NZ Trip 2006. Part 4 - Queenstown & Fjordland

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April 23rd 2006
Published: December 14th 2008
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Sunday 23rd April.

After a very sleepless night (torrential rain and high winds) we awoke to a sunny morning in Fox, ready for our journey through the Mount Aspiring National Park - destination Queenstown.

After about 60 miles we arrived at Haast, the last town before the climb up through the National Park, a trip of about 50 miles to the next town Makarora.

Unfortunately all the previous nights rain led to a mudslide on the road about 30 miles ahead and we were forced to spend 2 hours in Haast while waiting on news of the situation. It was pointless turning around as the only other way to Queenstown was via a 500 mile (?) detour back the way we came !

To kill some time we decided to head down to a little fishing port called Jacskon Bay - NOT A GOOD IDEA ! Jane got bitten alive by mosquito's and would suffer for the next week with itchy bites on her feet and ankles.

Eventually got word that the road had reopened so motored on as quick as we (legally) could, to try to make up some time. Sadly, once we reached the location of the mudslide we were held up again as the road was very treacherous and the contractors could only let so many vehicles pass at one time (single file in one direction only), so we were delayed another 2 hours. The mud and water was still cascading down the side of the hills - very carefully drove across the torrent !

The road up to Wanaka in the evening sun was beautiful but daylight was running out fast and not knowing the road I decided we had to move on as fast as possible. Decided on a shortcut over the Cardrona Pass, which probably took a few km's off the journey but it was a bit of a hair-raising road and the journey down the side of the hill back to the Queenstown Highway was a tricky affair, very winding road, steep drop at every turn, the bright lights of Queenstown below us.

Got to our B&B (The Chalet) at around 7pm - more than 5 hours after we had hoped to.

Walked into downtown QT , ate in a lovely Thai restaurant (very spicy Tom Yum soup).

Had a few drinks in the Speights Ale House before heading back to the Chalet.

Monday 24th April.

Having pre-booked an afternoon jet boat ride on the Dart River, we headed into Queenstown in the morning for a quick look around the place.

Drove up to Glenorchy, a very scenic drive, almost like being back in the Scottish highlands. Met our tour party, transferred to jet boat and spent the next 1.5 hours twisting,spinning and gliding through the shallow waters of the Dart river. Fantastic trip.

After leaving the boat, we were shown a traditional Maori tepee and guided walk through a section of the forest. Bussed back to Glenorchy before the 1 hour drive back to Queenstown.

Rested, freshened up and popped back to the Speights Ale House for a slap up steak and bevvy.

Great day out.

Tuesday 25th April

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