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Published: March 13th 2014
Monday 10th March - revisited Hokitika to see the driftwood sculptures on the beach. We had just missed the Wild Food Festival but stopped for a flat white coffee and the best muffins ever (plum & stem ginger). Went on to see the Gorge, same gorgeous aqua blue water complete with Salmon this time. Back on the road for our DOC site for the night next to another lake. Lots of youngsters doing very basic camping i.e. Cooking over an open fire or no cooking at all - ended up providing hot coffee for them all!
Tuesday 11th - early start on a grey and misty morning with over 300km to drive to Wanaka but this isn't a problem on these empty roads - the only difficulty is the mountains and the hairpin bends. Still had time to stop at Bruce Bay and Ship Creek. Lots of entertainment at Bruce Bay as we watched a family preparing to go fishing for whitebait. Started with them trying to give Grandma a fireman's lift on to the beach - no success. Resorted to a piggyback across the rocks With Grandma swaying like a ship in a storm. Reached the beach and their
quad bike safely - next problem was Grandma trying to get her leg over the quad bike. Finally managed with a lot of unceremonious heaving then all 4 trundled off along the beach. Livened up our lunch break no end! Stopped at Ship Creek (no jokes about paddles) where the wreck of a ship which foundered off Australia in 1855 was finally washed up in 1871. The Tasman Sea (the Ditch) has very strong southerly currents - not to be messed with.
As we approached Haast Pass the grey skies lifted to provide wonderful views of the mountains under blue skies. Many of the mountains already had a covering of snow on the upper reaches. Over the Pass and into the Southern Alps for our first view of Wanaka Lake. Only another 30km to go before we hit the gravel road for our DOC site at Kidds Bush on Lake Hawea. A beautiful sunset, another BBQ and off to bed.
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