the truck. The autumn colours are beautiful here, particulary on a clear day with the lakes so blue.
6/4/10 - Waimate - quiet town between Timaru and Oamaru about 6km west of SH1.
7/4/10 - Waitaki River Camping Ground
8/4/10 and 9/4/10 - Geraldine - two frosts, but lovely in the sun. We booked the truck in for a service with Malcolm, the friendly Toyota service agent here. Were made very welcome at the Town and Country Club - meeting Phylis and Gavin (she is the Club president). They are travelling up to the BOI Country Rock Festival in May, as they are performing there (Band is called “Break Through”.
10/4/10 - Rakaia Huts Camping Ground - great fishing spot near the Rakaia river mouth.
We have been fascinated by the permanent huts near the river mouths, as it is something we don’t see up north. Of course, if you a hunting/fishing type person you would be in 7th heaven as the salmon/trout/whitebait/duck/sea trout seasons all seem to follow each other through the year.
11/4/10 - Drove into Christchurch and booked into our “grab-a-night” special at the 5-star Millenium Hotel on Cathedral Square. As the Troopy was too high to go in the hotel carpark, we were asked to park it on the footpath outside!!! We we highly amused to see our mud-splattered truck parked in pride of place, right outside the window of the flash hotel lounge bar!
12/4/10 - flew home to Kerikeri for a very busy 9 days visiting family, etc, etc. It was great timing as we were able to attend Liz and Darren’s 25th Anniversary party, and also say farewell to Murray and Chris who have gone touring in Oz for a few months. We were able to leave the truck at Pete’s depot near the Christchurch airport, and we took one of his rental cars home from Auckland to BOI.
21/4/10 - flew back to Christchurch,
picked up the truck and drove to Leeston to stay with Bill and Shirley.
22/4/10 to 29/4/10 - House sitting in Leeston. We have had fun here meeting some of the locals. Attending the Anzac Service was interesting and quite different to what we are used to at home. The ceremony was held at the RSA prior to the march to the cenotaph where the names of those soldiers who were killed in the wars were read out.
Hope to attend some of the events at Wheels Week in Ashburton next week.
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